November 3, 2014

Fencing 101

We are about to turn our cows out onto corn stalks for a couple months. There used to be a nice fence around this pasture, before they turned it into a corn field. Then they tore down the fence so they could get their equipment through. I needed to put it back up today so I can put the cows in there tomorrow.

I'm not the greatest fencer, I'm not even a very good fencer. I just struggle trying to hold three things with two hands. I honestly think fencing could and should be a required class for some Animal Science majors. Here we go, Fencing 101 taught by a student.

Here is the area where the fence used to be. I scouted around for the wires and any posts I could re-use. Most of them were wooden posts that I wasn't putting back in because I used steel posts that take less time to pound in the ground.
They cut the wire and peeled it back, leaving the wire along the fence line. Imagine a tight barbed wire fence and then the wire being cut. PING! It springs back and you need to put it back together. It can't simply be wired together now because there is no slack. You will need more wire and wire stretchers to splice it together. 
 First thing to do is lay the wires out in order. Bottom, middle, then top wire.
 Fix the bottom wire first. Make a loop on the end of one wire, wrapping the wire around itself. Add a piece of new wire by threading it through the loop and wrapping it around itself.
 Take your wire stretchers and attach the two bottom wires you will be connecting together. Start ratcheting away until the two sides are tight.
   Again make a loop with one wire and thread the other through, pulling as tight as you can and wrapping it around itself again. Loosen the ratcheting system and undo the wires from the stretchers. It's as easy as that. Unless this is the first time you've put a fence back together by yourself. Then you may drop your wires and they'll go zipping back in the opposite direction. You'll do that a few times. Or you might pinch a finger, but if you're lucky it will only get your glove. Your hands might not have much strength so wrapping the wire around itself is a pretty good task. Plus the wind might be blowing sand in your face and you could be standing in sand burs. (Tuck your pants in your boots.) Other than that it's real easy!
 Pound posts in and use fencing clips to attach wires to them. I like needle nose pliers for this job.  There it is, my first fence job - done!

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