How to Build a Wattle Fence for Livestock

These stakes will serve as the vertical support for the woven branches, ensuring the stability and durability of the wattle fence. It’s important to choose appropriate materials for your wattle fence, as livestock can be strong and resourceful creatures, capable of testing the limits of any enclosure. By choosing sturdy branches and saplings, you can ensure the fence will withstand the weight and pressure of the animals it’s meant to contain. Additionally, taking the time to properly weave and secure the branches will prevent gaps and potential escape routes for the livestock.

How Far Apart Should Wattle Fence Posts Be?

When it comes to building a wattle fence for livestock, determining the appropriate spacing between the posts is crucial. The spacing will depend on various factors, including the type of animals youre containing and the overall strength and stability you want to achieve.

This distance provides enough support for the branches that will be woven between the posts, ensuring a secure and sturdy structure. However, if youre dealing with smaller animals such as chickens or rabbits, you may want to decrease the spacing between the posts to prevent them from escaping.

To begin constructing your wattle fence, gather around 30 six-foot-long branches. These branches will serve as the main weaving material. Additionally, you’ll need about five rigid branches that are roughly 1.5 inches in diameter. These thicker branches will be used as posts to anchor the fence.

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary materials, start by preparing the posts. Using a small hatchet or a large knife, sharpen the bases of the posts to create a point. This will make it easier to drive them into the ground. Aim to insert the posts about 12 inches deep to ensure stability.

As you drive the posts into the ground, maintain a consistent spacing of approximately 14 inches between each post. This spacing will provide enough room for weaving the branches while ensuring the fence remains sturdy. If necessary, use a level to ensure the posts are straight and evenly positioned.

Tips for Maintaining and Repairing a Wattle Fence Over Time.

Maintaining and repairing a wattle fence is essential to ensure it’s longevity and functionality for livestock. Here are some tips to help you keep your wattle fence in good condition over time:

  • Regularly inspect the fence for any broken or damaged stakes, as well as any loose or missing wattle weaves.
  • Replace broken or rotten stakes promptly, ensuring they’re securely anchored in the ground.
  • If the weave of the wattle becomes loose or starts to unravel, gently push the weave back into place and secure it with additional wattle branches if needed.
  • Trim any overgrown vegetation that may be infringing on the fence, as it can damage the wattle and cause it to deteriorate more quickly.
  • Apply a protective coating, such as linseed oil or a natural sealant, to the wattle fence to help prevent weathering and rot.
  • Regularly monitor the fence for signs of pests, such as termites or rodents, and take necessary measures to eliminate them before they cause significant damage.

By implementing these maintenance and repair practices, you can ensure the longevity of your wattle fence, providing a secure enclosure for your livestock for years to come.

When choosing the wood for a wattle fence, it’s important to consider the strength and durability of the material. The use of a wide range of woods, such as elder, ash, apple, and plum branches, can provide both variety and quality to the structure. However, when it comes to the stakes or uprights, opting for hard wood is generally recommended as it offers greater strength and longevity.

What Kind of Wood Do You Use for a Wattle Fence?

When it comes to building a wattle fence for livestock, the kind of wood you choose plays a crucial role in ensuring durability and strength. In my experience, utilizing a wide range of woods from our property has proven to be effective. Elder, ash, apple, and plum branches have all been successfully utilized in constructing a wattle fence.

The first consideration when selecting wood for a wattle fence is the strength of the stakes, also known as uprights. These stakes bear the weight and pressure of the fence, so opt for wood that can withstand the test of time. In most cases, hard wood tends to be a better choice due to it’s inherent durability.

Hardwood options such as oak, hickory, or locust are commonly recommended due to their strength and resilience. These woods have a natural density and toughness that lend themselves well to fence construction.

Some woods are more prone to rotting or decay, while others are more resistant. Considering the outdoor exposure to the elements, it’s advisable to select woods that are naturally rot-resistant, such as cedar or redwood.

Source: How To Make a Wattle Fence With Branches – Rural Sprout

Once the materials have been properly prepared and dried, a wattle fence can prove to be surprisingly sturdy and robust. However, before reaching that point, it’s crucial to ensure that all the materials used for building the hurdles are fresh and green. This ensures the desired weight and durability of the finished fence.

How Strong Is a Wattle Fence?

This means that the wood used for the wattle fence is still moist and relatively heavy. However, as the wood dries out and ages, it becomes lighter in weight. This doesn’t compromise the strength of the fence, but rather enhances it. The drying process allows the wood to harden and become more durable, making it a reliable barrier for livestock.

When building a wattle fence for livestock, it’s important to use sturdy materials such as hardwood branches or saplings. These materials should be relatively straight and have a diameter of at least an inch or more. Thinner branches can be woven in a tighter pattern to provide additional strength.

The weaving technique used in wattle fencing contributes to it’s overall strength as well. By intertwining the branches or saplings horizontally and vertically, you create a tight and secure structure. This interlocking pattern ensures that the fence is sturdy and able to withstand the pressure of large animals, such as cows or horses.

To further enhance the strength of the wattle fence, it’s recommended to bury the base of the fence in the ground. This provides additional stability and prevents animals from easily pushing or knocking down the fence. Adding a layer of soil or compacting the ground around the base of the fence can help reinforce it’s structure.

It’s important to note that although wattle fencing is strong and durable, it may not be suitable for containing all types of livestock. Animals with significant strength or a tendency to push against fences may require additional reinforcement or a different type of fencing altogether. Consulting with a professional or experienced livestock owner can help determine the best fencing option for your specific needs.

Using fresh, green wood and employing the weaving technique creates a durable structure that can withstand the pressure exerted by livestock. As the wood dries out, it becomes lighter without compromising the fences strength. Burying the base of the fence adds stability and reinforces it’s overall structure.

Tips for Maintaining and Repairing a Wattle Fence

  • Inspect the fence regularly for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Replace any broken or rotten wattle panels or posts.
  • Trim vegetation around the fence to prevent it from putting pressure on the structure.
  • Use a protective coating or sealant to prolong the lifespan of the wattle fence.
  • Reinforce weak areas by adding additional wattle weavings or stakes.
  • Keep an eye out for pests or insects that may damage the fence.
  • Maintain proper drainage around the fence to avoid water damage.
  • Regularly clean the fence to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Avoid placing heavy objects or leaning on the fence, as it may weaken the structure.

One way to prolong it’s lifespan is by adding a protective layer of natural preservatives such as linseed oil or natural wood stains. Regular maintenance, such as repairing any damaged areas and replacing broken wattle, will also help to extend the life of the fence.

How Long Does Wattle Fencing Last?

While a well-constructed wattle fence can last anywhere between 10 to 15 years, it’s longevity can be influenced by various factors. The durability of a wattle fence greatly depends on the environmental conditions in which it’s installed. A fence in an exposed or wet site might not last as long as one in a drier climate. Excessive moisture can cause the wood to rot and weaken the structure. Therefore, it’s important to consider the local climate before choosing to build a wattle fence.

Proper installation is also crucial in ensuring the fences longevity. Ensure that the posts are securely rooted in the ground and that the woven panels are tightly fitted together. This will help to minimize potential weak points that could compromise the fences structural integrity.

Additionally, consider the type of wood you use for your wattle fence. Certain types of wood, such as oak or cedar, are more resistant to decay and can withstand harsh weather conditions better than others. Choosing a durable and rot-resistant wood species can significantly extend the lifespan of your fence.

Lastly, regular cleaning and removal of debris, such as leaves or moss, from the fence can prevent moisture retention and potential decay.


By following the steps outlined above, such as erecting sturdy upright stakes and interweaving branches or saplings, you can create a durable and aesthetically pleasing barrier. The use of various materials, such as tree clippings, adds to the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of this fencing method. So, gather your materials and get started on constructing a wattle fence that won’t only serve it’s purpose but also add charm and character to your property.

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