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Country Discussion Topics
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Protecting Ponds From Cattle
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AJ    Posted 08-13-2001 at 11:13:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have agreed to allow one of my neighbors to have his cattle graze down some of the excess vegetation on my 20 acre country parcel (Red Lodge Montana). I had the parcel fenced about 3 yrs ago to prevent cattle from trampling my springs. Had 3 ponds placed on the property (upper=irrigation water fed, middle=spring fed, lower=spring fed)this year. Particularly want to keep the cattle away from the upper pond (use to irrigate and for winter skating) as well as the middle pond that the Spring feeds directly into. Do not have power running to the property yet. Fencing with barbed wire would be too costly and take too long at this point (first frost around the corner). Have successfully used Gallagher solar powered elec. fence powerpack to cross fence horse pastures on my property in Billings. Have no experience with cattle. Looks like it would work with cattle but want to know if there are any other precautions that anyone would suggest to protect the ponds from being trampled by the cattle. Thanks, AJ

Hogman    Posted 08-13-2001 at 19:43:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Solar power with proper wire will work just fine for cattle. They will need to be trained first to avoid initial damage to Your system. To do this string a live wire in front of the cows and put feed behind it.They'll try to get the feed and get nipped instead. Should not take long.
I assume You intend to fence around each pond using three seperate systems.
Where are the cattle to water? If You intend them using the lower pond (or) You can enstall a floating water area which works quite well and will keep Them from standing in the pond. They will drink and leave.
If You wish I can E-mail You a how to of sorts but the fence suppliers have all sorts of information. Also You should check with the livestock agent at the extension office.
You are in a realy great part of this ole world!

AJ    Posted 08-14-2001 at 08:05:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Thanks for the prompt reply and the info. I had heard about training animals to be aware of the elec. wire/fence but was not certain as to how to go about this. Now I know.

I am debating how I will fence to protect the ponds. The easiest (but most costly) would be to have a separate solar charger surrounding each pond (I already have 2 - would need to purchase a 3rd). Or I could split the property roughly in 1/2 (10+ acres) running the tape/wire from the top of the property to the bottom with the ponds on on side of the fence and the grazing area on the other. In theory each solar charger will allow you to fence off 10 acres but I have never tried this (I usually fence off about 5 when cross fencing pasture for my horses).

Not familiar with a "floating water area" and would be interested in any info. that you could e-mail on this. Getting water to the cattle presents interesting problems/possible solutions. I have irrigation water rights (17 miners inches) and had planned on using this water for the cattle. This water enters my property at the top (west) via a trench that runs east down to the upper pond. I also had a trench that runs north - south keyed in to the trench that feeds this upper pond so that I could install a canvas dam when I wanted to irrigate the other sides of the property. The question is how can I get this water up out of the trench and into a holding tank/stock tank so that the cattle can drink? Perhaps the floating water area via the pond would be the way to go. Any advice would be appreciated. AJ

PS: It took me years to find this property but the wait was worth it. 8 miles outside of Red Lodge, MT/Beartooth Highway, about a mile from the base of the Beartooth Mountains, 180' views of the Beartooths, Crazy Mountains, it is awesome. Hope to retire here someday.

IHank    Posted 08-14-2001 at 08:19:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
AJ- Give some thought to building an old fashion windmill driven pump to move water around your pasture. That's how it was done in rural areas 'till rural electricification happened. Good luck, IHank

AJ    Posted 08-14-2001 at 09:36:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Thanks for the idea. I certainly have enough wind up there and I don't think that the windmills are all that expensive. I will look into it today. Thanks, AJ.

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