Monday, May 8, 2006

ABCs of fencing ... and horses

I just realized that I keep talking about the movable fencing for the bucks, and it is highly likely that no one has any idea what I'm talking about! So, I decided to take a picture. Portable electric fencing is netting that has electrified horizontal strings. The vertical strands are plastic and do not conduct electricity. The bottom strand does not conduct electricity either, because it would ground out (not work) if it were always resting on the ground. Although the portable electric fencing works very well to keep the goats inside, it works equally well to keep coyotes outside. Every 12 feet there is a post that sticks into the ground, and we have extra posts that we put on the corners. At the moment, our biggest limitation is that we have to put the fence near another electric fence so that it can be energized.

The reason we started using this type of fencing is because we have 32 acres, and the perimeter is fenced in rusty old barbed wire, which would not keep goats contained, and it's far too expensive to replace all of that with new woven wire. We have quite a few newly fenced pastures, but that's only about 6-7 acres of our property. Since we can't afford to permanently fence in all of it, we decided to start using the movable fencing so that we could utilize more of the pasture. We can fence in a 40 X 40 area by using one fence, or if we put them together, we can fence in an area that's 80 X 80. Last week, we first used only one fence, and three bucks ate down the grass in 2-3 days. We decided to put two rolls of fencing together, so hopefully that will last them a week since it's four times as much grass. We also added two more bucks though, so ... we'll just have to see how fast they eat the grass! If you want to learn more about the temporary fencing, you can check out Premier's Web site, which is where we bought it.

I made two batches of soap this morning. This afternoon we visited a farm to look at horses. My daughters really like to ride, and although I am interested in riding, I am more interested in having a draft animal. I've thought about training a goat to pull a cart, and my daughter has talked about training her miniature donkey, but he has to be at least two years old. I'd like an animal that can help us in the garden pulling a small plow, as well as one who can pull a cart when it's loaded with firewood or hay or manure. We looked at a few different horses owned by this person, and unfortunately the one that would suit our needs perfectly is $2,000. I know it's not a bad price for the horse, but we just don't have $2,000 sitting around right now. My daughter has saved up $600 towards a horse so far, and she asked me if I could help pay for it, which I can't. I wish I could though, because I know it would be a good helper around the farm! Yesterday as I was moving straw from the barn to the garden (to use as mulch) I was again thinking of how useful a draft animal would be!


Dogbait said...

Electric fences; another hazard in my job. I got to a farm recently to read the meter and the gate was alive! I hate those things!

gnightgirl said...

Very interesting; I had no ideas those goats would clear down the grass so quickly. Amazing!


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