Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is fence a dirty word?


The picture to the right is an old water pipe that is gravity fed from the original hand dug well.  The pipe has frozen so many times it has holes all along its side.  It only runs in the spring.  Eventually, I want to fix it so that it supplies year round water for the animals.  Way down the road...

Yes, I really have been doing more fencing.  It is an incredibly laborious process.  My young helpers have been busy elsewhere so I have been at it alone.  I did get the corner post pulled over and tied in to a third post.  The come-a-long is starting to become my new friend.  It is much better than using a fence stretcher.  The fence stretcher is better when repairing a break.  I keep using scraps from all over the farm.  One of my railroad ties is pretty rotten near the top, it is missing about 50% of its body, but in a railroad tie that is pretty good, and the part in the ground is 100%.  Some is painted and some is not.  It is definitely different.  One thing about it, the fence has been fairly inexpensive so far.  I have had all the sheep wire on hand.  Which is a good thing since that stuff is around $130 for 100 feet. I truly don't know how many feet of fencing I have installed.  When I am all done I am thinking about measuring it and counting the pieces just for posterity.  It needs to be recognized as an accomplishment.  One thing for certain, I am getting in shape.  I can feel my upper body and shoulders growing.  Or that could just be the constant pain?

As you can see here I was moving in on the final stretch.  I had to alter my plans.  My fence line had the potential to interfere with other plans so I had to change the angle.  So if you look closely on the left side of the picture you will see where I had cleared a path with the weed eater for the old fence line.  We even got some metal posts in the ground.  Not any more, I ripped the metal posts out yesterday.  Look directly over the center tall pole straight back to the apple tree.  That is my new fence line.  The nice thing is it is a straight line.  The bad thing is it crosses the front creek twice.  Each crossing means four posts, and I need a people gate near the apple tree (extra 2 posts), plus the near post to change the angle back toward the tree (remember the leaning post I just fixed?) for a grand total of 12 post holes to dig and a new line to clear.  I am not going to get much work on the farm completed next week.  We are working at our daughter's swim meet and I am in charge of the cook shack, so I have to purchase all the food and make it work for 2.5 days.  We will see how good my planning was after that weekend.  I have been bemoaning all the rain and bad weather.  Well I am ready for it to come back.  The ground is drying out.  I am starting to have a very hard time digging.  In a few more weeks I am not going to be able to build any more fence.  I need to get this done!!!  On a positive note, I have the fence 100% completed up to the above corner.  I finished it up today.

My chickens are still alive.  I did a night time count tonight as I was locking them up for the night.  17 hens, 11 pullets and one rooster.  We have started to get a couple of "fairy" eggs (very small eggs typically unformed yolk,eggs from immature chicken usually) so my babies may be trying to start laying.  They would make up for the chickens that were killed.  I tried to get more pullets on Wednesday, but no one has any chicks for sale.  One place I checked had pullets, but they were already sold.  I need another 2 dozen pullets to start up.  I planted grass seeds in the chicken yard this morning.  Not sure whether it will survive the chickens eating it all up.   It looked like they tried mighty hard to eat it all.  Now in the new ultra secure baby pen, there are no chickens so it should grow just fine in there.  I have had to start watering the chicken yard this last week.  It was starting to dry out.

Here is my new baby enclosure.  You can see that it is just part of the chicken yard that I have enclosed both ends and added wire to the top.  The important note here is the electric fence.  I have a line that runs right at the top next to the boards and two feet below that I have a line that sticks out about 6 inches from the wire.  I used to have a line at the bottom, but the weeds kept growing into it and shorting out the fence.  Why is this important?  Because Annmarie saw a raccoon go under her parent's front porch, I have smelled skunk three times in the last two weeks and when I was at the farm supply store explaining my chicken woes to them the person was sure my description of the eaten chicken was a possum. On top of all that, when I was planting grass today in the chicken yard I noticed a new hole going under the chicken coop.  Around the back, something had moved a few rocks and gotten under the coop.  NO leg traps at that hole.  I will have to change that problem next week.
I am getting my wish.  It is raining here now.  Too bad I couldn't work on the fence this weekend.