Feed Lot

AUG 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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choice," says Turner. T here are also many kinds of electric wire. Ian Gerrish of Cobb Creek Farm, in Hillsboro, Texas, prefers braided poly wire. "It's more durable than tapes, and easy to handle," he says. He uses a geared reel for un- rolling/rolling up. Most reels come with guides (to keep the wire from spinning off the sides), and this helps prevent snarls. I also like the step-in posts," says Gerrish. Those posts are easy to put in without having to pound them. "If ground gets really hard in summer, it may be a challenge, but some posts have hooks on both sides and it's easy to put them in and out if the ground is not too hard." When moving a fence he takes the posts out first, unhooks the wire, then reels it in like fishing line. "This is not recommended; they say it will shorten the life of the poly wire, but I have some I've been using 5 years and it's still not showing wear. By contrast, I've u sed other types of wire that would completely fray out if you did this. Reeling it in saves a lot of time," says Gerrish. For successful rotational grazing, you need your cattle well trained to a hot wire, and have a good fence charger. "We manufacture both bat- tery and solar powered fence charg- ers," says Turner. "We also sell a/c chargers, and if you have a power source, that's a good option. These units work best for a fence that's close to a barn, or wherever there is readily available electricity," he says. Many pastures are in remote ar- eas, however, and a battery or solar power are the only options. "A 6 or 12-volt battery works, though the 12-volt has more power/output. What you need depends on length of fence, whether vegetation is growing in the fence, etc. Weeds or grass can short it out if there's not enough power. The 12-volt is more expensive, but has more power and is designed for longer fences a nd vegetation against the fence," explains Turner. There are many good solar en- ergizers today, and some contained units with a battery that's easy to move around. "It fits on top of a T- post and all you need to do is ground it," says Gerrish. "I prefer solar over any other power source. The systems today are very reli- able, and you don't need to worry about your power going out or a battery running down," he says. Check it now and then, to make sure it's working. Carry a tester, and every time you go out to the field, check the fence. Solar charg- ers are dependable even during long periods of cloudy weather, with the right size battery. "Most of the recommended sizes have a 10- day to 2-week window. It would take that long without sunshine to kill the battery," Gerrish says. Most of the time you have intermittent sunshine to keep it going. FL FEED•LOT  August 2017 19

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