Thursday, March 05, 2009

How to do the Fence?

Our fencing alongside the road is easy (a relative term I know) and pretty much straight forward. It is mostly a straight line, except for around the corner, and the slope isn't too steep most of the time. The problem that I'm having run through my mind right now is how I'm going to do what I'm calling the interior/perimeter fence (the stuff in red above). Ideally we would just do the high tensile all the way around our 40 acres (there is the remains of a fence left), but that would require a bulldozer ... fill dirt ... and more money than we can afford. On top of that it would also mean there would need to be some cooperation with the neighbors.

With all of that in mind my idea is to have something semi-permanent going along the tree line. I would like it far enough away from the trees (I think) so that I can get a tractor along the outside for wood cutting and I would also like the ability to flash graze cattle and hogs inside the woods. That would mean some sort of access through the "semi-permanent" fence.

When I e-mailed back and forth with the guys at PowerFlex we talked about using a three wire fence. I think that is a good idea, but I'm wondering about posts and such. If I followed the general contours of the tree line there would be lots of bends ... which could equal lots of wooden posts. The idea of putting in a bunch of wood posts down there when I only wanted it to be semi-permanent didn't excite me.

I guess the other option would be to put in wooden posts and make as many straight runs as possible. Then put in some gates and we are set. Anyone have any thoughts on this or have you worked through a similar situation? I open to all ideas.


Art Blomquist said...

I am considering the same type of fencing. I will be going for straight runs - with plenty of room for access on the outside of the fence line. Fortunatly I have a cat on the property.

Rich said...

Isn't it possible to build a curved fence by placing the posts on the inside of the curve of the fence line and tensioning the wire less than normal?

You would probably need a wooden post at each drastic change in direction, you might need slightly longer posts with slightly closer spacing in the curved areas, and it might take a little trial and error to figure out all the details, but it should be possible to build a curved fence.

I have also read an account of Salatin running an electric fence zigzag through the woods for his pig pastures by tying insulators to trees, so it might be possible to do something similar along the edge of your wooded areas.

Talking about your perimeter fence, isn't there some sort of fencing law or custom about perimeter fencing in your area? In my area the landowner is usually responsible for the right hand side (looking from his property) of any shared fenceline. So typically, your neighbors are responsible for maintaining half of your shared fencelines, if they fail to maintain their fences, they shouldn't really complain (although they might) about your cattle getting onto their property. Your neighbors probably don't want your livestock on their property any more than you want your livestock on their property, so it might be possible to work out some sort of deal where your neighbor might be willing to clear the fenceline in exchange for you supplying all or a portion of the fencing materials and labor.

Regardless of what you decide to do, before I built or replaced any shared fence, I would talk to the neighbors before I started. Feuds over fencelines and property lines are more common than you would think and they can continue for decades.

Steven said...

For your information...
Our interior single line of high tensile is made with a 6" post at each end, no bracing, and it is about 900' long. There are fiberglass (wish I had powerflex) every 30 foot and a 4" wood post ever 150'. We were told that we could add a second wire without any problems. I would not put a bend in a fence using powerflex posts only, because if I remember correctly, they make it very clear that they are only line posts. They do have bigger diameter posts, but they are probably pretty expensive.

Can you make a more straight line in a couple of places by going right through the woods? It might be handy to have some wooded area fenced with your 3 wire fence.

Valley View said...

OK, we probably call things down here different names, but if you want temprary electric fence cheaply we use a piece of steel pipe of a big enough diameter to go over a steel picket, them weld two 45deg stays from that. At the end of these stays weld another twelve inche long piece of steel pipe. You can then use this over a steel picket and use two cut off pickets in the ends of the support - it works great. I'll post a picture on my blog over the weekend and send you the link.

Bredbo Valley View

mommymommyland said...

have you considered step in posts? hats what we are doing until we can get our permanent fence up that we are working with the usda on.

dirtdoctor said...

It might be a good thing to use the existing posts growing along the treeline. Securing the fence wire to the growing trees has worked in many areas. JUST MARK THE TREES so when you mill them you avoid the ones with the tramp metal in them.

This could save you some real money.

Great posts and blog you have going here.

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