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.
Spare time found between rain storms, chores and wintertime laziness has me back along the old fence line. This is the fencing that had already broken down when we purchased the place 40 years ago and had never gotten around to getting the area cleaned up.
Slowly working my way through the brambles, I have still been locating stands of rusting barb wire grown into roots and buried in silt from the high-water floods. Continue reading
Some days it just doesn’t pay to wake up in the morning, our newest calf, Crystal, found out the hard way.
As I was feeding the main herd in the outdoor feeders (in the foreground you can see the backs of the cows that I am feeding), I looked up to see the cows in the nursery field with their babies.
Crystal had somehow woken up on the wrong side of the fence. The mothers and other babies were all trying to get her to come back over into the nursery field but she was unsure how she got into this situation.
When building and repairing the fences, we try to keep the bottom wire up off the ground by about 12-14 inches so that the cows can keep the grass nibbled down without the wire growing into the grass (and eventually dirt). A newborn that has bedded down next to the fence could easily fit under the wire as it gets up and ends up on the wrong side before realizing the problem.
Today, after finishing with the main herd, I drove the sweeping road around the barn and barnyard to the nursery field. I fed the mothers and babies on the ground to keep them busy and opened up the two gates into the barnyard and into the area where Crystal was still pacing the fence.
I was able to get her shooed into the barnyard and closed that gate so I wouldn’t lose her. By that time her mother, Sapphire had come into the barnyard for the reunion. I was able to move mother and baby back out into the nursery field where the meal could be finished without any more interruption.
I went back to the fence and tightened up a couple of droopy wires. Hopefully Crystal has figured out how to stay within the boundary line.
We have finally gotten around to completing the fence around the barnyard of the barn we put up across the river a couple of years ago. Originally we had started this fence just after completion of this barn, but other tasks kept the job from completion. We had completed the first side and corner and matched it with the wire fence that was there from the old barnyard.
The boards were ones that we had salvaged when we tore down the old barn.
The old fence was just barely holding the cows out of the barnyard. It was surprising just how hard it was to tear out all the posts, wire, baling twine and years of patchwork to try to keep the fence standing.
The barnyard fence is now complete, and just in time. The herd needs to be brought into the barnyard and barn in a few days to put the green weaners into the next batch of calves.