Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thinking like a farmer...

I think it's starting, and we haven't even moved in yet. I'm starting to equate expenses in farm costs. We had an unexpected bill for $900. The first thought that pops into my head is, "That could buy the fencing." We had to buy a plane ticket to bring our son up (which I'm glad to do) and I thought, "That's a goat or two." My econ teacher never talked about this method...

Speaking of fence, I need some suggestions. I am planning (key word 'planning') on having goats, chickens, maybe a mini donkey and a couple sheep. Anyone who knows me would say I should plan on fencing for elephants because my lists tend to grow... My impulsiveness aside, sticking with the 'real' list, what are your recommendations for fencing? I've been looking at electric netting. It seems to be pretty versatile. I like being able to move it easily if I want my herd to graze somewhere else. Do any of you have experience with it (and I'm hoping it's more than my friends reading this by now because most of them probably didn't realize there were more types of fencing besides chain link and picket)?

Tomorrow will start the 1 week countdown to move-in day. I'm getting very excited. I'm working on getting the 'bucket o' barncats' as OFG suggested. I have a breeder friend holding some Royal Palm poults for me as well as some Ameracauna chicks. I have 40+ seedling trees with their roots loosely covered with soil. I purchased these from the Soil and Water Conservation District. They are all native species, and most of them are some type of fruit, nut, or berry. One group is specifically for riparian areas (pussy willow, osier dogwood, etc.). I'm going to have a very busy first week.

I'm taking a couple weeks of work for my move-cation. I know it will be busy, but I think it's going to be more relaxing than any vacation. I'm just about to burst from the excitement of moving to MY OWN farm (and Chad's). Stay tuned for updates.


P.S. If anyone had told me twenty years ago that TSC would be my favorite shopping destination, they would have received a look of death as I dashed off to the mall. Funny how time changes us.


  1. I'm so glad you came to visit me. I'd recommend no fences--wide open spaces for goats to browse forever and ever. That would be a dream come true. You might like my human's blog (http://edenhills.wordpress.com). She would give you more of a human perspective about farming. She thinks my ideas are way too goatie.

  2. Millie,
    I think I would love to live in a goatie world ;-)

  3. there are people who cant believe its been more than 9 months since i last set foot in Nordstroms. smell ya later personal shopper! all's i want now is someone at the TSC who can tell me where the teat wipes are! whooot!

  4. hey there triple J ; )

    Just got some electric netting from Premier One. I'm using it to keep the wolves, er, dogs away from the hens. It will also be used to rotate sheep through larger fenced pastures. My main fences were built to keep out the feral pigs so they are about four feet tall, hog wire, with a strand of barbed wire running along the bottom to keep them from trying to grub their way through. The barbed strand runs along the top of the fence in a few places to keep neighboring animals from leaning on it. The hog wire is supported by 6 inch wood posts every thirty feet alternating with galvanized t-posts every 10 feet. We are building some interior fences now but we'll be using goat/sheep wire. Openings are a lil smaller, sposed to keep the little lambie heads from getting caught in the pukas.

    It's good to think about gates when you build your permanent fence lines. How wide (tractor width, fire engine width) , where, swing into or out of the wind? (like do you want the gate blowing into your car as you drive by), etc. Are u planning to get in and out of your vehicle every time you open the gate or are you considering a gate opener? If you are thinking about a gate opener then you'll need to decide how you will get power to it. We have one on our main gate only, a Mighty Mule. We love it.

    So what do i think about the Premier One netting? Well, it works. And one person can easily install the fencing in a few minutes. But it doesn't just slip into my hard clay soil, i needed a mallet. And the step-in posts they said i needed to purchase to support the corners are way too bendy. In fact now they tell me that the netting is really only designed for straight runs, not pens. Guess they didn't think to mention that when i was asking them for a product recommendation before i placed my order. I'm having trouble keeping the fence taut and the wind has its way with this netting. They offered to exchange the e-net for a different type of net with plastic struts every foot or so but with the cost of shipping... I'll probably try the other product next time i need a roll. But it does work. And shipping was very prompt.

    So i'm probably boring you by now! Don't usually leave such long comments but i've been thinking a lot about fences lately ; ) Good luck with things.