UKH

Cows knock down my fence - how to stop them

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Iggy_B 06 Jul 2022

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone has some practical advice.

 Our garden is long and skinny (40m by 5m) and at its end it borders onto a large field into which the farmer lets his cows loose every summer. Last summer was our first in the house and whilst we were away the cows knocked the fence over (old owner's pallet home made thing), wandered into the garden and got chased out by a neighbour who quickly knocked up something with scrap wood we had lying around.

 We've been planning to replace that ever since but this morning the buggars pushed it over and got in again. There's nothing particularly interesting in the garden for them to eat that they don't have in the field. I'd like to build something that will keep them out, but we have a cracking view of the fells and I don't want to block that off.

 The guy who owns the local garden centre offered us a fast growing spiky plant that would quickly take over a lattice fence (he also suggested plant a yew tree and the farmer will very quickly build a decent fence on his side of the boundary) but it's hideous to look at. I was thinking some heavy duty planters filled with earth, but I assume if we planted anything the cows would just eat it and it's a shame not to use them if you have them. How high does a planter wall need to be to stop a cow climbing over it? Neighbours on both sides have barbed wire but I'd prefer if the view from my bedroom didn't look like I was in Sobibor.

 If anyone else overcame a similar problem I'd be interested to know how. All the articles I find are aimed at farmers keeping cows in rather than Joe Bloggs keeping them out.

 Cheers,

 Iain

 wintertree 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Build a stout post-and-rail fence with suitable concrete foundations and timber parts.  Brace/buttress the edge posts with angled timbers so they can’t be pushed over from outside.  Paint in your colour of choice to mellow it in.  It’s mostly open for views and more “rustic” than “prison wall”.

Then hope they don’t come in through a neighbour’s garden…

Post edited at 12:17
1
In reply to Iggy_B:

I have a similar situation, a barbed wire fence outside of the dividing hedge does the job.

The cattle, goats and sheep keep the outside of the hedge well trimmed so there are only 2 faces for me to trim. 

 stubbed 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

The cows from the farm I grew up on would jump hedges & fences if they wanted to. I suggest something that they can't see through so they don't get curious. Or is something scaring them into your garden?

Personally I would go for hawthorn or holly as they are native, we installed a hawthorn hedge with whips along about 5m a couple of years ago, cost us £20.

 jon 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

We have an electric fence to keep wild boar out of our garden. Instantly and spectacularly successful!

 mrphilipoldham 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Barbed wire fence as a temporary measure and grow a hawthorn hedge. Remove barbed wire once it's enough of a deterrent. Best for the environment, it'll look great as it matures and provide habitat for song birds. You could throw a bit of gooseberry or similar in if you'd like a tasty crop too.

You shouldn't need to knock up Fort Knox. If you get friendly with the farmer he might even have a few fence posts and wire knocking around the yard.

 jonny taylor 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Are you on good terms with the farmer? Seems like he should be taking some responsibility for his cows, and helping with finding a solution (as mrphilipoldham suggests). I imagine a 'liability' route would not be a productive one to go down, better to keep things friendly - but what is happening here is that his cows are damaging your property because he is not ensuring they are properly contained. Shouldn't be your problem to solve alone.

 henwardian 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Build a standard post and wire fence with rylock and a top wire or two. You can try and see if you can get away with plain wire if you dislike barbed wire but barbed wire will be more effective at discouraging cows rubbing against it and trying to put their heads over to eat what is on the other side. You'll need a properly installed strainer at each corner (minimum 80cm but probably more deep depending on your ground type and rocks and/or concrete to hold it in place and brace struts in each direction that the fence goes in to help stop the strainers being pulled out when you tension the fence) and sets of winders on each run of fence to get it tensioned. You need a normal post about every 3 metres.

This is a typical livestock fence. It's relatively cheap and it's what people all over the country use to keep livestock out/in. If you don't like the look of it, plant something hedge-type (also that cows do not like to eat) just on your side of it, in a few years it will have grown up and through the fence, hiding it. In the meantime you will have an effective barrier.

Edit: There are lots of good videos on youtube showing you how to make a fence like this well.

Post edited at 13:16
 henwardian 06 Jul 2022
In reply to jonny taylor:

> Are you on good terms with the farmer? Seems like he should be taking some responsibility for his cows, and helping with finding a solution (as mrphilipoldham suggests). I imagine a 'liability' route would not be a productive one to go down, better to keep things friendly - but what is happening here is that his cows are damaging your property because he is not ensuring they are properly contained. Shouldn't be your problem to solve alone.

Worth being on friendly terms with your farmer neighbour for all sorts of reasons but when it comes down to it, in reality, it is OPs problem to solve. Fences are generally maintained to keep animals out and not to keep animals in (at least in my part of the world), there is no real benefit to a farmer in keeping their animals firmly in their field, maintaining fences takes effort and money and free-roaming livestock can graze effectively on all sorts of other grass from gardens to roadsides, so it saves on feed costs.

12
Iggy_B 06 Jul 2022
In reply to all:

 Thanks for the replies, some good ideas to go off.

 The farm is probably a mile away and accessed from the next village over, all our neighbours have their own fence or hedge solution. For the sake of a few hundred quid and a learning experience I think we will not even engage with the farmer at this stage and create something.

In reply to Iggy_B:

I was going to suggest a cow proof drystone wall, one needs to be able to take a running kick at them, but a hawthorn hedge protected by barbed wire until it develops is a great idea, they don't like the thorns when they try to munch it. 

Edit: There's all kinds of extra species one can include with hawthorn as a livestock hedge to benefit wildlife

Post edited at 13:55
 MeMeMe 06 Jul 2022
In reply to henwardian:

> Fences are generally maintained to keep animals out and not to keep animals in (at least in my part of the world), there is no real benefit to a farmer in keeping their animals firmly in their field, maintaining fences takes effort and money and free-roaming livestock can graze effectively on all sorts of other grass from gardens to roadsides, so it saves on feed costs.

I think it really depends on where you are. We've had issues with livestock from both sides of our property from two different farmers. Both were unaware of the problem, seemed slightly embarrassed that their livestock were causing issues and fixed the fencing at not inconsiderable effort and expense to themselves.

I think it's often seen an unneighbourly to have your livestock creating issues on other people's property. I'm sure it can depend on the attitude of the individual farmer though!

 dread-i 06 Jul 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Barbed wire fence as a temporary measure and grow a hawthorn hedge. Remove barbed wire once it's enough of a deterrent. Best for the environment, it'll look great as it matures and provide habitat for song birds. You could throw a bit of gooseberry or similar in if you'd like a tasty crop too.

I had an established hedge, with +4m high hawthorn, as thick as my wrist(ish). I watched some vids on hedge laying and now have a robust hedge, that could stop a small car. If you get the basics right, it can be reasonably low, rather than a stand of trees taking light, blocking the view.

 ian caton 06 Jul 2022
In reply to henwardian: fence against your own stock. 

In reply to Iggy_B:

Does the farmer not have a fence? We had a low pignet fence when me moved in, but the farmer had (and still has) barbed wire strands on his side to keep them off it.

We put taller posts in on our side with chicken wire to raise the fence, (to keep the dog in), then planted blackthorn trees to make a hedge. They cows now trim the hedge but don't try and push through

 ian caton 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Nah. His cows smashed your fence which was adequate for keeping your stuff out of his field. He might be a monster, he might be a decent bloke go find out.

I would be dead straight, say who you are, where you are from and what the problem is. And then say something like, "if you have a few posts and some barbed wire i don't mind putting a bit of a fence up for you". Cows only respect barbed wire and electric fences. Fence, with a single strand of barbed, needs to be about three feet from your fence. They will be able to reach over and under it to all the grass. Farmer knows this. Stand your ground. 

In reply to henwardian:

> Worth being on friendly terms with your farmer neighbour for all sorts of reasons but when it comes down to it, in reality, it is OPs problem to solve. Fences are generally maintained to keep animals out and not to keep animals in (at least in my part of the world), there is no real benefit to a farmer in keeping their animals firmly in their field, maintaining fences takes effort and money and free-roaming livestock can graze effectively on all sorts of other grass from gardens to roadsides, so it saves on feed costs.

Sorry, I think that's completely backwards.  The farmer (or leaseholder) is responsible for ensuring his fences are stock-proof.  He's responsible for any damage caused or third party risk (eg cattle getting out on the road).  Usually people owning stock are concerned to protect their investment, as well taking a pride in their land management.  There are always a few chancers who are a bit slow to curtail free grazing but any farming neighbours would put them straight pretty quickly.

 henwardian 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Sorry, I think that's completely backwards.  The farmer (or leaseholder) is responsible for ensuring his fences are stock-proof.  He's responsible for any damage caused or third party risk (eg cattle getting out on the road).  Usually people owning stock are concerned to protect their investment, as well taking a pride in their land management.  There are always a few chancers who are a bit slow to curtail free grazing but any farming neighbours would put them straight pretty quickly.

Just saying how things are where I am. I'm sure it's different in different places. 

In reply to Iggy_B:

Might seem a bit defeatist, but do you not think you should simply just moooove ?

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Might seem a bit defeatist, but do you not think you should simply just moooove ?

Or the farmer could ensure that the cows are the udder side of the fence. 🐄

In reply to FactorXXX:

> Or the farmer could ensure that the cows are the udder side of the fence. 🐄

It’s a bit lait for that. 

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> It’s a bit lait for that. 

Don't milk it...

In reply to FactorXXX:

> Don't milk it...

You telling me that you’ve herd it all before?

Iggy_B 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

You're talking bull.

 Graeme Hammond 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

>  We've been planning to replace that ever since but this morning the buggars pushed it over and got in again. There's nothing particularly interesting in the garden for them to eat that they don't have in the field. I'd like to build something that will keep them out, but we have a cracking view of the fells and I don't want to block that off.

The least practical suggestion, but will give an unrivalled views is to install a cattle grid at the bottom of your garden

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Or construct a ha-ha

In reply to Iggy_B:

> You're talking bull.

I’m sure we did a cow pun thread last year sometime. I’ll just check my dairy. 

 ExiledScot 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Might seem a bit defeatist, but do you not think you should simply just moooove ?

I will steer clear of all these cheesy lines.

In reply to ExiledScot:

> I will steer clear of all these cheesy lines.

For heifer?  

Iggy_B 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Fabulous suggestion. Now I just need to sell it to the OH.

In reply to Iggy_B:

Sorry for my flippancy earlier. On a more serious note, why not simply go with the flow and install a rotary milking shed?  

In reply to Michael Hood:

Go for a ho-ho.

Like a ha-ha, only deeper...

In reply to captain paranoia:

> Go for a ho-ho.

> Like a ha-ha, only deeper...

Go for a hi-hi

Like a ho-ho, only….

In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> The least practical suggestion, but will give an unrivalled views is to install a cattle grid at the bottom of your garden

Think people might be overthinking this and the most practical solution would be appropriate signage.


 Ciro 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

If they're dairy cattle, wait till there's a few in your garden then build the fence - you'll have an endless supply of free milk, and if it does dry up loads of burgers.

In reply to FactorXXX:

Maybe this?


1
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Maybe this?

Problem is, cows are quite partial to beef products.
In fact, they're mad for it...

1
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Problem is, cows are quite partial to beef products.

> In fact, they're mad for it...

Oh come on, you’re butter than that.

 wbo2 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:  Build a fence, but you don't have to go bonkers as the farmer is responsible for containing the cows.  Farmers cows, farmers problems.  Don't worry about pee'ing him off, he knows this.  For him an electric fence is the easiest thing.

I get on very well with my farmer neightbour incidentally, Common sense wins here

¤¤ Edit - farmers here are concerned with keeping stock IN as if they get out, it's not too far till they're on the road, which has consequences for the farmers wallet.  I'm not fussed throwing the sheep back over the fence, but cows are a bit more serious.  If a cow was to go thro' your garden and end up on the road he would not be very happy at all.

Post edited at 21:41
In reply to wbo2:

>   Build a fence, but you don't have to go bonkers as the farmer is responsible for containing the cows.  Farmers cows, farmers problems.  Don't worry about pee'ing him off, he knows this.  For him an electric fence is the easiest thing.
> I get on very well with my farmer neightbour incidentally, Common sense wins here

Have a pat on the back for getting the thread back on track with a sensible idea.

 Flinticus 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

Go speak to him. For a starter 'How would you like cows walking all over your front garden?'

1
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Have a pat on the back for getting the thread back on track with a sensible idea.

Manure sharp. 

In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Manure sharp. 

It's the way I spread them.

In reply to FactorXXX:

> It's the way I spread them.

Cud well be. 

 ThunderCat 06 Jul 2022
In reply to Bottom Clinger:

> Might seem a bit defeatist, but do you not think you should simply just moooove ?

Oh you bastard. You beat me to it. 

I can't resist a good cow pun. 

 wintertree 06 Jul 2022
In reply to thread:

It’s time to moove on from the cow puns.

In reply to the OP: if you go for the hedge suggestions, beware blackthorn and wild rose - they send out incredibly vigorous root suckers that will take over your garden when your back is turned.

In reply to FactorXXX:

Just tell the cows to Mooove!

 Andy Hardy 07 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> It’s time to moove on from the cow puns.

I'm sure Bottom Clinger can rustle up a few more.

In reply to captain paranoia:

> Go for a ho-ho.

> Like a ha-ha, only deeper...

These are laughable suggestions 

In reply to Iggy_B:

It's the farmer's responsibility to keep his cows contained, and in his interests too - he doesn't want his cows blundering into someone's property and getting injured or causing expensive damage for which he gets sued.  Electric fence is the solution.

 jkarran 07 Jul 2022
In reply to Iggy_B:

>  If anyone else overcame a similar problem I'd be interested to know how. All the articles I find are aimed at farmers keeping cows in rather than Joe Bloggs keeping them out.

Same deal isn't it? They're big animals and they like to scratch, barbed wire does deter them from pressing too hard but it snaps like spaghetti when they really want out. If you want a picket/trellis fence I'd make sure the posts can't be pushed down (big/deep and or buttressed/triangulated) then also give the cows a strand of barbed wire to lean/scratch on spaced a foot or so off the back side of it.

Electric fence well works too, they really don't like that. With a solar panel to charge it you'd barely need to maintain it and all in it might work out cheaper than building a really solid pallisade.

jk

In reply to Dan Arkle:

> These are laughable suggestions 

Even the cows are laughing 


1
 ThunderCat 07 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> It’s time to moove on from the cow puns.

Yeah, we've herd them all before.

 ThunderCat 07 Jul 2022
In reply to Andy Hardy:

They're probably just coming toward the house for a bit of warmth...

...

...

cos they're bloody Freisian.

In reply to ThunderCat:

> They're probably just coming toward the house for a bit of warmth...

> ...

> ...

> cos they're bloody Freisian.

My grandma just said:  “The silly buggers, why don’t they just put on a jersey?  That’d stop them feeling cowed.”  


New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...