Keeping your livestock safe – whether KuneKunes or other livestock – is of grave importance. We are their safe keepers. Keeping them in their environment and predators out is a commitment, we, as the head of the herds, take very seriously. Being able to afford new fencing and buildings can be quite expensive. We have had to be very “creative” in making our environment safe and cost effective.
In this blog entry, we will share with you what has worked for us as alternatives to the normal type of housing and fencing. When we were first getting into raising KuneKunes and doing our “homework,” a breeder told me to “Put up the best, strongest fence that you can afford.” Those words have stuck with me from the beginning. It was great advice.
The fencing alone can be expensive but, when you add in the poles, insulators and all the other hardware, it can really add up. I must give total credit to my husband, who came up with fencing using pallets. They are strong and tough. It creates a very rustic look and it appealed to me as we are surrounded by woods and are in the country. We have used not only regular pallets through the woods but, you can also get pallets that have a space between the boards making it look like a regular wooden fence.
We have also used cattle field fencing in areas that I wanted to be able to see into easily and also for the animals to be able to see out as well. With Kunes, they can push under a fence with their strong snouts fairly easily, and to solve that we have nailed dead trees to the bottom making it impossible to pick them up. Other than for firewood what other purpose can these be used for after all.
KuneKunes are grazing livestock animals, and they enjoy pasture and woods where they can forage for plants, acorns, stems and such. Those pallets that were less than pretty going through the woods tend to blend into the surroundings and are not as noticeable. One nice thing is you can nail those pallets to the trees and to each other for stronger fence and less cost. We usually have to add very few poles when including the natural surroundings of the woods. In the areas that we needed poles, it was very easy to break down a pallet and use those strong boards for poles in the areas not surrounded by woods. We have even used the dead trees for poles but, over the years, we have found that they need replacing more often than the boards from the pallets.
So where do you get all those pallets? My husband works near a building supply company where he stopped one day and asked them what they did with all those pallets. They were happy to give them to him and tell him any time the pallets are out there to stop by and pick them on up. They were surprised to hear what we were doing with them. It did take time to accumulate the pallets, but my husband drove by every day and picked them up whenever he saw them. Once we use them, we paint them with a barn red deck stain to help protect them.
My husband once built a chicken coop all out of pallets. That inspired him to do our pig houses that are in every area that we have fenced in for the pigs/piglets. He is able to put up strong, sturdy sides, a roof and a floor. Now the sides do have to have plywood nailed to them to get it draft free. We also put a tarp over the top to help keep it water free and a runner (walk-on mat used to protect carpeting) over the entrance to the pig house. It keeps it draft free in the winter and keeps the rain from blowing in the rest of the year. It is bedded down with lots of hay!
We do, of course, have a barn and two nurseries that our farrowing quarters are in as well. We will save that for another blog. I hope you enjoyed this article and that maybe it has inspired you to consider some alternative, cost-effective ways to fence and house your livestock.
Here at Virginia KuneKunes we take our role very seriously. I hope you are enjoying our blogs and will visit us at our farm or website. We have breeding pairs that are carefully selected for diversity and breed characteristics available as well as homestead breeders and pets available at this time.