Understanding Elk Fencing

Understanding Elk Fencing

The elk is a majestic animal that many ranchers choose to raise as an alternative to conventional livestock. The elk market is strong, with ranchers typically raising elk for meat, velvet antler, and breeding stock. Unlike deer, elk are a herd animal. Domesticated elk exhibit many of the same qualities as cattle. While wild elk are capable of leaping over exceptionally tall fences (up to eight feet), domesticated elk can be more readily contained to their grazing land.

Land Requirements of Elk

Before you can begin planning your fence, you need to determine how large of an area to fence in. One of the reasons why some ranchers prefer to raise elk instead of cattle is that elk require less grazing land. As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to keep two to three adults with nursing calves per acre of pasture. The land needs a fresh water supply and natural shelter for calving and protection from the elements. In addition, elk enjoy wallowing in open water.

Fencing for Elk

Although domesticated elk do not jump as high as wild elk, you’ll still need a relatively high fence compared to fencing for other livestock like cattle. Plan to build a seven-to eight-foot fence. Elk are also very strong animals, and bulls have been known to run at fencing. Use high-tensile, woven deer wire. Ranchers need to be concerned not only with keeping the elk in the grazing land, but also keeping potential predators out of it. Some ranchers add a strand of barbed wire at ground level that extends along the fence. Others prefer to use electrified wire just above ground level. Taking this extra precaution will also help prevent the smaller calves from escaping.

Ranchers and farmers throughout the U.S. can turn to McKendrick Contracting Inc. for all of their livestock fencing needs. This company provides quick estimates, onsite consultations, and custom fencing projects. You can get in touch with their office in Steamboat Springs, CO at (970) 879-7855 to discuss your next project.

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