We told you more on fencing was to come with this post. And it turns out we had more to learn. And do…
I sit here and write about it while Drew is in trenches getting it done. And the girls–the girls are master-fencers now too, and it couldn’t have been done without them. Have we discussed child labor? Yep.
Anyway, the point is, we’ve done a little of nearly everything the fencing industry has to offer. Save for barbed. The first fence is working great, but it was by far the most expensive and difficult route. And, though it’s still holding up fairly well–goats climb it, pigs dig under it and if trees fall on it, well…bad news.
We rely heavily on electric netting like this. We use it for poultry completely, which gives us the ability to move the chickens and turkeys all over the property, getting them on green grass as often as possible, while protecting them from predators and keeping them–for the most part–out of the garden area where they otherwise flock. (pun intended) We also use it for the goats to get them in areas that are either too difficult to fence, or that will will never put a permanent fence to, and honestly–for beginners who are on a new property, hands down, this is the best option. There is an investment for the fencing, and we use mainly solar chargers, but it’s so versatile. Frustrating to cart through wooded and brambly terrain? YES. But, we have been able to clear a lot of underbrush that would have been impossible to clear this way as well. And–it has given us the ability to let our goats fertilize and graze in areas, like our infant-orchard, that we never intend to fence.
BUT. Our property isn’t pasture. As we’ve mentioned it is wooded and hilly. We’ve had lots of timbering done, not clear cut, but the back part of our property–about 6 acres, is somewhat untouched because it’s difficult to access; our 1 acre pond divides our property in 2. And we’ve been aching to get the goats back there to clean it up, and to have more to graze on. And, potentially, to introduce a beef cow at some point. So–currently this is underway, and we’re using a fencing method we’ve used to expand our first paddock in which we used structured wire. It has proven faster, more versatile and less expensive, and we were worried about the goats staying in–but so far, they’re happy to avoid electric which means they don’t apply pressure to the fencing and posts as they do with the structured wire alternative.
By using t-posts and the trees already on the property to hold the wire, and after having a fella carve a path with an excavator so as to make the task doable through the thick woods and brambles, we are adding a little over an acre pasture on the back part of our property. With a little electric the 6 strand electric system will make for a lot more freedom for our growing herd/flock. And, it’ll be nice to tap into some more of the property to meet their needs.
Let me point out, we border all down the side a beautiful rolling pasture that belongs to our neighbor. It’s lush, green, probably deplete of great diversity, but man would it be easy to fence…but, shh. The grass is always greener, right??
Honestly, the biodiversity in our wooded area will hopefully establish quickly as a great place for fodder for multiple livestock species, and the goats will likely make quick and easy on cleaning it up so we can work to establish even more grasses and such. There’s something very satisfying–no matter how difficult–about pioneering the land this way. And, we’re anxious to eventually add a cow or two, silvo-pasturing is the wave of the future. ok, maybe a stretch, but still, it is going to be interesting to see how it plays out. #adventuresinpermaculture
What are your homesteading projects right now?