Tag Archives: fencing

New Cattle Working Pen

On February 20th our new cattle holding/working pen had progressed to this.

Hubby and I have been working everyday on the pen when the weather permitted.  We were delayed in the beginning due to problems finding the lumber we needed.  One of our neighbors, Mr. All, has a portable sawmill and sold us 20 of the 1 x 6 x 16 boards to get us started.  We then finally found a sawmill that took private orders and we bought 100 of the boards.  Most sawmills that we contacted don’t take private orders anymore and only sell to commercial builders such as mining operations.

100 oak boards from Bennett’s Sawmill in Lowmoor.

First row of posts are boarded and this side of the pen faces Little Mountain Road. We put heavy woven wire on first and then put the boards on top of that. We did this to prevent the cattle and calves from sticking their heads through the fence and breaking the boards. We’re learning from EXPERIENCE!!

Post holes are dug using a drill and our Kubota tractor. We are drilling into a bank of slate and sometimes had to use our big tractor and its front loader to press on the drill to force it into the slate and break it up.

Next row of posts are dug and post put in the ground with Quikrete.

And some bracing rocks are placed in the holes for durability.

This is the roll of wire that we placed between the posts and the boards.

The is the outside of the pen next to the main road.

This is the second section of boards and woven wire. We put boards on both sides of the posts for a sturdier loading chute. This needs to be sturdy because if the cows or calves are going to get honery getting on the truck, this is the spot where they’ll do it. They’ll try to back out, turn around or go over if they’re really anxious.

From this angle you can see the double layer of boards reinforcing the woven wire

This is another angle from the end of the pen to see the reinforced chute.

This gate is at the entry of the loading chute.The chute opens to an eight foot chute that narrows into a four-foot chute. The eight foot gate will swing from the narrow chute to the wider chute depending on what we are loading, cows or calves.

This four foot gate was then hung at the end of the chute where the trailer will load. You can also see another short gate about half way down the chute to help control turning and backing. Cattle are more apt to go into a wider space at the other end and that’s why we start with a 8 ft space that  narrows as you get toward the end of the chute.

This section is where the wider chute will be and the next we will board up. The posts are set and now we put the boards on. I might mention the posts are treated but the boards are not. We are using 3 inch screws to mount the boards. Once those green boards dry they’ll make the chance of coming out because the boards will shrink around the screws.

This is another section of the pen that we expanded from the old pen. We were experiencing lots of pushing and shoving when trying to separate 50 – 75 head of cattle at the same time. This section will have a gate that opens on both sides at the end of the pen toward the scale house. We can release them into the barnlot or if we still need to do some separating we can release them back in to the loading section.

Yes we have a scale house. The scales with in this building are state certified every year. We can watch the growth of the calves, we can check the weight of the cows or bulls and we can get an idea of how much weight is going to the market before they’re loaded on the truck.

This all I have for now but will continue the saga when the pen is completely finished and we can send a load of fall calves that we’ve weaned and been holding for the completion of the pen and hopefully a price increase.  I’m hopeful it will be completed this week!!!

Uncalled for Work

Last week we had a visitor during the night that tore down some fence along the main road and left the scene.  The field where the fencing was damaged held 30+ weanling calves and Miracle.  Our neighboring farm manager came to visit to let us know about it on a very foggy cold morning and luckily the calves were on the opposite side of the field.  The driver did the damage and ran leaving what could have been a very dangerous situation especially for people going to work that morning and the bus full of kids going to school if the calves had got in the road. It was so foggy that morning that we could not see more than 10 yards in front of us but thankfully it only took about 30 minutes to repair.

We had just paid a fencing company to build this stretch of fencing in January due to the urgency of getting the calves in a secure field away from their mama’s while we waited for the right time to sale.  The mama’s needed a couple months of recuperating before their new babies arrived this month.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

This was new fence that we paid to  have put in along the highway.

This was new fence that we paid to have put in along the highway.

The new post wasn't broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

The new post wasn’t broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out.  Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out. Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field.  This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field. This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks in the grass.

Skid marks in the grass.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

We were upset the fence was torn down but more upset thinking about what could have been a more disastrous situation.  I would hope that if it ever happens again that the driver would have the common courtesy of letting us know as soon as it happens!!

More fencing done

Hubby just completed this years batch of fencing and it looks so good.  Our daughter got to help one day while she was off and they make a really good team.  She’s almost got to the point that she knows what he needs before he does.  This batch started at the south entrance of the bull lot and down to the end of the pond.  It also included replacing some more locust post that had probably been in the ground for thirty years because they were rotted off at the top of the ground and top of the post was still in good shape.  We’ll use the good part for firewood next winter.  Here’s the first section he completed:

DSCN2606

New fence at the bull lot

DSCN2603

 

DSCN2600

 

DSCN2599 DSCN2596

 

DSCN2601

 

This fencing is in front of the bull lot.  You have to have good strong fence when you’re dealing with bulls.  When this was completed we had four bulls in the lot.    He used four strands of high tinsel wire and the posts are about 10-12 feet apart.

The next section was built about two weeks ago.  Hubby tore out all of the fence on the backside of the  hay lot and our garden.  He did most of it by himself but our daughter was able to help one or two days.  It looks really good and it helped getting our wild asparagus cleaned off.  Here’s that work as it progressed:

Sharpening fence post for end of garden 05112013 (1)

 

 

 

 

Sharpening fence post for end of garden 05112013 (4)

New fence _ end of garden 05112013 (2)

New fence  at end of garden 05112013 (12)

New fence  at end of garden 05112013 (10)

New fence  at end of garden 05112013 (4)

New fence _ end of garden 05112013 (1)

New fence  at end of garden 05112013 (2)

Driving post 05112013 (2)

Driving post 05112013 (3)

Of course, Gyp goes wherever hubby goes and inspects every hole, every fence and was fascinated with the chainsaw.  This will be the last fence we replace or repair this spring as there is so much other stuff to complete before hay season starts.  And, this all depends on the weather and hopefully no more duratios like we had last June.

 

 

New fencing in2013

A new year of fencing has begun.  Hubby pulled out the old fence over a month ago and then the weather got bad and then hunting season got in full swing.  This area of fencing is at the bull lot and had originally been made of chestnut railing.  Over fifty years ago it was used a lot and was a very useful tool for short spances of fencing.  Weather and bulls being bulls had worn it down and it’s just one more area completed.  The bulls seem to know that they won’t be pushing this fence around.    Boards were essential at both ends of this stretch due to the bracing of the heavy gate and at the other end was a short wet area where the mountain spring fed the pond.  We thought sitting the end post with quickrete would fix the problem but it was never dry enough to set up so good oak boards stretched across  a couple lenths worked fine and made for a sturdy fence. Four strands of  high tinsel electric wiring is between the boarded sections.

 

DSCN2603

 

DSCN2602

 

DSCN2595

 

DSCN2600

 

DSCN2596

 

 

 

This will be just a small section of the fencing to be done this year but it’s a good start.  Dad and daughter did a fine days work and enjoyed each others company while I was at work.