Monday, June 16, 2014

The Fence Project

It all started when our friends at Oregon Wildlife, the people we've sold milk to for their endangered antelope babies for many years, went out of African wildlife raising in Oregon and let The Nature Conservancy manage their land as a native animal and plant preserve. That meant dismantling their miles of six foot cross fences. We are buying much of that fencing: posts, gates, and wire because it's in good shape, at a really good price, and we really need to replace our falling-down fences.

Or maybe it started because we needed wider gates to get the hay equipment into our hay fields more easily. As long as we had to put in wider gates, we might as well put in posts tall enough to accommodate decent fencing in the future. Our posts were rotting out.

The American Goldfinches don't mind our crummy fences.  As we were installing the wider gates, they perched on the adjoining fence that is destined for replacement... some day.

Here is the wider gate with its new tall poles into the "B" hay field.

And here is the wider gate with its new tall poles into the "A" field.

But from my perspective, it all started because two of my three horses are insulin resistant and get sore feet on spring grass that is high in sugar. In spite of the grazing muzzles they were wearing, those two got sore feet this spring. So I wanted a dry lot to put them in during this dangerous time of year. Nancy and Dick's six-foot fencing was perfect for the job.

But oh what a lot of work it was for Johnny to set the wooden posts that the gates hinged on, both into the hay fields and into the horse paddock. Plus he tilled up the area within the new fences to make soft footing (and no grass).

It worked. The horses no longer have sore feet, but they are annoyed that they can't get out and kill themselves on grass.

The fence in the foreground is the old fence around Mr. Smith's pea gravel area. He still likes that place best, but he keeps the others exercised by running them around the paddock when he feels like it.

Jessie Anne would really like me to let her out. After all, *she* doesn't get sore feet from spring grass. But Mr. Smith would likely beat her up when she came back if I let her out alone.

So she begs by the gate.

Nightingale no longer has sore feet. But I don't think she makes the connection between dry lot and no pain.

Johnny says it would take nearly two miles of fencing to replace all the fences on our place. So he is hauling home lots of wire, steel posts, and gates. It will take us six lifetimes to replace all these fences. But I'm glad we now have a safe place for my horses.

1 comment:

  1. When I'm all well, I'll come help you put up fencing - I'm really glad you were able to get that nice material and posts!