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How Much Does Barbed Wire Fence Cost?

Author: Brian Eckert

Barbed Wire Fence Prices

Barbed wire fencing, developed in the late 19th century, helped reshape the American West by providing ranchers with a low-cost, effective tool for controlling livestock. Today, those same attributes continue to make barbed wire fence a popular choice among farmers and it is also widely used for security purposes. Whether you want to keep animals in or people out, this buying guide explains what you need to know about barbed wire fencing, including how much it costs.

How Barbed Wire Fencing is Used

It is important to note that barbed wire and razor wire, while often used interchangeably, are not the same. Barbed wire is made from two or more strands of twisted wires and is more of a deterrent, while razor wire contains sharp cutting surfaces that can cause serious injury. Razor wire is typically only used for high security areas and never for livestock. Barbed wire is galvanized and made either from high-tension wire (stronger, flexible, more durable) or soft wire (weaker and less durable). Two or four sharp barbs are spaced approximately every 4 to 5 inches.

Livestock Barbed Wire Fence

A standard barbed wire fence for livestock usually stands around 50 to 55 inches high is supported by steel posts spaced 15 to 25 feet apart. The number of wire strands you’ll need per length of fence depends on the animal being kept in or out. Sheep, for example, need seven strands, while cattle and horses generally need between 4 and 7.

Security Barbed Wire Fence

Aside from its agricultural uses, barbed wire is an excellent security measure. Barbed wire added to the top of an existing fence—often timber of chain link—consists of pole extensions with 3 or 6 strands of wire running between them.

Barbed Wire Fencing Average Cost

Two main factors determine barbed wire fence cost: the quality of the barbed wire and how much fencing and other materials are required.

  • Barbed wire fencing is sold by the roll, with a standard roll containing 1,320 feet of wire. Depending on the number of points (barbs) the wire contains and its strength (between 12.5 gauge, 15 gauge, and 18 gauge are the most common), barbed wire price could be anywhere from around $50 to $200 per roll or more.
    • Additional material costs include posts (roughly $5 to $25 apiece depending on the size) and staples and clips (around $.20 per pound).
    • The average barbed wire fence installation cost for a five-strand fence measuring between 1,000 and 1,500 feet is approximately $1 to $3 per foot. Depending on local material and labor costs, however, you could end up paying as much as $5 to $6 per foot.

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