By Ben Hepler, Community Educator
Fencing, it’s a necessity, unless all of your neighbors in your area are into living like the Native Americans when herds of wild bison roamed the land free to poop and trample where ever. In this article we will cover a few products that you may encounter on your farm that you could re-purpose to build or repair your fences, whether they be electric or barb wire.
We will start with the corner and end posts because without a good end, you will never be able to keep your fence tight. Now there are a few different designs for corners and end posts but we will focus on the style below.
Photo obtained at http://glahome.pw/detail/62477/wire-fence-building-tips-texags.html
For me the biggest issue was finding a decent horizontal brace to use in my corner or end post design. I have found that the heavy black plastic cores that are left after wrapping your baleage work very well when pieced together with 3in PVC couplings. Below is an image of the finished product at my farm. What’s nice is that there is no need to line up a pin to a drilled hole on the horizontal wood piece. Now you can put the pin in a 3in hole and they are lighter than their wooden counterpart.
On our farm I have re-purposed old coated copper wire to jump electric fence across the road. I have also used left over 3/4in PVC pipe to bury the electric fence line in a gate opening. That way both sides of the fence stay electrified even if the electric gate is down or disconnected. Finally, I have used old garden hose as electric fence insulators in a pinch. On the barb wire front I used to get pretty creative at piecing old rusty wire together that if you sneezed wrong it would break. I have found that it is easier on my time to just put a new strand up, take the old strand off, roll it up into a wreath shape, and use them as Christmas decorations.
In closing, when it’s 10:30 at night and normal businesses are closed and the 9-5ers are asleep dreaming, cows get out, and farmers get really good at practicing the 3 R’s when it comes to fencing. Better yet, put them in the barn, go back to sleep, and deal with it in the morning. Happy Grazing!