Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Homestead Fencing

3/7/2013 12:51:59 PM

Tags: farm fencing, Cindy Conner

fence cornerSpring is a good time to get serious about putting in permanent fencing on your property. The farm supply stores usually have sales on fencing supplies in the spring. To know what you’ll need, make a map to scale of the area to be fenced and mark where every post and gate will go. If you are running your fence along your property line, make sure it is accurate. Good fences make good neighbors, but only if the fence doesn’t encroach on the other’s property.  We chose to run the fence in the photo 25’ in from the property line. We mow on the outside of the fence to about 5’ and let the other 20’ grow. It has been interesting watching the progression of plants come in, with blackberries and sweet gum trees establishing themselves first. Past that is the hay field that belongs to a neighbor. Not fencing all the way to the property line allows for wildlife corridors, walking paths, and for a buffer from whatever is happening beyond. You might be using a temporary fence to rotate animals and divide pastures, but having a permanent perimeter fence keeps your animals on your property in case that temporary fence fails—and it most likely will at some point.

Woven wire is most often used for pasture fences. You can pull it tight with a fence stretcher. We made our own fence stretcher from two 2x4’s, a couple large nuts and bolts, 2 come-a-longs, and 2 pieces of chain when we put in our first woven wire fence in 1986. The come-a-longs have been handy on the farm since then. A stretched fence needs to have strong corners to attach to. That means a 6x6 corner post with another post about 6’ away. That post could be a 4x4. A third post goes between the two, either straight across at about level with the top of the fence, or slanted as shown in the photo. In order to do the stretching, another post needs to be put in the ground, temporarily, past the corner post. The fence stretcher attaches to this post and to the fence, which is tightened by cranking the come-a-longs. While everything is tight, using u-shaped fencing nails, nail the fence to the permanent posts. About every 100 feet of fence you will need to have a set of wooden posts to nail to. The rest of the posts can be metal t-posts. When you buy them, make sure to get the metal clips to use when attaching the fence. Our farm supply store gives the clips with the posts.

If you are fencing your yard, garden, or chicken pen, you might be installing a welded wire fence. Being welded, it can’t be pulled tight, so you don’t need strong corner posts for that. T-posts are sufficient for a welded wire fence. Of course, if there are cedar trees on your property, you could cut your own posts for whatever kind of fence you are putting up. We are concerned about using pressure treated posts, even though the new treatment is supposedly safe. That’s what we were all told about the previous treatment. After a major fencing project in 2006 where we used pressure treated posts, we decided to do something about it and planted some black locust seedlings we got from the Virginia Department of Forestry. We’re beginning to cut them now when we have a project requiring posts. They will regrow multiple stems to use in future years.

Our original pasture had woven wire on two sides and board fence on two sides. The boards are oak boards we bought from a sawmill. It needs painted now and again, but it has held up great. That fence is 27 years old and only needs an occasional board replaced. It has four boards, each 6” apart and is meant to keep in livestock. Chickens will hop right through it. If you need to climb over a fence, this is a good one for that.

Learn more about homestead fencing at Homeplace Earth. Plan what you want to keep in or out and then choose what type of fence would be best. Notice what kinds of fences others have and find out if it has worked well for them. Do your homework, then take the plunge and just put in your fence. It is one of the learning experiences of life.

Learn more about Cindy Conner and what she’s up to at www.HomeplaceEarth.wordpress.com.



Related Content

Barnheart: Yearning to be a Farmer

If you have a constant, overwhelming urge of wanting to be outside breathing in the fresh air and pa...

New High Power Wireless EZ-Bridge™ System

E-zy.net is pleased to announce the release of their new high power wireless EZ-Bridge™ system with ...

Is Galvanized Wire a Safe Material to Grow Food Plants on?

Find out the risks of growing food plants on galvanized wire, and what precautions you should take w...

Join the Farmgirl Sisterhood

MaryJane's Farmgirls is a network of women's groups across the country who meet to discuss and share...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.