TheFarmOfDreams- a long awaited adventure

Bruce

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I wonder if it would have more luck tightening the fence
DO NOT tighten the fence by pulling with the tractor.

You can try using the tractor as an anchor for the come alongs. A 50 HP might weigh enough to not get dragged like Bay's little tractor.

My one long run is 300' and has a 12' gate in it so H brace at one corner, H brace on the hinge side of the gate, floating brace on the catch side (LOTS OF BIG ROCKS here!! I dug 5 holes to put in 3 posts for that gate) and (sadly due to ledge) a floating brace at the other end and that post had to have some concrete due to the high ledge. The floating braces work OK but you need a big flat stone for the brace to set on and they don't work as well in my clay as they probably do in Texas where Greybeard (our BYH fence tutor while he was here) built fence.

I properly attached the fence on both ends (do NOT pull the fence around a corner post, attach it as if the fence wasn't changing direction) then attached the stretchers in the fence in the gate gap and pulled them together with the come alongs. The 330' roll of fence was uncut at this point. When tight, I stapled all the fence wires to both H brace posts and the latch post. The staple alone will not necessarily (and likely won't) keep it from sliding back if it isn't tied back to the fence before the come along tension is released.

Then I cut one wire at a time, wrapped it around the gate post and tied back to the fence, then the next wire. Note that to keep tension on the fence on both sides of the gate, the first wire I cut and wrapped on the hinge side post was followed by the same wire on the latch side post. IIRC, I started with the wire in the middle of the fence then the next one up, the next one below, alternating upper and lower to keep the tension even.

Between the corners and the gate posts the fence is held by T-posts approximately (rock dependent) 10' apart. Wood top pieces are a lot harder to do when you can't put wood posts exactly spaced to fit dimensional lumber. My fence is 4' high with a hot wire a few inches above the woven roll fence and a ground wire a few inches above that. My issue is keeping predators out, the 2 alpacas don't put pressure on a fence like horses, goats or cattle will. In fact the crap fence that was here before I built the real fence kept them in even though they could have walked it down without effort.

As for something to anchor for stretching, I saw a video where they put a temporary 3rd post beyond the H braces, with a horizontal pole to the H brace, and anchored to that. But they didn't have a ****load of rocks and ledge to deal with. Nice soft soil easily drilled with a 3 point auger. Once the fence was tied off, they pulled the temporary post and brace pole. A couple of extra holes was nothing for them.

Are high tensile insulators stronger, or should I plan on de-stringing the fence if we have a nasty storm forecasted?
Probably not enough to deal with the snow load you had.
Yes ;)
 

Baymule

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My little tractor made a good dead weight to hitch the come along to. LOL. Just not heavy enough to keep from getting dragged.
Son has an OLD 75 HP Massey Ferguson that I plan on using to help get the fence done here. I don’t know how to run it yet, but knee is healing up and I’ll learn. Kawasaki mule is getting an engine overhaul and it will be ready for work when I’m ready!
 

Thefarmofdreams

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Years ago, in Vermont and NH and Maine, and I am sure in NY, big barns were built for the winter/cold weather... Big lofts stored tons of hay for animal feed for the winter. Second floor center aisles were for feed/grain and some machinery storage. The bottom floor was for the animals... and the cows were all in stanchions. There were gutters behind the cows and they were cleaned out daily.
You are describing my barn! I'ts a big part of why I bought this property. (i do not have the attached house and courtyard set up of old though. I wish. Just the barn almost 100yards from the house, but she's a beauty!) The horses and goats and rabbits are in the old dairy/basement. Then my hay is upstairs. And the third level/hay loft is currently empty. I need a hay elevator before I can use it. It even still has the big forks for emptying unbaled wagons of hay. (i sometimes wonder about the possibility of getting a wagon and old-fashioned hay-ing our pastures. Not sure it'd be worth the effort though.)

DO NOT tighten the fence by pulling with the tractor.

Then I cut one wire at a time, wrapped it around the gate post and tied back to the fence, then the next wire. Note that to keep tension on the fence on both sides of the gate, the first wire I cut and wrapped on the hinge side post was followed by the same wire on the latch side post. IIRC, I started with the wire in the middle of the fence then the next one up, the next one below, alternating upper and lower to keep the tension even.

As for something to anchor for stretching, I saw a video where they put a temporary 3rd post beyond the H braces, with a horizontal pole to the H brace, and anchored to that.
Thank you for this!! I definitely won't use the tractor then lol. The temporary 3rd post will probably be our best bet- we have VERY sandy soil and not an immense amount of rocks. And I think H braces instead of floating. Again, not a lot of rocks. I don't understand the bit about "followed by the same wire on the latch side"? I thought you anchor one end, stretch, and then wrap that one end around the post one wire at a time?

My poor qh is already getting stir crazy. He KNOWS its nice out (still 50* here) and he can't fathom why I'm not putting him out. Poor guy. Hopefully next year at least the dry lot will be done in woven wire so he can go out in the snow. And this winter the barn is full, so he can't just roam the basement freely like he did last year.
 

Thefarmofdreams

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Take the qh out on a lounge line... It will wear him out ploughing through all that snow. And it will at least give him some change of scenery.
oh definitely. And I think enough has melted that we can possibly plough through some trails. Ought to wear him out. As much as that's possible with this crazy monster. (he's 25 going on 2, i swear. I can't wait for him to be able to be at pasture as much as possible.). But what ever virus I had last week has come back... so i'm housebound again. Someday... everyone on the property will be both uninjured AND healthy. :lol: :lol:
 

Bruce

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I don't understand the bit about "followed by the same wire on the latch side"? I thought you anchor one end, stretch, and then wrap that one end around the post one wire at a time?
I tied off the unrolled fence to the 2 ends of the west fence line and attached the two stretchers in the fence in the gate opening without cutting the fence in two pieces, the extra ~ 30 feet of fence was bowed out at the gate opening. The come alongs were attached between both stretchers so the tension was on both north and south sections simultaneously.

In effect the south corner post was the anchor point for the section of fence north of the gate opening and vice versa. Thus I had to cut and attach the same horizontal wire on each gate post alternately so both north and south sections would maintain full tension. If I did all the wires on one post (the hinge post for example), the tension on the fence on the other side of the gate could be lost at least to some degree . It would still be held by the staples on the latch post but as I said, the staples won't necessarily hold tension, the wire can slide under the staple as there is a LOT of tension. I suppose if one was careful to put the 2" staples in diagonally across the horizontal and vertical wire on the post it might hold tension. I think generally they are put in over the horizontal wires just to keep the fence from moving vertically on the post.

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures which would make this SO much easier to explain.

A further note, some people use "twitch sticks" to tighten the brace wires in the H braces. I spent the money to get ratchets. Note that it would have been better to NOT put the first one right in the center ;) This one is on a hinge side brace so it has to be wired in both directions. The one high on the left post keeps the gate from pulling the post to the left. The other one keeps the tensioned fence from pulling the post to the right. If this was the latch side, the first wire would not be needed.

DSCN0392.jpg


And since I'm blathering on .... gates come with bolt hooks that screw into the post. I tossed those and bought the threaded bolt hooks that go completely through the post with a washer and nut on both sides of the post. You can micro adjust them rather than "one full turn" of the hook. And since things DO move (at least here they do) the gate can be adjusted over time without taking it off, turning one or both hooks one full turn, then putting the gate back on.
 

Bruce

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Another detail. I ran the hotwire under the gates in PVC pipe. It is wire that CAN be buried bare but I figured it was safer to have it better protected. I ran the wire through the fittings before gluing them together, pushing that thick wire around corners isn't so easy.

The T post is there because "oops", the posts are a bit too far apart, plenty of room for a fox to walk through.

DSCN1851.JPG

I also put a switch in the hot wire so I could turn off the south half without having to go to the far north end of the barn to turn the charger off, deal with the issue (often a slug zapping on a rainy night (I do let it spark that lovely blue flash until morning ;) )) then go turn the charger back on. And of course it is necessary to pinpoint the problem on the south end before walking the 100 yards to the charger to turn it off so the switch at the gate cuts the distance travelled substantially.

DSCN1850.JPG


Those "ring" ends are from Premier 1, I have had a number of the lighter weight ones from Zareba break
 

Baymule

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Absolutely the full threaded bolts that go all the way through the post with nuts and washers on both sides-those are the best as @Bruce explained.

I like the wrachet idea for the brace wires. Got a close up picture?
 
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