Fences Are Good People


I’ve been pondering and planning on fences a lot lately. In the good news department, the goats and dogs are in and have been in for five days straight. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I think we’ve got this field whipped!
Maia’s not happy about it.
The new goats are warming up to me, by the way. And catching on. Now they run for the gate when they see me coming. They know I bring good stuff.
When I first moved here, I had to put a lot of attention to repairing and refencing current pastures. Quite a bit of fencing repairs have had to be done this spring, also. This is par for the course. Winter storms mean a lot of trees down on fences, and when it’s time to get the animals back to the fields, it’s time to fix them. But I’ve also been thinking about new fencing. Such as this little triangle area across the road, which connects to the field across the road.
There were existing fence posts, but no wire on the posts. Up to now, it’s an area I’ve had mowed. The total mowing time for this property for areas outside fencing (including time spent weedeating) is 20 hours. Let me say that again–20 HOURS. By the time the mowing is finished, it’s time to start again.
There’s no good reason to be mowing this area. (As you can see, I’ve been using it as a car lot, but that will change.)
I’ve got Robbie and Rodney, my hired men, putting wire on those fence posts. Soon as I get a gate on the field, I’ll open it up to the other field and let the cows do the mowing from now on. Since it’s a small connecting field and right next to the road, it will also make a good place to set up a chute for loading animals when needed. But wait, there’s more! There’s also a large area between the two access roads on the farm that has to be mowed.
You guessed it, this area is next on the list to be fenced.
Then the cows will mow that, too. (Yes, I have to leave access open to the access roads. That will be taken care of.) And then there’s the actual yard areas around the house and studio. Which are TOO MUCH.
I will also be fencing out part of the yard so I can let the goats mow it. All together, I hope to cut the mowing time on this property in half. Since I’m getting ready to take over as much of the mowing and weedeating here myself this year as I can–with my new weedeater and new self-propelled key-start mower–I’m all about reducing the mowing and providing more grass for the animals.
Fences–and hired men–are good people.

P.S. Always remember, and never forget, the best kind of man is a hired man.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 21, 2014  

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4 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-21

    I want your postscript cross-stitched on a pillow.

    And I love mowing, but even I think 20 hours is excessive! Of course I also have a riding mower, I hate push-mowing.

  2. 4-21

    Sounds like a great plan to reduce the mowing. We often put fencing around what we don’t want eaten and let the goats “mow” the lawn here. But we aren’t as exposed to the road as you are.

    Have you considered turning any of the areas on your farm in to hay fields? Even you don’t have the equipment to do hay yourself, you may be able to hire someone to do it for you for less than you buy it.

  3. 4-22

    I hope that last remark about hired men isn’t indicative of anything!

    Our experience has been that not even some hired men are very good……

    It is a good idea to cut down mowing time and extend your grazing area. It is such a wastes of time, gas and feed, to mow good grass.

  4. 4-22

    Mama always said “good fences make for good neighbors.”

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