Country Living Series

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fixing the #$%&*@ fences

We moved the livestock over to the wooded side of our property this past week.  It was high time - the other side was pretty well eaten down - but it means we have some major fencing issues to address.  Oh groan.

The driveway fence was a mishmash of falling down cedar posts, bent-down field fence, and tangled barbed wire.  It needed serious replacement.


We had one new roll of field fence (cha-ching!) and decided to use it to build a new fence line along the drive, since it will be the first thing visitors see.

We harvested T-posts from other spots where they weren't in use, and Don pounded them all in in a nice straight row.  We moved it over from the original fence line about ten feet, to allow us to plow better during deep snowy winters.


Next we rolled out the field fence.  Naturally the critters took an intense interest in this process.


Here it is, all laid out and ready to start attaching to the T-posts.


Don uses a ratchet to pull the sections tight before we wire the fence to the posts.  Here he's ratcheting the lowest section.  After we wire the bottom part to the posts, he'll ratchet the upper part tight.  And so on down the driveway.


It was damp work, kneeling on the ground.


But ah, what a thing of beauty when it was completed!


Meanwhile we finally got our old tractor back from the shop.  The poor baby had been down all summer, and we finally had a chance to get it fixed.


We wasted no time in putting it to good use in removing the old driveway fence.  We chained up the old cedar fence posts...

 A sharp tug of the tractor bucket...


...and the pole is out of the ground.


Cedar poles are certainly more aesthetically appealing than plain ol' T-posts, but they do have a limited lifespan.


Waste not want not!  We salvaged the posts to be cut up and used for firewood.


Then we rolled up the barbed wire to be used later on to strengthen another side of the pasture.


Then we pulled the old field fencing into the driveway and walked down the entire length of it, one of us on each side, and yanked it straight.  Salvaging this field fencing saved us, oh, about $150 (the cost of a new roll).

  

We loosely rolled the fencing...


...and loaded it into the truck.


Then we drove on the access road at the bottom of our property (the road is actually on our neighbor's side).  The fencing down here is a joke, and the Brat Pack (this year's calves) had been happily using it as a doorway onto the neighbor's side.  Our plan was to slap the field fence up temporarily and come back later to affix it permanently.


Nice view across the canyon, though.


Naturally there was lots of brush we had to nip away.  Fencing is such fun!


We managed to slap the field fence against the T-posts (sorta)...


...and temporarily wire the fence in place.


That's enough for now.  Progress this far has taken us three days, and we're pooped.

4 comments:

  1. I thought WE were the only ones who had fences that looked like the "before" picture. *sigh* I suppose now that your fences are fixed, we are.

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  2. Please buy your husband a good pair of kneepads. Don't skimp on them, the good ones are worth the extra money.

    I remember mending fences...that's one reason I live in town now.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  3. Fencing is a never ending chore if you have livestock. You're either building fence or repairing fence ...or saving up for one of those projects. Our horses were backing up and scratching their butts on the field fence and tearing it up. So we put up electric. Worked great for about a year. Now it's a constant battle to make sure no errant vegetation is touching it to make it go to ground. Falling tree limbs, weeds along the fenceline, thorny vines ...anything touching the ground that makes good contact with the fence kills the electric and the horses seem to know somehow.

    Ahh, life in the country, right? If you're not maintaining or repairing something, you're probably replacing it.

    : )

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  4. WomanWhoRunsWithHorses, the kids' old cowpony (now sadly deceased) would reach up with his knee and graze the electric wire; if it didn't "bite", he led the rest of the horses and cows into a garden raid. I finally gave up raising watermelon and cantelope. Every year before we got to eat them, they were enjoyed and destroyed by the livestock.

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