Comparing ranch fence prices for different materials on the market is something that the team at Tejas is consistently asked to do. Three common materials used today are 5-strand barb wire, high tensile wire mesh 4 ft, and high tensile wire mesh 8 ft (high fence) with barbed wire being on the less expensive end and high fence on the more expensive end. But what exactly is the price difference between the three? In this article we will explore ranch fence prices so that you can make an educated decision on what is best for your ranch.
A Little Fence History…
Since the days that fencing ranches began using barbed wire in the late 1800’s, 5 strand barb wire fence has been the go-to choice of landowners nationwide…possibly because it was the ONLY choice.
Today we see new requirements from farmers and ranchers for their fencing. Operating and managing an efficient ranch has become mainstream thanks to the efforts of many agricultural research and academic programs at state universities. Fencing is a core component to operating an efficient ranch. Not only efficiency, but requirements such as increased fence life, predator proof, feral hog exclusion, low maintenance costs, increased security, and much more have played a role in farmers and ranchers demanding more out of their fence investment.
High Tensile – A New Breed of Fence…
Don’t judge a fence by its looks! Although it looks similar, the strength of traditional Field Fencing pales in comparison to the New Breed – High Tensile Wire Mesh fence is rapidly gaining popularity because of its ability to accomplish landowner goals efficiently. Especially with the exponential growth in hog populations and the need for landowners to keep predators off their ranches, high tensile wire mesh fence is on the rise. The average cost of a normal height (4 ft) high tensile wire mesh fence is +/-$3.50 per linear foot. Yes, just fifty cents separates simplistic barbed wire and premium High Tensile wire mesh fencing. (see chart below)
|Material (4ft nominal height)||Cost per Linear Foot|
|5 Strand Barbed Wire (4ft)||+/- $2.95*|
|High Tensile Wire Mesh (4ft)||+/- $3.50*|
*IMPORTANT NOTE: many factors can go into ranch fence price per linear foot … primarily number of corners, H-braces, soil type, travel and topography. Gates, water gaps, cost of clearing and removal of old fence are additional.
Therefore the owner must decide if an extra $0.55 per foot is worth it to have a superior perimeter fence that will outlive them, keep wild hogs out, hold cows and calves and medium to large dogs in and is a much stronger and safer option for livestock. There are 9 horizontal wires instead of 5 and there is a vertical wire every 6” making it super secure plus the fence has a single strand of barbed wire at ground level for additional under-digging resistance and is topped with a strand of barbed wire to make it 54” overall height.
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What about 8’ High Fence
This is what surprises most folks!
Going one step further, “high fencing” a property is a trend that is on the rise, and for good reason. A high fence is normally 8 ft in height and is also referred to as deer proof fence, game proof fence, game fence, deer fence or as we call it high game fence. If you could have the benefits of an 8’ Fence around your property for a relatively small percentage increase in cost, pronounced “investment”, would you?
If managing the wildlife on your farm or ranch is important to you, listen up! The assumption is that this type fence is very expensive due to doubling the fence height.
The average pricing for 8ft high tensile wire mesh fencing is +/- $4.50 per linear foot. It can range from $3.75 to $5.50 per linear foot and is dependent on the factors of the land stated earlier (soils, topography, gates, water gaps, etc). Let’s update our chart to include the high fence price:
|Material (4ft nominal height)||Cost per Linear Foot|
|5 Strand Barbed Wire (4ft)||+/- $2.95**|
|High Tensile Wire Mesh (4ft)||+/- $3.50**|
|High Tensile Wire Mesh (8ft)||+/-$3.75-$5.50** ($4.50 average)|
**IMPORTANT NOTE: many factors can go into ranch fence price per linear foot … primarily number of corners, H-braces, soil type, travel and topography. Gates, water gaps, cost of clearing and removal of old fence are additional.
Now the land owner is faced with a another decision. What value is added for the additional cost of 8ft high fence? Is coyotes-proof, dog-proof, ability to manage deer and exotics, additional protection of livestock investments, increased personal security, etc worth the additional $1 per foot?
Lastly, another fence we sometimes get asked about is chainlink fencing. This is by far the most expensive way to go, and is on average $14.50 per linear foot for a lightweight 8’ fence. I will let you do the math on that …
As you think through fence options for your land, it is important to consider the added benefits of high tensile wire mesh fencing which are making it a very popular choice for land owners. Building a fence that will look great, likely outlive you, add significant value to your land investment, and improve operational efficiency of the ranch, may be the best choice for the future of your land.
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John Payne is the founder of Tejas Ranch & Game Fence and an industry innovator with more than 20 patents. A veteran of the fence industry dating back to the early 1990s, he is in constant pursuit of better construction, better processes, and ultimately better fences. Mr. Payne’s leadership has been the catalyst to the exponential success of Tejas and countless successful projects on client properties.