Thursday, February 12, 2009

Putting Up Some Fence

No, I'm not putting any fence up just yet (and my plans may take a step back if we get the snow they are calling for on Friday), but we have settled on a bit of a fencing plan. We are in need of about 1/2 mile of exterior fence along two sides of our property that borders the road and then a diagonal line of fence along the woods. Of course we could have just put up straight shots around the entire property, but that would have taken to many hours on a bulldozer so we are going to just fence along the woods.

Thanks to Gary at PowerFlex we now have a plan that goes something like this... On the exterior fence we will have six strands of hi-tensile wire. There will be wood hedge posts at the corners, around the turn of the property, and anywhere there is big terrain change. For line posts we are going to go with 1 1/4" x 66" PowerFlex posts (we could and we might go with the 1 5/8" bull posts) spaced at about 30 feet. I'm not exactly sure on the spacing of the wires, but will check with Gary to see what he recommends for the livestock that we have/will have.

Along the woods we are going to use three wires (and some gates most likely so I can do some flash grazing in the brush) and the 1 1/4" x 60" PowerFlex posts. There will probably be some hedge posts thrown in along the line at the major bends and such. I like the idea of the three wires because it allows us to be a bit flexible down there.

As far as interior fencing goes I think we are going to go with some of the Management Intensive Grazing basics. We will have some tread-in posts, wire or polybraid, and some reels for quick setup and tear down. At this point we aren't going to do much in the way of permanent interior fencing so we have some time to really understand our pastures.

This bad boy of a system will be powered by a 6 Joule fencer (most likely a Stafix brand) that ought to provide a shocking mental barrier to our livestock.

I've got to tell you that I am very thankful for the help that they have been at PowerFlex and I really get the feeling that their product is as good as their service. This spring (if it ever completely comes) I'll have a good series of posts on the process and lots of pictures. So, stay tuned!


ablom said...

Looking forward to your experience with the powerflex fencing system. We are considering it for our place.

Rich said...

The only thing I know about hi-tensile fence is what I've read (although my uncle used some to build a grape trellis).

But, I've wondered about the details of actually building a hi-tensile fence. As an example, when I build a barb-wire fence I set the corner posts, then stretch the bottom wire until it is tight so I can get a nice straight line to help place my T-posts. Is it possible (or even desirable) to stretch hi-tensile wire tight enough to use it as a guide for post placement (isn't it supposed to only be slightly tightened to maintain its 'bounciness')? If you can't use stretched hi-tensile wire as a guide, how do you place your posts in a straight line (possibly something like a string line)?

JRG said...

Basic approach for building hi-tensile is same as barb wire, it's just much easier. Set the corners and any bends that will require bracing. Run out a wire and stretch it straight. It is actually much easier to get hi-tensile straight as it doesn't have the snag problem that barbs have. Hi-tensile wire is actually stretched much tighter than barbwire in sense of ft-lb of pull. Barb is typically stretched at 125 ft-lb (+/-) and hi-tensile at 200-225 ft-lb. Barb wire may seem tighter just because it is much closer to its breaking point than is hi-tensile.

I have always found it much easier to get a straight line with hi-tensile than with barb.


Steven said...

I'll confirm. Our bottom wire was put on and then streatched to get the line post placement. Our spacing is 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 10. Water gates were made by crimping polywire onto the bottom wire and hanging big nuts or bolts on it to hold it down.
(I'm only awake now because I'm at the hospital. It's a girl again. )

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