On Fence Building

I was cleaning the brooders and minding my own business when Ryan pulled up on the 4-wheeler and said “Get on.”

I did as I was told and we headed over to Dean’s side (north of the creek) where two renegade cows had somehow gotten themselves on the wrong side of the fence. Ryan kept asking if Steve and I had checked to make sure the fence was on and I reassured him we had. We checked several times in different locations and it was at 6.8 KV. That’s hot!

We didn’t have the tester with us so as Ryan walked along the fence I grabbed a blade of grass and touched it to the fence. The grass conducts electricity so you’ll get shocked, but it isn’t as bad as if you touch the fence directly. The grass acts as a buffer. I got shocked so clearly that wasn’t the problem.

In the end it turned out I hadn’t put the final post close enough to the actual fence and the cows were able to get under it. We have permanent electric fences around large sections of pasture and we divide these large sections up with moveable polyfiber wire that we connect to the electric fence. When connecting the polyfiber wire to the actual fence, you have to place a stake pretty close to the fence or the cows can get under it. I thought I’d put the post close enough. I thought wrong.

One of the cows was, in Ryan’s words, a knothead, but thankfully they cooperated and ran back in with the herd pretty quickly. I’d been wanting more opportunities to work with the cows. I guess I should be careful what I wish for, huh?

Yesterday I got to put my wagon driving skills to good use. We’d had some hay baled and wrapped for us and a few of the bales weren’t properly wrapped. Rather than letting them sit and mold (or combust!) we wanted to feed them to the small group of steers we keep here at the farm. (The rest are at Lundale.) I took the tractor down and hooked it up to one of the mobile feeders while Steve drove the skid loader down to where the bales were waiting. We loaded the bales into the feeder and I drove them up to the pasture where the steers were. I really don’t understand why more guys don’t want to be farmers. Between the tractors and the 4-wheelers and the trucks and whatnot, it’s pretty much just boys and their toys around here!

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