Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Outside, Pulling Fence

Is it just me, or is Wendigo adorable even when she's been rolling in a pile of old chicken coop bedding?  Friends of ours have a new indoor puppy, and when we couldn't commiserate with house breaking, since Wendi is always outside, they seemed shocked that we could be so cruel as to leave her outside all the time, and asked if we left her outside even at night.  We are still locking her in the chicken brooder box at night, since she seems bite sized for a coyote.  I don't feel like she's neglected outside at all during the day, because none of us gets to spend any time inside while the sun is shining these days.  Not only are we always outside to make sure the fox doesn't get too brave, we have a never ending list of outdoor chores and projects - including building our first real fence!   

If you remember, we've been working to set all the posts and brace the corners of the half acre field in the northwest corner, and have finally completed that task.  The next step was to buy the wire fence, and stretch it between the posts.  Our fist hurdle was getting the roll of fencing out of the truck, since the guy at the store used a fork lift to put it in there.  It was so heavy!  We backed the blue forked tractor attachment into place, and Brandon used a hammer to pull the heavy roll of fencing out of the truck and onto the forks.  

Hmm... that's sort of how we wanted that to work.  At least the little tractor didn't flip over, right?  

Brandon had to cut back all the tall vegetation on the side of the fence we started with, and then roll the fence along the ground from one corner to the other.  And of course, the pear trees I planted along the fence line are exactly in the the way.  

The fence was cut so that we could wrap the individual wire strands around the corner post, and twist the end of the wire around itself on the other side.  This was kind of tedious, especially since it's happening in the blazing hot sun.  I already feel sorry for the donkey who has to live in this field, since there isn't even a single tree for shade.  I imagine he will graze in the morning and evening and have to hide from the sun during the hottest part of the day in his shelter.  

Now that the fence was attached on the far end to the post, we got to use our home made fence puller contraption to attach to the other end.  As you can see, it's two boards cut to the same size as the fence, which are bolted together with the fence squished between them.  

A come-a-long (i.e. hand operated wench) was hooked to the boards at the top, and another is hooked on the bottom, and the other ends are attached to an extra pole that was set in the ground and braced to the corner post.   Who knew stretching a fence took so many pieces?  

While I propped the fence up, Brandon cranked the come-a-longs to pull the fence tight.  Setting up all the pieces took much longer than actually doing the pulling.  

Ta-da!  One side of the fence is in place!  The short "easy" side, but still, it's a start.  The fence we bought is called goat fence, since the holes are only four inches.  This keeps small animals, like baby goats, from getting their heads stuck in the fence.  Our hope is that this field, at least, will be fenced for whatever animal comes our way - pig, goat, cow, donkey, whatever.  We made sure to get the fence against the ground, with the hope that we might even be able to have a fox free pasture for the chickens.  

We used some u-shaped nails to attach the fence to the wooden posts, which will keep it in place while we attach the fence to all the posts in-between.  Whew.  Fence building is hot work.  Just three more sides to go.  

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