“Fences make great neighbors.”
Every heard that one? Ever chased your cow, pig, goat, or sheep out of your neighbor’s yard? If you’ve kept animals (or lived next to them), you can appreciate that wisdom.
We’ve built a lot of fences. We’ve chased a lot of animals. It’s a good FarmFit exercise. Lots of cardio. Especially if throwing things and screaming at the top of your lungs is included. Muck boots and mud will increase the level of fitness you achieve dramatically. Plus, you get good psychological training by exercising all your anger management skills. Lack of good fences has benefits.
Still, we prefer to choose our exercise. And there are enough other things on the homestead farm to challenge your anger management and problem-solving skills, putting unwilling animals back in doesn’t have to be one of them.
How do I know this? Ha! We’ve chased goats back off the neighbor’s hay field just before he wanted to cut hay. (Then we discovered they HATE bottle rockets! Just a nifty tip to keep in mind if you have goats.) We’ve tried to get pigs off our own hay field where the big old sow was busy playing “one bottom plow” with her nose. We’ve spent a day locating our goats, who turned up a quarter mile away, again in a neighbor’s hay field. Nothing gets me excited like seeing a milk cow in the middle of my garden! And nothing empties the house faster than the yell, “The pigs/cows are out!” Yep, we’ve been there, done that. And do our best NOT to travel that road again.
We have two key fence ingredients now that are indispensable: woven wire field fence and electric fence. Mark is working on a video series that will be out soon so you can learn exactly how to make a good, solid, will last till the tractor hits it corner post. You can also learn from his years of experience the easiest way to stretch the wire. You can also see how to set up an electric back up for keeping in cows, sheep, pigs. Maybe even goats. These are all homestead skills that every good pasture-based farmer needs to have. And since grandpa can’t or isn’t able to teach you, Mark will.
Here’s a bit on fencing pigs from our older videos (check them out on YouTube):