I bought some Wedge-Loc brackets in the summer of 2008 with the intention of using them to brace short sections of fencing, but only got around to using them this summer. Wedge-Loc’s modest marketing materials would imply that you should never have to build an H-brace again, thanks to their invention; but I think this is probably a bit of an exaggeration. If there is a lot of force on the H-brace, it would easily push a T-post through the soil, much more easily than a 4×4” or 6×6” wood post buried 3+ feet deep. So, these can only be used for small-potatoes applications; like for low-tensile fencing material, very short sections, and places where you least expect an animal to ram into the fence at high speed or push a lot on the fence. But, I think there do exist some scenarios where this type of brace makes sense.
I don’t like to count a task finished until I’m really done- tools put away and everything. But I can pretty much say I’m done fencing the center field. At least, I was able to move the sheep into it at the end of September. I had a few lingering details left to finish, like filling in some nasty ankle-twister holes in the field and adjusting a gate that didn’t ride smoothly. I’ve done those now.
Here is the fourth section of my notes on grass. Needless to say, I took a LOT of notes during Woody Lane’s lecture…
I’m not sure if I can say which speaker had the most exciting information at The Expo, there were several highlights. But this was one of the top ones for me: Dr. Woody Lane’s two-hour discussion on pasture management and grass. Dr. Lane owns and operates Lane’s Livestock Services, a consulting firm. (I couldn’t find a website to which I could link…). And, everyone seems to just call him Woody. He lives in Roseburg, OR, and frequently teaches a very extensive animal nutrition course in that area.
Woody is an engaging and animated speaker, started out his talk with these fightin’ words: “Pasture rotation doesn’t work.” :-0 Continue reading “What I Learned About Grass at the KHSI Expo: Part I”
Well, not summer camp exactly. But I just got back from a four-day trip to Corvallis, OR to attend the Katahdin Hair Sheep International Expo and Sale. I really enjoyed it, they had great farm tours, speakers, and a sheep sale. I bought a few sheep too! I’ll try to write about the highlights, as best as I can capture all that I absorbed there.
When I am starting to attach T-post clips to a newly strung fence, I find that it can be heavy work lifting and pushing the fence up against the posts. Field fencing is so heavy (about 200 lbs for a 330 foot roll), it wants to sag or lay down on the ground. I never get the T-posts in a perfectly straight line or perfectly vertical, so there is always some pushing required to get the fence to meet up with them.
If I’m fencing a curve, it’s even worse. Though I know it’s convention to have the fencing material sit on the outside of a curve, I chose differently in several spots on this pasture. I think it’s more important to have the fencing on the side where livestock will be pushing the most, so that when they push, the pressure gets put on the posts, not on the fasteners. So, that has left me with inside curves where I need to push the field fencing, sometimes a foot or two from the main line of travel, against the posts, to fasten it to them. Continue reading “Giving Field Fence a Little Lift”
This is a very, very old fencing H-brace that I just removed from our pasture. I would venture a guess that it is part of the original farm homestead, and was probably installed before 1910. It is interesting to see that people in our region are still building these the same way, and to see where this one failed as it aged. Most of the old fencing from this place is gone, but there are a few stretches here and there that remain, half-consumed by nature.
Last weekend I stretched the first line of fencing in the second pasture. Last summer my dad made me a bracket and rod system for the tractor loader, to help unroll field fencing. There are also systems made to unroll off the back of the tractor, hooking onto the PTO connection. But this one is much cheaper and simpler. It works great. And I imagine it’s a bit easier on your neck, to be able to sit facing forward and visually monitor the fence unrolling; versus having to constantly look behind you if you are towing it instead. Continue reading “Field Fence Stretching”
Last year, when installing my fence H-braces, I used “twitch sticks” to tighten the diagonal wire that provides tension to the brace. Upon reflecting, however, I’ve decided those aren’t the best choice for field fencing. Once the fence is up, it’s difficult to impossible to twist the stick if you want to tighten the brace again- it hits the fence. I think this would even be true for anything other than three-strand wire fencing. Continue reading “H Brace Tension Device”
I’ve gotten quite a few fence posts in, just in the last week and a half. I need to do the cross-braces, and then I’ll have two sections ready to stretch; maybe by next weekend! Continue reading “Beginnings of a Fenceline; and One Stolen Roasted Chicken!”