Oh man, it has been a while since I have posted, but that is because with the end of winter, so too did the farmers hibernation. It has been non-stop since March. We have added two new species swine and cattle. Both of which involved a fair share of prep work, but hey, the grass was green and the sun was shining. Spring is by far my favorite time of year, a little work outside sounds like a good time.
Material for a 1200’ Run (flat ground)
Fence building out here is a little different than my native Louisiana where we tack the barb wire to trees and call it a day. In Montana you have miles of fence without a single tree. A few items this newbie had to learn was: How do you make it straight, How do you make it tight, what spacing to use on your T-Post, and what spacing to use on your strands.
Step 1 – Corner post and pop line
Find the corners of your property or pasture and sink in a corner post at each. Then string one strand of wire close to the ground so that you don’t pull the post over. Use fence stretchers to tighten the strand. After each tightening with the stretchers, walk the line “popping” (lifting it up and letting it fall, lifting it up and down quickly so that there is a standing wave in the line) the strand to make it straight. On a long run this might take 5 or six tightening and on a short it might only take 2. After your line is straight build the rest of the H-Brace at each corner.
The Bracing wire should be double looped from the bottom of the corner post to the top of the brace post. Then tightened with the peice of scrap wood. Do not use an X, meaning do not have two runs of brace wire from the top and bottom of each post. The wire will not tighten evenly and therefore will be loose.
Step 2 T-Post spacing and wire spacing
Up here it was suggested to me to use 20ft spacing. For me that is 4 paces (a pace is when you counts only the left foot. 4 paces would be equivalent to 8 steps). Walk the line dropping a T post every 4 paces. Then walk it back pounding the T-post in.
Step 3 clipping the strands in
The first question is how many strands would you like?
For sheep you will want to run 6 strands (3,3,4,4,5,6 – the numbers indicate how many T-Post nobs from the ground on the first one and from the previous nob on all the rest.)
For cattle I am using 2 set ups: