March 18, 2010

Do Fence Me In

Here on Littlefield Farm we have, by my rough estimate, a little over four miles of fence.  With five strands of wire on each fence, thats twenty miles of barbed wire.  Add to that something like 2200 t-posts, 230 wood posts, and a dozen or so gates, and you can see why that whenever I think that I have everything done, I'm just kidding myself...because there's always fence to fix.
  Aside from a sometimes ornery bull, the biggest challenge to keeping the fences intact are the large trees - alder, maple, cedar, hemlock and fir - that line almost all the fence lines.  Every storm brings limbs and often whole trees down...and always right on top of a fence.  In the winter, if I hear the wind blowing at night, I know there's a good chance I'll be out the next day with the chain saw and the wire stretchers because, as Ryan is fond of noting, cattle and horses are like water...if there's a hole, they WILL find it.
  In this photo you have a stretch of fence torn apart by the cows last week when they decided to move themselves from the lower pasture into the Shire pasture.  To fix it, I pulled the wire as tight as possible, but the posts are set in very soft ground just a few feet from the river and will probably have to be replaced sometime this summer when things dry out.

1 comment: