Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ongoing Fencing.

New Rock cribs.
 I am still fencing.  No big surprise here.  Anyone who fences animals can tell you it is a never ending process.  Rule #1 Fencing never ends, Rule#2 It always takes longer than you think, Rule#3 The sheep will always find a hole. 
Monica, our foreign exchange, helped me lay out the boards on Sunday.  I asked her if she wanted to help me fence, and she volunteered (pretty sure she didn't know what she was volunteering for).  She showered and put on clean clothes before we went out.  We dug through the scrap fencing pile and pulled out over 100 pieces of used fencing rails to use as new rock cribs.  Multiple trips up onto the hill to distribute said rails to the appropriate locations we finished with that task.
More new rock cribs.
We then graduated to pitch forking the weeds out of the upper fence line so I can retighten and add a couple of strands.  The fence line is about 2/3 completed.  She did finally break out into a sweat a couple of hours into the job.  After we finished she had to take another shower.  We are getting her some work clothes and boots this upcoming weekend. 

I have spent the last two days building rock cribs.  I keep changing the design.  Annmarie is not particularly happy with the height of them.  I told her after they were full of rocks I could touch them with the chainsaw and lower them a little bit.  I finished all six today and filled one with rocks already.  The rest of them need rocks, but the rocks are barely sticking out of the hillside and won't come out easily.  I had to get the tractor up and going after Mr President sprung a leak on the hydraulics.  The tractor is running and I have the box blade attached.  I will hit the rocks with the box blade to pull them out of the ground and then just lay the bucket next to the rocks then get off and roll them in to the bucket.  Then I can lift the bucket next to the rock jack and just roll the rocks out.  Easy peasey.  No lifting 50# plus rocks off the ground, carrying them to the rock jack, lifting them over the side and dropping them in.  Much easier with the tractor. 

I noticed my first dent in the tractor today!  The hood has a dent in it about the size of a basketball.  I am sure it from a falling piece of sheep manure.  Not sure when it happened.  My trailer has multiple dents, a bent light fixture, a broken wooden floor, and a flat tire.  Everything is getting farmerized.

Hopefully, by next week I can have the new fence up.  I attempted to drive metal posts into the ground today.  I picked the perfect time of the year, the temperature has been over 90 for a month and there has not been any measurable rain for 6 weeks.  The ground is like concrete.  It doesn't help that I am building rock cribs because it is a rocky hillside.  I managed to get 6 posts in the ground.  I bet I tried over 50 times.  Some of the spacing is determined by where I could get the posts to go into the ground.  I have one very large stretch that may cause me to build one more rock crib.  I am going to attempt to string wire without that extra rock crib.  I am going to need some wooden spacers to keep the fence in line and prevent the animals from spreading the wires. 

I took my .17 HMR out every time I fenced this week.  Of course, I did not see a single coyote.  NO Gun = coyotes, Gun= no coyotes, go figure.  We had to herd the cows into the sorting chute today to look at some wounds on the bull.  He got into the compost fence and scratched his scrotum and belly.  The wounds were healing, but the cows were covered in flies.  We are talking hundreds of flies per cow.  It was amazing.  Annmarie got the horse fly spray out and while we had them in the chute she sprayed them all down.  Not a single fly by the time we were done.  We also turned them out onto the upper pasture.  They still came in at night, but they can leave to eat.  The fence I am building is for the sheep.