How to Attach Fencing Panels to Posts
Also called livestock, or cattle panels, fencing panels provide an effective way for farmers and homesteaders to contain animals. Fencing panels consist of intersecting vertical and horizontal steel rods that create a rigid panel for use in both permanent and temporary fences. Typically 16 feet long by 54 inches tall, these fencing panels weigh over 30 pounds, so they can be a challenge to install for those who aren't used to lifting heavy objects. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands during the installation process.
Space your wooden or steel corner and line posts eight feet apart when you install them to allow for full support for your fencing panels. Dig holes with a post hole digger and sink wood posts at least 18 inches into the ground. Pound steel T-posts at least 12 inches into the ground with a hand-held post driver.
Stand the first fencing panel up and position one end of it against one of the corner posts. Position the panel on the inside of the posts so the posts will keep the animals from pushing the panel out of place if they put their feet on it.
Secure the panel to the wooden corner post with five galvanized steel fencing staples. Space the staples evenly along the height of the fencing panel. If your corner post is a steel T-post, wrap five 6-inch-long lengths of 12.5-gauge wire around both the end vertical steel rod and the T-post at varying heights to secure the livestock panel in place. Twist the wire ends together at least four complete rotations and bend them down to minimize accidental cuts on you or your animals.
Walk to the other end of your fencing panel and attach it in the same fashion. Stabilize the fence panel by securing the center of it to the remaining post located at the middle of the panel. Use at least three steel staples for a wooden post or three pieces of wire for a steel T-post.
Attach the remaining livestock panels just as you installed the first panel. Progress around the perimeter of your fence, making sure the vertical bars at the ends of the panels overlap slightly to minimize the weak points in your fence.
- Virginia Cooperative Extension: Fencing Materials for Livestock Systems
- "Fences for Pasture and Garden;" Gail Damerow; 1991
- "Fences that Work;" Premier One; 2010
- For added security, twist wire connector hinges around the vertical rod joints between each pair of fencing panels. Similar in shape to a long spring, these stiff spiral connectors hold the two vertical steel rods close together and eliminate any chance that an animal can escape between the panels. Look for them at your local farm and ranch supply center.
- According to Virginia Cooperative Extension, holding facilities constructed from wire fencing panels provide effective corrals and holding areas for cattle (see reference 1, "Cattle" section at bottom of page). Use wooden posts for added strength and extend the height of your corral structure to 60 inches by nailing a top border of 1-inch-by-6-inch boards along the entire top edge of your cattle panels.
Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. She has produced content for various websites and graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
- the hammer image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com