Fixing a fence is a great excuse to get out and walk — or ride — around your land. I like to begin with the perimeter fences for the simple reason that these barriers keep my critters in and my neighbor’s mongrel bull out.
The first things I look for are any broken wires or wires supporting newly-fallen tree limbs. If there’s a wire down due to a fresh tree-fall, I’ll do what I need to do to remove it (sometimes even trudge back to the shop to get a chainsaw). With the limb out of the way you can easily assess the damage and make it right.
When I’m short on time, I’ll sight down long stretches of farm fencing and look for any posts that are akimbo that weren’t akimbo before. When your posts are as old as mine are, it’s not unusual to find some freshly broken off, thanks to an overzealous attempt by a cow to grab some tender morsels of grass on the other side of the fence.
Yes, the grass is always greener and more delicious just out of reach.
If the fence isn’t physically down, I’ll hold off on replacing posts until I have plenty of time. If the fence is on the ground — well, then “when I have plenty of time” is right now!
Walking farm fences is a great way to get a little fresh air, do something useful and keep your animals secure all at the same time. And if all that invigoration doesn’t make you sleep better at night, the peace of mind surely will.
Watch the full episode! Hanks shares hints like these in each episode of Tough Grit. Visit Tough Grit online to view this episode and many more. The farm fencing tips above appeared in Episode 10, “Time to Mend Your Ways.”
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.