Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Thursdays are devoted to animals

Here at the farm, we have very ambitious plans to fence off what eventually will be a 100 by 500 foot area into several 50 foot square pens for rapid pasture rotation. Only problem for me is that is mainly a one-woman job with occasional help from various friends. Putting in fence posts two - three feet deep can be back breaking labor. When you're in a drought, you might as well forget about digging holes. I've bent my post-hole diggers blades, more than once this summer. But it must be done for two reasons: to keep the lovely critters in and keep the predators out. Here is what I have learned so far.
  • Keep your post hole diggers clean and sharp to cut through the clay-shale mix we call a subsoil.
  • It is better to attach your fence on the inside of the pen because when the goats rub against it, it doesn't bow out so bad.
  • Check out the lay of the ground under your bottom wire. If there is more than a four inch gap, this will become a chicken escape route.
  • Goats can jump anything under four foot tall.
  • Goats and chickens can mix, but whatever flimsy thing you built for the chickens will not stand up to play time with a goat.
  • Make sure your gates swing into the pen so if you forget to latch them, the goats still can't get out.
  • Make sure your gate latch requires motion along several planes to unhook so the goats can't open it.
  • A car and a fence stretcher make things a whole lot easier and tighter when putting up a fence.
Feel free to comment by clicking on the comment link above. I want to see what you have to say.