What Do You Need To Start Ranching or Grazing? 

A few people have asked me what I think they need, in terms of stuff, to get started ranching or grazing. This is a good question and I haven’t thought about presenting it before. The good news is you don’t to spend a lot of money. In fact, I purchased a lot of things at garage/yard sales or already had them. It will of course depend on your situation but I’m going to give you a list of the things that I think are essential to start grazing livestock.

I want to reemphasize that each person’s situation is unique. I want to preface the list I’m about to give by making you acknowledge that you may or may not need everything on this list. So, what are my recommendations? I think it’s a good idea to have the following:

  • Insulated pliers that can cut high tensile wire (these will easily cut barbed wire)
  • Hammer
  • Screw drivers
  • Cordless electric drill
  • Soft metal wire
    • This is good for wrapping and twisting around things to fix them
  • Electric fencing reels
  • Polybraid (Powerflex Fence Company)
  • Step-in posts (pigtail or plastic)
  • A good pair of comfortable, waterproof boots
    • Spend good money on boots and make sure they are incredibly comfortable. This is one thing I will spend a lot of money on because they are so important.
  • Fence Charger (Stafix or Gallager brand)
    • A portable one or one you plug into an outlet. If you don’t have high tensile perimeter fence and a lack of internal fencing you’ll probably need a portable charger. If you have perimeter high tensile or extensive high tensile wire inside, chances are you’ll need one that plugs into an outlet
    • Portable water tank (if you need it)
      • 100-200 gallons
      • Heavy duty hoses that you can use to move water from a hydrant to the tank (Kentucky Grazier Supply)
  • Fence Tester
    • Same brand as your energizer so can you turn it on and off, which is really convenient
  • Some type of handling facility (corral)
    • This can be home made out of almost anything (strong) if you are just starting out
    • Another option is to rent a portable corral on days where you are loading/unloading
  • A vehicle
    • You have a two options
      • An older pickup truck (1985-1999) I’d recommend a 4 wheel drive Toyota
        • You can use this to drive to your land and move fence with it
      • A 4 Wheeler or ATV
        • This is a good option if you don’t have a truck and can’t afford to buy one but you have a car. You can drive out to your land in your car and then hop on the 4 wheeler to do farm/ranch things. Make sure you hide the 4 wheeler or lock it up somewhere safe! You can also buy these used on a classified ads website like Craigslist.

Well there you have it. You may need more or less depending on your farm/ranch layout, your personal financial situation and the amount of things you are willing to go without. If you really wanted to you could walk around your land to put up and take down fence. You can move livestock by walking them. However having a 4 wheeler or pickup sure is a nice connivence. Is there anything on the list you think I missed? What are some other items you find essential in your day-to-day use on the land?

Chris Stelzer

Chris Stelzer is a published Author, founder of Agricultural Insights and creator of many resources that help family farmers and ranchers grow their businesses. His flagship courses are the Grazing Mastery Program and The Farm Marketing Mastery Program. 

Chris Stelzer

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