Skip to Content

Can a Cow Actually Jump a Fence?

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

Cows can be determined animals, and you may find them ambling over low-lying sections of fence. However, the main reason why they jump fences is usually to get access to feed or water.

Can a cow actually jump a fence?

Cows can and do jump fences, especially if they feel threatened or are trying to join other herd members.

Cow behind the wooden fence

How to Stop a Cow from Jumping Over a Fence

Cows can be stubborn at times. There’s nothing as nagging as seeing your cow out of its enclosure or getting a call from your neighbor about a stray cow.

In order to prevent your cows from jumping over fences, the first rule is to construct your fences high enough to prevent the cows from jumping over it. Fences can be made of wire mesh, or you can use an electric fence.

Keeping enough feed in their enclosure can discourage fence breaches; if they have adequate food, they will be less inclined to try breaking out in search of it.

Herd of cattle in the pen outdoor

How High Can a Cow Jump?

Some cows can easily jump four to five foot heights. In fact, they are sometimes trained to ride and jump for exhibition purposes.

For cattle that are particularly fractious and prone to jumping, a six-foot fence should keep them contained.

Cows do not normally jump very high, but if you engage them in a run, you will be amazed to see how high they can jump. Any height above four feet is strenuous for a cow to jump but can be done.

This is especially true of younger, leaner cattle. Pregnant cows and larger, older bulls and steers are less agile and not able to jump quite as high.

Best Types of Fence Materials for Cattle

ElectroBraid PBRC1000B2 EB Horse Fence Conductor Reel

ElectroBraid Electric Fencing Designed for Horses
  • America’s #1 Horse Fence – Specially designed for horses, ElectroBraid is the most recommended horse fence for safety by equine veterinarians
  • 1,000 Ft of Line – Made from UV resistant materials including a braided polyester fiber jacket, polypropylene core, and double helix copper conductors
  • Designed for Horses – This highly visible fence line serves as a physical and psychological barrier to prevent leaning, chewing, and more

This fence wire contains copper wire that is paired with a polypropylene and polyester wrapping to increase its lifespan.

Copper has excellent conductivity, making this fence a perfect option if you decide to make it part of an electric system. Electric fences provide extra protection from predators accessing your cattle.

ElectroBraid fencing is considered one of the safest for horse paddocks as well. Horses are known to be jumpy and stubborn at times, yet this fencing system controls them. Why not cattle?

Advantages

You can construct an enclosure as large as you want because there is plenty of material, it is sold in 1000 foot spools.

The wire is made from copper which is a very good conductor of electricity.

The polypropylene with braided polyester construction increases the lifespan and durability of this product.

Disadvantages

This fencing type may not be resilient in tougher climates.

Gallagher G620300 Electric Polywire Fence Combo Roll

Gallagher Electric Fence Poly Wire
  • MANAGE YOUR STOCK AND PROTECT YOUR CROPS: One of our most popular products, Gallagher Poly Wire consists of 6 inter-woven stainless-steel strands, delivering lower resistance and reliable conductivity up to 656 ft using multiple strands. For longer distances Gallagher recommends using Turbo Wire.
  • USE ANYWHERE: Lightweight and easy to install, repair, cut, splice and rewind. Gallagher Poly Wire is UV resistant and won’t become brittle over time. It can be re-used again and again, and will last out on the farm through years of continuous use.
  • RUST RESISTANT: Gallagher Poly Wire is made from premium stainless steel so that it resists rust. Delivers more reliable performance over time than aluminum wire which can develop an oxidative coating, reducing its effectiveness.

This fencing wire is the most ideal for portable fences. It can easily be made part of an electric fence system with its six-wire structure.

There is decent conductivity because the metal wire is stainless steel.

The outer protective covering is UV-stabilized to exist for long periods of time in regions where there is full or partial sun all year round.

The fence is also white in color and can be clearly seen from afar.

Advantages

It is handy and convenient when creating portable fences.

The poly wire is made from six strands, and the metal wire material is corrosion-resistant stainless steel.

Stainless steel is a good conductor of electricity, to facilitate electric fence use.

The wire is UV-stabilized for durability, thus you do not have to worry about replacing the fencing as often in high-sun exposure areas.

Many cattle owners appreciate the fact that this fence is white and can be easily spotted from a distance.

Disadvantages

Many cattle owners have expressed that the wire could be thicker.

This product must be carefully stretched to provide enough tension to keep it at the right height.

Premier 42″ ElectroStop plus Starter Kit

Sale
Premier ElectroNet Sheep & Goat Netting Fence
  • ElectroNet is an electrifiable, prefabricated portable mesh that arrives at your door as a complete fence. Posts are preinstalled at set intervals. Strong plastic struts reduce sagging between posts. Multiple rolls may be connected together.
  • Used to keep sheep, goats, guard dogs in while keeping out stray dogs and coyotes. Can also be used for cattle and domestic hogs. Not recommended for use with poultry or other small animals.
  • Features 9 horizontal strands (8 electrified). Lowest horizontal strand is not electrified to prevent fence grounding.

This Premier product has one hundred feet of double-spike electric netting that is helpful when creating a small enclosure for your cattle. It also contains four FiberTuff posts for extra support.

Advantages

The one hundred foot rolls are enough for a small enclosure for your cattle, 25×25 feet.

Installing this fence is easy, and generally takes less than 20 minutes to be put up.

The four support posts can be used to create a square enclosure, guiding the installation.

Premier Horse QuikFence 4 / 48 / 24-100 ft Horse Electric Netting Fence

Sale
Premier Horse QuikFence Horse Electric Netting Fence
  • Ready-to-install 100′ electrifiable mesh fence that takes only minutes to erect. Line posts are already built into each roll.
  • Posts are 3/4″ diameter with steel double spiked foot and spaced every 12.5 ft.
  • Mesh is 4 ft tall when installed and suspended 1 ft above the soil. 4 conductive horizontal strands and unique plastic verticals are designed to break if a horse challenges the fence.

These fence rolls come ready for installation, and there are line posts built into the rolls for maximum convenience. The mesh is four feet tall and starts one foot above the ground surface. It has four conductive wire strands for extra conductivity and protection.

For its utmost effectiveness, you will have to use a strong energizer and clear any vegetation around the bottom of this fence.

Advantages

Erected at four feet high and one foot above the ground surface, this fencing system provides a good deterrent to jumping.

This type of fence is easily used to create individual pastures for rotational grazing.

Zareba EAC75M-Z 75 Mile AC Low Impedance Electric Fence Charger

Zareba Low Impedance Electric Fence Charger
  • Controls most types of animals including horses, cows, pigs, goats, bull and exotic animals
  • Heavy weed conditions
  • 115-volt, 60 cycle, pulsed output (1-second intervals), 4-joule output at 75-ohm
  • Use with all types of fences including high tensile, polywire and polytape
  • Helps keep out rabbits, skunks, woodchucks and raccoons

This product is a fence energizer that works well with electric fence systems such as high tensile, polywire and polytape.

It can deliver 115 volts, and working with pulsed output, it is ideal for any setup that you have in mind. It can energize up to 75 miles of fencing.

It must be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Advantages

It can power up to 75 miles of the fence and is a good charger to be used in different types of enclosures.

It delivers 115 volts, discouraging the cattle from testing it, and keeping predators at bay.

It is highly versatile because it can be used with various types of fences such as high tensile, polywire, and polytape.

Disadvantages

This charger has been associated with short-circuit problems which damage the charger completely.

Tenax x 1A120244 Fence

Sale
Tenax Deer Fence Select
  • Life Span 10-15 Years
  • Mesh: 1. 77 in. x 1. 97 in.
  • UV Treated
  • Made in USA
  • Certified 600-650 lb. Breaking Load at 107 lb per Tensile

Tenax fencing provides a strong barrier that keeps your cattle from jumping over it and from any outside threats. It is sturdy and durable, lasting for over ten years.

It has a breaking load of 600lbs and can withstand a lot of wear and tear without any problems.

This fencing is also virtually invisible when installed.

Advantages

It is a long-lasting fencing system.

The fence blends well with the environment.

The heavy 600lb break strength allows it to resist being trampled by animals that may test it.

Disadvantages

This fence can sag in prolonged high temperatures. If you live in such an area, you will need to use a top string to fortify the top of the netting.

Premier ElectroNet Sheep & Goat Net Fence

Sale
Premier ElectroNet Sheep & Goat Netting Fence
  • ElectroNet is an electrifiable, prefabricated portable mesh that arrives at your door as a complete fence. Posts are preinstalled at set intervals. Strong plastic struts reduce sagging between posts. Multiple rolls may be connected together.
  • Used to keep sheep, goats, guard dogs in while keeping out stray dogs and coyotes. Can also be used for cattle and domestic hogs. Not recommended for use with poultry or other small animals.
  • Features 9 horizontal strands (8 electrified). Lowest horizontal strand is not electrified to prevent fence grounding.

The structure of this fence makes it outstanding. The integrated posts are made from rigid plastic and are spaced to make sure that the net doesn’t sag.

It has nine horizontal strands, eight of which are electrified to keep your cattle safely inside and predators at bay.

Advantages

The PVC posts are very handy and have metal spikes that enable you construct an enclosure without any problem.

It has low electricity resistance, thus you can make large enclosures. Also, weeds coming in contact with the fence won’t be a problem.

Disadvantages

The poles are not as strong as other options.

Getting the poles into the ground when it is very dry or rocky can be problematic.

Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 Low Impedance 25 Mile Range Electric Fence Charger

Sale
Parmak DF-SP-LI Electric Fencer, Natural
  • Will operate for 21 days in total darkness
  • Weatherproof, outdoor model.
  • Ideal for small to medium pastures
  • Complete with sealed rechargeable 6 volt battery
  • Charges up to 25 miles of fence – 1.6 joules*

This item is a solar-powered electric fence charger. It has low impedance, which means the fence it powers won’t lose potency when it is touched by vegetation.

It can send charge even through wet bushes, hence it is ideal for areas with high humidity.

It is the best option if you need to use solar energy to charge your fence.

Advantages

It has a 6-volt battery which acts as a backup on overcast or stormy days.

It can power up to 25 miles of fence.

Disadvantages

The solar panel fasteners are made of plastic and have been known to break.

small wooden fence along the road

Using Dummy Fences

It is easy to contain your cattle with temporary dummy fences once you have trained them to an electric fence. Dummy fences do not need to be energized because they are a temporary situation.

Underpowered fences or broken energizers can go unnoticed by your cattle for long periods of time due to successful electric fence training.

With proper training, a highly visible rope can contain an entire herd at a new gate with only one person to mind them. This “dummy wire” helps the cows to remain calm while they learn about the new gate.

Dummy wires are more effective in putting pressure on your cattle rather than doing it on your own.

Dummy wires are also handy when making impromptu gates in a transfer alley, non-permanent highway crossings, or creating false fencing sections in the pasture when you need to handle your cattle.

You will be amazed at how effective a length of rope can be when you are trying to contain or move trained cattle between locations.

Conclusion

Straying cows are both inconvenient and capable of causing serious damage to other property. The best way to prevent cows from straying is to construct fences. Electric fences are expensive, but they are an ideal choice and are durable. They also effectively repel predators.

Resources