Saturday, April 20, 2013

Electric Fence Fail

Steve posted a picture of the labrynth he created with the electric fence, and described the challenges of containing the sheep in a relatively small space with it.  What he failed to tell you was that he had surrounded the entire house with the electric fence, which is all in all, not so bad, since the idea was to let the sheep into the part of the yard we wanted them to eat, and no other part.  But, he did not leave a path for humans to get out.  The only ingress or egress was over a laid-down portion of the (turned off) electric fence.  Bear in mind that this fence is a net, and is too long to step over when laid down.  Also bear in mind that I wear healed boots to work, and that I usually come home with my hands full.  You can see where this is going, can't you?  The fact that the charger is not on the side of the fence that is accessible from the house just adds to the comedy factor.

Yesterday, I came home and noticed that vast portions of the electric fence were not as I had left them that morning.  Sarah was home sick, so I had left her inside with the dogs (they have access to grass to do their thing, and turned on the fence as I left the yard.  Something had obviously gone wrong, so I went to the end of the house, pulled two stakes and laid down a portion of the fence.  Mind you that I did this with my briefcase, purse, and groceries all in my hands.  As I was stepping on the fence, I could feel it grabbing at my shoes (netting, remember), and was trying to step carefully.  Apparently I was not stepping carefully enough, because I was about half-way across the net when it grabbed my foot and held on.  Yes, I went down.  Unfortunately, I went down when I was close enough to the porch to catch myself on the edge of it with both forearms.  It's better than my chin, I admit, but dang!  That hurt.  Oh yeah, and I spilled my coffee too.  So, being the understanding and supportive wife, I called my husband, who is of course, at work in the Tri Cities, and explained to him that is was not a good idea to not allow for an easy path for people to enter and exit.  He will plan better next time.

On another, note, Pilot Rock is under a flood warning until noon today.  This does not surprise me, as I watched our creek rise nearly a foot in 15 minutes as I was cooking dinner last night.  It was pretty impressive.  Monica and I went out and raised the panels that Steve had supposedly made easy to raise.  Not so much.  The panels are held together with carabiners, and they had shifted a bit so that it took us about 30 minutes, and much silent swearing on my part to get the clips off and the lower panels removed.  They had already begun to collect debris, and were bowing out in the direction of flow, which only made things even more interesting.  Eventually we prevailed, but it was not as easy as advertised.  But, the fence is now clear of the creek, and the creek is still mostly within its banks so no harm, no foul.  There is a log that is collecting tumble-weeds and creating a wide spot, but it's too heavy for me to move, and I can't get to it to get a chain on it, so it's going to have to stay where it is for a while.  I'll have Steve take a look when he gets home.

Continuing the ramdomness, we're still feeding.  The sheep ate an entire bale in about 45 minutes last night, and were still hungry.  I fed them more, along with the horses and the cows.  The cows had been ignoring the hay, but now they are breaking into Mom's yard, so they are getting fed too.  If they don't start behaving, they may have to move to another pasture, but for now, we're still feeding every night.  It's kind of odd because everything is green, but apparently there's not much real food value yet.  The sheep are all pretty scrawny.  Hay and grain should fix it.