A New Pig Yard

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on making a new space for next year’s pigs, as I want to use their current yard eventually for cattle. I dug new posts and set up the fencing so that by spring time it will be ready for new animals. We had an old horse trailer kicking around the farm not doing anything. It was well beyond repair, so I used it to make a shelter for the pigs. Now that this yard is set up we are hopefully more ready to take on the spring rush…

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fencing the garden

One of our projects this year is putting in a fence around our veggie garden. We thought that a fence may help in keeping our garden protected from any rabbits, deer or the occasional wayward dog that may happen to visit. With our new fence plan underway, we also decided to reconfigure the garden beds, making them easier to rotate in a condensed layout. No more sprawling rows in the field, just a nice easy to manage plot all in one area! Stay tuned – Spring is busy 🙂

rwood2013gardn

Division Day

Today proved to be an ideal day to split our boys from the girls! I checked on the pigs this morning to see how they were doing, and they were fast asleep in the open barn. Funny thing was, both males were together in one pen and both females were together in another pen – perfect timing, pigs! I had been thinking that we should split them up before they get any older, and now they had already done the job for me! I then spent the rest of the day in the pouring rain making a division line that splits up the main yard in half. Took down the tall weeds, added posts & wire, hooked it up and then released the pork! They were a bit confused at their new situation, but very excited at the same time to explore their new paddock. This division line will now make it easier to rotate the animals within our yard and keep the vegetation available and fresh as they graze it down.

Fence Testing

I decided to splurge on a nice fence tester as I feel it is an item that I will probably be using very frequently to check the effectiveness of our electric lines. The digital units are great, as they show you a precise unit of voltage, rather than the cheaper models that only show an approximate display of volt strength. I have already used this one over and over, even to solve a shorting issue before our animals have arrived! I’m also glad I installed plenty of grounding for our fence, as we are close to bedrock here, and also have plenty  frozen ground in the winter. One of the secrets to a good strong fence is its grounding system, and with the digital volt meter I can quickly see if we have good grounding or any shorting over the system. Horray for digital display 🙂

Barnyard Update: Fence project completed

Last week I completed the final steps to make the yard fully enclosed and ready for our new arrivals. All the electric lines and gates are functioning well and ready for action. I can’t believe what a warm winter we have had so far –  I don’t think I would have finished this project in time if I were working knee deep in snow. I am very curious to see if this fence will contain the new livestock! Stay tuned to see what happens when they arrive! 🙂

Barnyard Update: Phase 3 Complete

What a lucky week (or two) I’ve had with this mild February weather! I’ve managed to get all of the electric fence lines stretched and ready for final hookup! It’s been quite an intensive project so far, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment now that the final stages are near. One thing that I really enjoyed in this l phase of the fence construction was making all of the wire connections for all of the insulators that join the fence together. My favourite tool was an old broken drill bit that I made into a wire bender! A very simple old piece of steel, but I used it over and over again to join wire, and it worked better than I could have imagined. Another great tool I got my hands on was a “Spinning Jenny” to help hold the wire spool as I unravelled it down the lines. It made short work out of a task that could have taken much longer. The last steps to final hookup are next! I can’t wait until this project is finished and our new animals arrive!

Barnyard update: Electrifying Preparations

Gates and insulators are now installed..yes!! Now onto the task of getting electric power across the gates so I can open them without interrupting the electric fence.
In the picture below you can see I have dug a trench from one side of the gate to the other. This will be for an underground wire to carry the power to the fence. Not the straightest trench I’ve dug, but hey –  I’ve learned that it’s easier to work with mother nature rather than against her… rock isn’t the most forgiving material 🙂 plus I think it looks rather artistic, no?

Barnyard Update – Phase 1 Complete

Yes! I finally have all wood posts into the earth now, as phase one of my barnyard project is now done. It has been a rough month for Farmer John but I think the hardest part of the job is now finished. This morning I completed the H-bracing portions by notching the posts and setting the horizontal parts into them. Next up will be getting the wire and stretching it for phase two. Phase three will be the final gates, hardware, and electric perimeter.. Stay tuned..  🙂

Barnyard Update

I’ve been digging like a Gopher all this week and have almost completed the perimeter of our barnyard in fence poles.. only a few more until its done! Next will be laying out the wire and planning the electric lines of the fence for Springtime!