I imagine that most of you have taken a country drive to enjoy the scenery. I don’t know if there is anything more picturesque than a rural road, dotted with farmland. Most of those bucolic scenes have miles and miles of livestock fencing framing the shot. I don’t know if many give much notice to the fence itself as our eyes are typically drawn to what is on the other side, but the fence is a work of art and probably one of the most significant “tools” on a farm
We have finally completed constructing our cow fence. It took us about a year, mostly because Steve and I did it alone, but even with assistance, figuring out how to build a fence on a farm is like getting a PhD.
First we had to determine what type of fence would serve us best. Fencing for cows differs from those for horses, hogs, chickens or other livestock. Each critter fence requires unique specifications to be effective.
Next we had to lay it out and begin the dirty work of digging postholes, driving T-posts and stringing barbed wire. Trust me, enclosing 12 acres of pasture became a daunting task when we unloaded the supplies in the middle of the pasture. I swear I almost had a panic attack looking at the mile high stacks. Just getting the boards, posts, metal t-posts, gates, barbed wire, and boxes of fence staples off of the trailer took a couple of days. The posts alone weigh about 40 pounds each and there were 250 of them. Week by week the pile began to shrink as we worked our way around the property until the final post was secured and the swing gates installed.
The final step was to “personalize” the pasture. We intend on managing the grazing field, meaning we will rotate where the cows can eat. That means finding a central location for their water source and then creating a pie shaped plan for electrified movable fencing to keep the cows in. The entire perimeter must be wired so the interior grazing fence can carry a charge. We drilled holders into each of the 250 posts and then strung wire along the 12-acre parcel. We completed the final step of burying the charge carrying cable under the 3 access gates this last weekend. Mission accomplished!
I would love to take credit for the design of this fence, but in reality, it is Steve who spends hours upon hours researching how to make this stuff happen. His job is to do all the thinking and prep work and my job is to bitch and moan when things don’t go as planned. We are both gifted in our roles.
So we are officially ready to bring in cows. As we buried the last of the wire to electrify the fence, Steve turned to me and said, “Holy shit, it almost looks like we know what we are doing.”