Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Fence Stretched and Gate Hung
The rain held off long enough today for me to get the 90 foot of fence basically up on the posts I put the supports on yesterday. Since this line is going to be the East boundary for one of the ram paddocks I placed the steel t-posts only 7 foot apart instead of the standard 8 foot. I got the fence stretched and tacked up to the wooden posts but didn't get it clipped to the steel posts yet.
This section is basically replacing the rotted old ethnically engineered thrown together with cattle panels fence that is currently barely holding the ram in. The fact is if he was a wild ram he would already be out of that paddock.
Eventually it will also be used to continue the fence past the gate from the hay field and on down to the very back of the property. That fence too is falling apart and has been patched together over the years but is currently holding.
I also had to re-hang the gate from yesterday and move the hinges to the pasture side of the post so that the gate would swing a full 180 degrees allowing me to then leave it open and chained to the fence during the Winter months when the useless nags are in the hay field. I broke the support panel on the gate while doing this and it began to sag of course.
Took me an hour to drill a new hole through the four layers of sheet metal, broke one bit while doing so but finally got a bolt through there and tightened it down so hard there is no way that hinge panel is going to move now. After playing around with it I finally got the angle just right to allow the gate to hang properly and swing open with the grade of the land.
Fencing looks so simple until you actually start doing it. The subtle uneven ground and getting the entire thing to mesh with gates and such is always much more work than you think it will be.
This entire section will then butt up against the Eastern-most building of the main Small-Hold compound. You can see the old fence that is falling apart in the background. When I move the ram next week and lock him in a stall for shearing I will come in and take down this old fence line and run a temporary one to the back of this building. Then I can start on the main gate area and the front half of the pasture.
Eventually this entire area will allow me to run the sheep from the barn lot out into the East pasture while having a breezeway area with a series of gates for more controlled movement and better access to the pastures. It will also act as a redundant system so any one gate being left open will not result in escaped animals although I am thinking about leaving a back door open for the horses to go directly out into traffic somehow.
I have insurance for that so it will be fine :)
Re-hanging the gate also made my measurements for the gate opening off so I had to get the 850 tractor out and put in a new gate post at the proper distance.
As you can see the chickens were in awe of the big earth moving drill bit I used. I swear these chickens are worse than any cat when it comes to supervising my work.
Just as I finished getting the post set the rain started so attaching the wire to the t-posts will have to wait until tomorrow now. Just a bit more ethnic engineering to temporarily attach the old fence to the new posts at the gate and I can now shut the horses back out into their pasture and let the hay field begin growing in peace.
Next step is putting the final touches on the gate system design and getting all the materials for it in order. At least I am one step closer to finishing up this fence project though.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!