Last week I did a post on fencing ponds in the wintertime. You can find that post here. In that post, I explained how to do it and why. Well, I still feel confident about the why part. Which is to keep your cattle form getting out onto the ice, breaking through and then dying. However, I’ve learned from Greg that my description of how to go about doing it was wrong.
To refresh your memory, I said that you should fence off all of your pond, and open up a section of your pond to allow your cattle to drink. I’ve drawn an awesome picture of what that looked like. Here is that picture, and you don’t want to do this (in my opinion):
However, like I mentioned above, I was wrong. You should still fence around the entirety of your pond, with polywire and step-in posts. Conversely, the way you go about is different. Greg told me that you should take each step-in post that you’ve placed around your pond, and put it into the water, about a 1-2 feet away from the edge. This is what you should do with all or most of your posts, all the way around the pond. There are many reasons for this. First, you are creating a larger area (the entire pond) for your cattle to get a drink from. This will save the banks of your pond. The cattle will not be concentrated in one area, thus dispersing the impact. Second, more cattle can access the water at any given time, and in our case that is a good thing. We have 240 thirsty cows. Third, you also get better manure distribution. This is key to preventing the pond from becoming ruined with too much crap in the water. Keep in mind that these cows will probably drink out of this pond for a maximum of 3 days. Then we move them to a new paddock, where they will have a different water source. This is what your fencing should look like if you want to use a pond for water:
Well, I know there is more than one way to skin a cat. What have been your experiences with using ponds as a water source? Do you fence them off? If so, how do you do it? I’d like to hear from you in the comments section. We’ve been having some good conversations lately and I’d like to keep those going. Also, remember that you can subscribe to get notified of new post by filling out the form at the right hand side of the page that asks you for your e-mail and name. Don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter too!