Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Fencing Stage Two Finished!!!!
Finally I have stage two of the fence project finished. Last night as the light was fading I just couldn't let things go and my 71 year old mother came out and helped me dig the last two post holes. I hafta admit she is still pretty spry for her age and was able to guide me in and drop the post hole digger right on the spots I had marked. Then I would start up the PTO and send her up front to man the lift lever while I ran the post hole digger. I set the posts as the last light faded and then went out first thing this morning and started stretching the woven wire.
I was a bit late though as I had the neighbor drop off a bale of hay and he put it in the usual spot. Problem was the usual spot was now inside the barn paddock from stage one. The sheep made short work of that bale after they got tired of waiting on me to open up the new pasture. All the grass was gone inside the barn yard paddock and they attacked that bale of hay like a pack of piranha.
The little ones couldn't resist playing on it either as you can see. Normally it is not advisable to let the sheep, especially the little ones, eat on an open bale like this but by the time I noticed it the damage was already done. No lambs were buried in loose hay though so that's a plus.
By 10:30 this morning I was able to open the gate and let the flock out. Only a couple of the boys stayed behind as they are still recovering from yesterday. The members of last year's cutting crew were already at the gate as they remembered I had let them out there last year. They didn't realize I had expanded the lot a bit and upgraded the fence though. The above picture is looking out over the the old garden which is now the growing Buckwheat plot, at the temporary fence section.
This particular pasture has three different fence types enclosing it. The North side, which borders on the hayfield, is four strands of electric wire attached to a solar charger. I used this on that side because the posts were mostly already set with the electric wire guides in place and because if the sheep get out that direction they are still basically trapped. I also wanted to introduce the lambs to hot wire and honestly electric fence is cheaper. Since this was basically a safe direction I went with what I had already here. I did upgrade to solid wire this year over that nylon with foil braid stuff. I want to see if it keeps the sheep in or if the wily ones (looks at Sammich) will just duck their heads and go under like they did last year.
The South side that borders the garden/Buckwheat area is half sized hog panels. I used this because this portion of the fence is made to be taken down and moved so that at the end of the season I can let the sheep into the garden area. They can clean up the remaining Buckwheat and whatever else grows in there over the Summer. I don't plan on weeding it or doing much to the Buckwheat overall so the sheep can just have at it come about September.
West of the temporary section is the more permanent woven wire part. This section runs between the pasture and the bee hive area, Peach tree area and Pumpkin patch. Eventually I may take this section of fence down and move it but if I do it will be years down the road more than likely. This section is also close to the road that borders the property on the West so I wanted to be damned sure no sheep or lambs escaped in that direction.
You can see the side of one of the Peach trees and the Northern edge of the tilled up Pumpkin patch here along with the wooden post I ended up tilting sideways when stretching the fence. Oh well I should have let the post settle more but there just wasn't any time as the rains are scheduled to start back up tonight again. I also got tired of messing with my come along and just stretched this section from the bumper of the 8N. I got a little over zealous and stretched it too much and tilted the post.
By afternoon the sheep were happy and I was mowing the lawn. Believe it or not I got all the mowing done and about half the weed eating finished AND managed to collect up the bizzillion tools I had scattered all over the place from the fence too.
Here is the Garden apiary full to the brim now. Usually I only keep two hives here and then add the swarms as I catch them. Over the Winter I move all the hives out to other locations once I am sure they are established. Trouble is this year I got all caught up in the fencing project and neglected to move last year's hives out. It's so much easier to move hives when it is cold but now I am going to have to start doing some warm weather, late night hive moving I guess.
With the rain predicted for the next four days I should be able to get caught up on my hives I am building now in case I get any more swarms. I also need to start cutting more fence posts for Stage three and four of the project. I still need another 20 gate and corner posts to finish the next two stages.
Work work work....
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!