It’s hard to imagine the river getting low enough at our downstream edge to need fencing while much of the Willamette Valley is under flood warning with many evacuations. The wet storm systems that have been coming in off the ocean are swirling in from the south and seem to peter out before they get twisted back to the coast range in the north, leaving us with much less rainfall.
We had to pile drive a couple of metal T-posts into the rocky shallows of the river and extend the wire fence that had washed out during the winter high water. If we did not replace the fencing, the cows could walk along the shallows and out into neighboring property.
Every year we have to reclaim the fences that inevitably get washed out along the river. The swift current drags debris onto the fence before it breaks from the weight. Once broken, the water carries it downstream and buries posts wire and all beneath soil, rocks and vegetation. Continue reading
On a very blustery December day it became evident that we needed to get the cows locked out of the hay field/grazing field. The moisture in the ground is now making the field soggy and the big feet of the cattle are tearing up the turf.
After getting soaked through, Mike was able to get the 10 t-posts drove into the ground, insulators put on the posts, and white electric fence tape strung in two rows. The area near the barn has handles to open as a gate where we drive in to get bales of hay for feeding.
As I was taking this picture the herd was clear in the back of this field along the hillside. You may just be able to see a few black dots back there. The herd moves forward to eat their two meals a day at the three round outdoor feeders.
Way, way back, while the summer was still scorching, you heard about the short fence that needed rebuilding. It took several weeks of fitting in an hour here and an hour there to get the old fence torn out, or mostly torn out.
The project took a hiatus while the end of logging took all of our time. Once we started rebuilding, it still took more than 2 months of snagged time from our regular chores to get the 125 feet of fence installed.
Looking across the barnyard I would say that the finished project turned out pretty darn good. It’s hard to tell, but the entire project including a gate near the road and another by the barn was made from recycled posts, gates and boards.
It was one of those jobs that was always put on the back burner because there were so many other projects screaming for attention. Since it is now time to move the herd sire back over to this side of the river, the fence needed to be completed so he would not go a-roaming. It’s about darn time!
The three cows and three heifers that are currently residing in the far side of the barn with access down into the woods came over to see what the fence building hoopla was all about.
They would come up and sniff the dirt that was augured out around the new post holes. They would test the flavor of the new tractor from stem to stern. And they would harass the dogs that were obediently defending the Gator along with the bed full of tools. The noise of the generator, or the pounding of nails didn’t deter them from checking out the whole project.
Once they tired of bothering us, they headed down to the woods until it became their dinner time.
PS Just in case some of you wisenheimers want to mention that the fence post by the cow is very crooked, I wanted to state for the record that this was one of the old posts from the fence that was removed. The crooked post will be pulled and re-set, hopefully the end result will be much straighter than in this current state.
Between firewood stacking, weaning calves, moving critters, and getting the farm ready for winter, this is one of those tasks that we fit in to the schedule when we do not have more pressing issues that requires our immediate attention. I’ll be happy if it gets completed before we are trudging through mud each day.
With the first 20 feet of fence completed, the power pole/fence post end will give the fence stability and a good place for a gate. All equipment is picked up and packed securely in the barn until we work on this project again.
The fence outside the show barn has been in need of repair or replacement for quite a while now. It has been fixed over and over, cobbled together in spurts of desperation when a critter escapes or folds a t-post in half from scratching their neck.
It was time to do a complete tear out and re-do. There was barb wire, woven wire, baling wire, twine, staples, clips, metal t-posts and four gates that were stolen from other fences on the farm that were able to function without a gate for awhile.
Most of the bottom wires were buried in 50 years of manure. There was much shoveling involved. After the shovel the ground was sifted for bits of broken wire pieces and a strong magnet was used to find ones that hid in the soil.
This area will be smoothed with the tractor and rebuilt, but it may be a couple of months before we get to that stage.