New Fencing…


This is our front pasture.   Usually, it holds our male stud animals, like rams and bucks.  We made the mistake of using really old fencing in this area.  Hey, it was free!   But we learned pretty quickly that rusty old fence is brittle and all it takes is a determined sheep to lean or push on it and it can break.   We tried repairing it, wiring it up, adding the slab wood sub fence and even using boards and more fence…  well, it was a loosing battle!  So we pulled everyone out of there in the fall and let it lay fallow for awhile until we got some decent spring weather and could start to rehab it.


First things first, we had to go and remove all the old fencing.  It’s slow and tedious…  we worked with a pair of bolt cutters and just snipped and pulled and undid the old fencing mess.   Maggie has been out for the count with a bad cold so it was just Jessy and I.  She did most of the undoing, while I picked up the pasture of sticks and trash and bits of this and that.  It’s amazing what accumulates in 5 or 6 months of vacancy.  Being close to the road, people just love to toss trash out.  Very annoying.  DSC_0140

Nice and tidy!   Just their favorite old recliner to lounge on.   And yes, they do.  After all, it’s a manfield.  They do like to hang out on the old chair.  (It’s broken, and we were going to just burn it, but for fun we sat it out there two years ago…  and it’s really still looking just fine! Crazy!)


I also rolled up the old fence for disposal.  It’s really pretty heavy, even old and rusty!


Jessy being a goofball.   It was sure nice to be out in the sunshine!   That was part of the awesome nature of working outside in the spring, it feels so good!


We removed this old gate from the western side of the pasture, where we had tried to block up a major hole.   No more need of that!   Now we are going to use it to make a nice proper gate for this pasture.  Previously, we had been just undoing part of the fence and that was not very convenient.



The last few snips!  Yah!   We did all the removal in one day.   It took a few hours and we were ready to take a break.   We are careful in the spring not to overdo it.   It’s so easy to get the first nice day and try and do a month’s work in a day.   You always pay for it when you do.  Besides, we didn’t have the big roll of new fence yet!


So Friday, we went to Angola, Indiana, which is really only about 30 minutes away, to go to the Rural King store there.   We like Rural King, it’s like a farm supply Walmart!  Fun to look around in.  They just have so much more stuff than Tractor Supply.   We like TSC too, but Rural King is kind of a treat for us!   (And we wanted to get some new chicks too!  Another post…)

We got a 330 foot roll of field fence.  After all the fencing we have done and much we have failed at, the one best fence is Red Brand Field Fence.  It’s tough, sturdy, relatively good priced and has yet to fail us.   Everything else has.  We won’t buy anything else anymore.   It’s just a waste of money and the chance of loosing livestock.  DSC_0159

Our decorative wood slab fence had to be dismantled.   We will put it back together in a bit.  It really was just for fun but we like the look.  However, this day’s work was to get a nice strong pasture up.  We were going to alter the fence line here just a bit.   It used to swing over to the edge of the garage.   But that was a bit of a mistake.   Because then, if we wanted to get a truck into the back we had to open up two sections of fence.  By diverting the garage a bit, we could keep this pasture intact and just open up one section of fence if we needed to get a truck in the back.   Its not often, but it would be convenient for hay delivery or say to load up livestock when sold.


So we had to set new posts for this change and we used these super sturdy old stop sign posts that we have from some friends.   They are about 8 foot tall and we sink them easily 2 or more feet into the ground.   They are SO hard to pull out…  and super sturdy for fencing.  I wish we could get more, but alas, that well has dried up.   Still, we have about 10 left and have plans to use them in the back for a paddock expansion!   (Another project… another post)


Once we were done with the fence, we brought Harley up to his new digs.   He was mostly happy about the baby grass to nibble.  We had to finish wiring up the gate but he was uninterested in our efforts.   He was much more interested in checking out his new home.


Buttercup came in for a visit and to share a little bit of his hay.  We had a hay feeder for him that hung on the middle yard fence of his pasture.   That was a mistake.   Because the goats, especially, would come and climb on the fence, on the middle yard side, and try and steal his hay.  They all but mangled that fence!  So we removed the feeder and Maggie is making him a new stand alone feeder, something that we can just toss a flake in, but the goats can not reach.  So for a day or two, he will have to just make a mess and eat off the ground.  He didn’t seem to mind at all.


Yeah!  A nice proper gate for his pasture.   I just love when we can upgrade an enclosure or fix something that is just not working as nicely as we want.   This was wonderful.  Jessy thinks we might have to add a wee bit of tighter fence to the bottom of the gate when the lambs are born so they don’t climb through.   She’s probably right.  But that won’t be too hard.  I want to paint it first to try and stop a little of the rust and just make it look nicer.


Our friend Justin came over to help us with the fence!   He’s such a nice young man.  We so appreciate it!  He also brought over this cute little bridge that he had for sale and we struck a trade for it!   I’m so tickled.   If you remember, when we first moved here, we had this little old white bridge there…  but it was so old and rotting and pretty quickly, fell apart.   It was so darling there.   When I saw that he had this little Amish built bridge for sale, I knew it just would be perfect!  We’re going to get a little can of boat varnish to seal it all in good and hopefully keep it for years to come.  I can’t wait to see the little lambs play on the bridge!   Buttercup likes it…  she hates to get her feet dirty in the little creek.


Oh, look!   The first spring flowers of the year!   They are poking up in a few places.   We don’t have many spring flowers, so it’s nice to see these doing well.  A few tulips and some hyacinths…  Next fall I want to plant a zillion spring bulbs all over.  We missed out this last fall, but I’m going to try hard to get it done this year.   Spring flowers are just so beautiful after a long winter!


Justin likes to scrap metal so we were happy for him to take all the old fence and few other odds and ends!   Yes!   One of our goals this year is to just get the place rid of anything that is not working.   We still have some leftover junk from the previous owners but then we have a good deal of things that we have accumulated as well.   Mostly things that just did not stand up to rural living.  Or stuff we dragged home from the side of the road because we thought they could be useful.   Or stuff that others have given us because they thought we might be able to use.   Some stuff, we have used.   But other things, well, they just kind of hang around and we are just ready to be done with them.  We’re getting down to the last few loads I think.   Pretty soon, our village has a free dumpster week.   They bring in a big rolloff container and you can spring clean all sorts of big things and odds and ends.   We love that.   I plan to make many trips over and dump junk.

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It’s a little hard to see, but now we have more parking, and we will probably park the van over there in that little alleyway next to the pasture fence and the garage.  Just sort of tucked away until we need him.  We can park about 6 to 7 cars in the driveway pretty easily, but sometimes when we are doing work or have a party, it can get a little tight.   So opening up this area really helps.   Tomorrow, the girls and I are going to rake and clean up the area a bit more.  On the back side of the garage is a trash pile that just needs to be cleaned up and made pretty.   DSC_0172Harley watching what Jess is doing with the decorative fence rails.   He is a good boy, really.   We always keep a good watch on him, though, because he is a strong, full grown ram.  He may look a little small, but he packs a powerful punch.   If you saw him smack a tree, you would know what I mean.  He has been being a little rough on the ewes in the back paddock, just pushing and shoving them, head butting if he feels they are in his spot at the feeder.   Since they are just a month away from delivering, it was time to get him out of there.  He was used to being alone for the most part last year, so we are hoping he will like the chance again.  He seemed pretty content to spend the afternoon there, nibbling grass, watching traffic, eating his hay and relaxing.   He even took a little nap in the sunshine, chewing his cud and content.

However, come evening, he started to get a little agitated.  Jessy and I were working on my big rug loom and could watch him.  He paced a little, pushed on the fence in the few of the places that the old fence was weak…   He sized up the fence and tried to step on it a bit and push under it.   It held tight.   On the three sides that we replaced.   Well, darn it all, he finally decided that he wanted to be back with the flock and in a section of the old fence that divides this pasture and the middle yard, he pushed it down and lept over like some Grand Prix horse.  Got his back foot caught a bit, but tugged it free.  (points off his round, you know…)  And then he went back to the paddock and began trying to figure out how to get in there with everyone.  Darn it.  The girls went and let him back in for the night as we began to come up with a few ideas.

Tomorrow, we are going to put him back, only with Angus, our wethered boy sheep, and his momma, Iris, who is older and calm.  Maybe with a little flock of three, he will be content to hang out in the front.  Iris wasn’t bred until about a month after everyone else.   (She wasn’t going to be bred but she had other ideas and managed to get in with the breeding flock!  Sheep!)  So she has a good 6 weeks to 2 months before she delivers, so she is a little less vulnerable to his shoving and pushing.  The plan is to see how they do, as a little trio, and then in a week or two, quietly slip Iris out and back with the ewes and see how the two boys do.  If that works and everyone is content, then eventually we will slip Angus out as well.  Because I like to have Angus back with the flock as their non-breeding protector.   And he teaches the little lambs how to behave.  Plus he’s just a total sweetheart and I would miss having him around to pet and cuddle with.

We have our new breeding ram coming to us in a few months.   He was just born on Friday!!!   He is a beautiful little Finn sheep ram lamb.   He has a brother and a sister and his lovely mom’s name is Beedle.  The little family lives on our friends’ farm, DK Acres.  We wanted to try a year or two of cross breeding Finn and Shetland sheep for some lovely wool combinations.   Many has done so and the results are really lovely spinning wool.  The Finn sheep are close relatives of the Shetland so it’s a good match in size, temperament and hardiness.  One of the fun things about Finn sheep is that they are prone to have litters of lambs!   It’s not unusual for a Finn ewe to have three or four babies!   Like Beedle, she had triplets.   The record is nine babies!!!  Hard to believe, eh?  Now a Finn bred to our Shetland ewes are still not likely to produce lots of babies, but it might increase our twinning rate.  And we are also getting a Finn ewe from DK Acres as well, a little brown yearling girl…  We are on the hunt for good Finnish names for our new pair!

Hopefully, we will be able to keep Harley around…  he has the most beautiful big fleece and he has served us well with two lovely crops of beautiful lambs.   Unfortunately, because we have a small flock, he just can not keep breeding for us, because he’s just too related now.  You can line breed your sheep some, as in breeding sisters to fathers and such, but you don’t want to do that all the time.  So it’s time for him to be retired.  If he doesn’t adjust and learn to just be a happy big old ram boy, then the alternatives are pretty limited for him.  We will do our best to try and make sure he adjusts!   That would be the perfect ending for his story, don’t you think?   We will do the best we can to make his transition easier.   We don’t give up easily!

In the meanwhile…  here is our next little herd sire with his mom and siblings!!  He’s the one on the right with the white hind leg…  Awwwww….



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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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