Thoughts on using PT for fence posts (NG dairy goats)?

seachick

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We try to do everything on our small suburban homestead as chemical-free as possible. We don't have pressure treated wood anywhere except for the floor joists in buildings. However, we're building a small pasture (~1,000 sf) for the two new Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats we are getting, and I'd really like it to last longer than the 9 or so years we get out of local Eastern white cedar posts. (We live in Maine so basically all I have to choose from is local white cedar or PT or hemlock.)

Our soil is heavy clay and doesn't drain well. We definitely want wooden posts with knotted wire fencing, since we want our neighbors to be happy with our "cute" goat set-up and not complain ;)

The fence posts are on the outside of the fencing, so less likely to get chewed. What do you think? Is this an acceptable trade-off for longevity? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

greybeard

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Steel, if you are adamant about "chemical free".
I use PT of some kind everywhere, or I wouldn't have a fence or outbuilding left standing. Some of my corner posts, I put in the ground in 1964-1965. Others are more recent..80s thru present.
I don't mind doing work, but I really really REALLY hate doing the same thing twice.
 

seachick

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Steel, if you are adamant about "chemical free".
I use PT of some kind everywhere, or I wouldn't have a fence or outbuilding left standing. Some of my corner posts, I put in the ground in 1964-1965. Others are more recent..80s thru present.
I don't mind doing work, but I really really REALLY hate doing the same thing twice.
Thanks, Greybeard. I've just been reading lots of your excellent fencing tips!
I realize steel is the most chemical free, but it also tends to be more agricultural looking and less "cute". Since having goats in my neighborhood is kind of a gray-area zoning-wise, I'm trying to make sure the whole set-up is as aesthetically pleasing as possible for happy neighbors. I do use T-posts in the wooded area of our lot, but this is in a very visible part of the lawn. I'm leaning towards PT right now even though it makes me a little uneasy.
 

greybeard

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I realize steel is the most chemical free, but it also tends to be more agricultural looking and less "cute"
Well, I don't do "cute" in any sense of the word so I can't address that. There are some very nice (ornate/ornamental) steel fencing products that would do the trick but may be cost prohibitive.

Today's PT is deemed "environmentally friendly" as it uses either copper oxide (azole) or ACQ..alkaline copper quat. The days of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) are long past and is not available any more, as the FDA banned sale of any product containing that to residential users..

I know lots of people that use modern PT for raised beds raising their own vegetables.

Some of the new non-copper "green" alternatives are showing to be less sustainable than the manufacturer stated.they are rotting in the ground.
https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/6943/Green-alternative-to-treated-lumber-reported-to-be-rotting-unexpectedly.aspx
 
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seachick

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Well, I don't do "cute" in any sense of the word so I can't address that. There are some very nice (ornate/ornamental) steel fencing products that would do the trick but may be cost prohibitive.
I'm sure I wouldn't do "cute" if I had a real farm ;) I did look at those decorative steel ones, but, yeah, waaaay too expensive. Thanks!
 

Baymule

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I have chemical issues to the point where I can't walk down the soap aisle at the store. Forget about getting near to fertilizers and ag chemicals. I live as chemical free as possible. BUT there are places for chemicals and fence posts are one of them. We used treated posts for the back yard fence and corners, H braces and neither the horses or sheep have chewed them. I have not reacted to them either. Now if I was to go chew on one, I would probably get a reaction, but really, who's that stupid?

Go ahead and use the treated posts, it is hard work and as GB said, you only want to do it one time.
 

seachick

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I have chemical issues to the point where I can't walk down the soap aisle at the store. Forget about getting near to fertilizers and ag chemicals. I live as chemical free as possible. BUT there are places for chemicals and fence posts are one of them. We used treated posts for the back yard fence and corners, H braces and neither the horses or sheep have chewed them. I have not reacted to them either. Now if I was to go chew on one, I would probably get a reaction, but really, who's that stupid?

Go ahead and use the treated posts, it is hard work and as GB said, you only want to do it one time.
Thank you! You guys have convinced me :)
 

goatboy1973

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Cedar trees make excellent fence posts as well. Our part of the US, East Tennessee, is plentiful with these trees. They are naturally insect and water resistant and the rule of thumb is, "The redder the better"! My grandpa and great grandpa taught me to find a tall straight cedar tree that is growing around a bunch of rocks and it will have the most red in it when you cut it. These are the ones that you use for fence posts. The red "heart wood" is what is water and insect resistant due to the cedar oils present in this wood. My grandparents and even back hundreds of years would line their closets with cedar planks to prevent moths from eating their clothes. We use cedar shavings in our dog houses because it helps repel fleas and mosquitos.
 
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