Sunday, January 22, 2012


We are and have been in the process of fencing an area above our garden and house for a goat "pasture". This project started last fall and is continuing on this winter.  I hope to have it ready for the girls by "spring" whenever that may be.  It could be today since it was 60 degrees. The fenced area-to-be is more of a weed, brush, and tree area but I wasn't sure what to call that.  Scrub hillside might be the best descriptor.
Installing fence on our farm is a slow process, partly because Don and I do it, but mostly because the land where we want the goats is steep hillside. It isn't very easy to use mechanical anything to help.  With baby steps, we press ever onward toward our goal, doing one small section at a time.  Because rolls of field fencing are 4 feet tall, 330 feet long and heavier than I care to imagine, it must be put up in sections that we can carry to our posts located in various places on the hillside.  That generally means lengths of 100 feet or less.

Last October I had our fencing materials delivered by Southern States while they could still get their truck up our road.  The delivery included a couple of rolls of fencing and a lot of steel posts.  I bought 4x4 posts and concrete mix for the corners, gates and intermediate posts at the hardware store.  The intermediate wood posts allow us to keep our runs under 100 feet.  If we lived in an ideal world, all the posts would be wood.  However it would be well into the next century before we could hand dig all those post holes.  Using metal t-posts makes the process so much faster and seems to work fine for our goats.  We diligently installed all our posts in the fall and had planned to wait for the weather to break in late winter to start running the wire.  Except that is January 22 and we were tired of waiting for the bad weather to break because it never really arrived. So, on a balmy day in January we decided to begin.

In anticipation of the good weather today, I went out yesterday and measured all the fence runs, made a drawing of our planned area then calculated the lengths to cut from each large roll.  Kind of a cut-list for wire.  

Today we went out to the back field where I hauled the large rolls of wire with my tractor last October.  I had positioned the wire rolls so that we could unroll them across the open field to the required length.  We started unrolling the roll and measured off the first section we wanted to put up, which was 90 feet, cut it and rolled it back up to put in the truck to take back to our work area.

We carried the roll to the starting post.  We tied one end of the fence to the end post and began to unroll the wire, using bungee cords and baling twine to hold it against the intermediate posts so it didn't flop over.  

When we got to the end, we secured a come-a-long to the wire and secured the other end to another post and gently tightened the wire.  We stapled the wire to the end posts and used zip ties to temporarily secure the wire to each post.  

I say temporary but my buck pen has been held together with zip ties and baling twine for a couple years now.  Anyway I PLAN to go along and fasten it securely with wire which will also tighten it a bit more.  We managed to get 2 of 9 sections up today and I'm feeling a lot better about the prospects of having a goat pasture by spring, even that is today.  


  1. With the weather we've been having in West Virginia lately you might can do some more fencing this week if it doesn't get too muddy from the rain tomorrow. I would love to have our property fenced in. Not to keep animals in but to keep our neighbors out. One side of our property is fenced because our neighbor on that side has cows but the other side isn't and needs to be.

  2. When I first heard about this project, I was overwhelmed with the magnitude of it. Congratulations on the progress you're making.

  3. Considering our entire farm has been an overwhelming project, the fence isn't too bad. I think there is a Chinese Proverb that goes something like" Man who finishes house dies". If it applies to farms we should both live into the next century.

  4. Angela, we were able to work a bit on the fencing today,It was muddy though:-)

  5. I think is was all of the clearing you had to do before you could even think about the fence construction.

    1. Oddly, we enjoy the clearing part. There were a lot of storm-damaged trees that needed to come out so it looks so much better now.