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Stocking Up on Stock Panels

| 1/6/2012 2:08:26 PM

Suzanne HeadshotStock panels are one of those common things universally found on nearly every farm across America. They come in several heights and lengths of varying wire placement marketed as goat panels, sheep panels, cattle panels, and so forth. These panels are usually used for either temporary or permanent fencing to keep livestock contained. We have a permanent catch pen assembled from wood posts, t-posts, and stock panels as I am sure many of you do.

  Stock Panels for Stock 

This past year has found us with a long list of improvements needed a short supply of dollars to accomplish it all. Our first year here on the farm did not go entirely as planned. Just a few months after moving here we found ourselves in quit a situation. Within a 30 day period Andrew was laid off of his job of seven years, I found out we were expecting our third child, and we went from the owners of six chickens to the owners of 50 head of assorted livestock housed in temporary quarters while we fenced our unimproved land. It was time for some serious money crunching, and some good old fashioned country ingenuity!

While walking through Tractor Supply one day with our notepad and pen gathering prices for all of our assorted needs, an idea struck. Looking back, we are really not sure who first had the idea. It was one of those moments you see on the cartoons, where two characters look at each other and suddenly a light bulb pops up on screen. We had purchased a hay rack the previous week for $39.99, but it was only big enough to service one of our three pens holding hay-eating livestock. We needed at least two more, but didn’t have enough left in our monthly budget to purchase them. While standing there outside the store staring at the stock panels on sale, we knew exactly what to do! So we loaded up an extra twenty foot long stock panel for the sale price of $18.99 and headed home.

Andrew got straight to work when we got home. He started by cutting the twenty foot panel into four sections. Each section was then bent into the same shape as our other hay rack, think rectangular bowl shape only open on one end. The ends were filed down so they were not sharp, and several of the exposed bars were bent into hooks. These hooks were what hung the rack onto the fencing. These hay racks may not be as pretty, but they hold nearly double the capacity at a cost of $4.75 each! They can also easily be attached to a barn wall, and can be molded to fit inside the corners of stalls if necessary.

 Stock Panel Hay Rack 

1/11/2012 1:48:03 AM

Don't forget duct tape. With just those five things you can do anything!

1/8/2012 3:59:56 PM

What is that they say Dave about necessity breeding creativity? That's for sure! I'm very lucky to be married to a guy who can fix just about anything. He's a mason by trade, and builds barns, fencing, and other structures on the side. Between the two of us, we can always think of some new idea to accomplish something. Even if it isn't always the most traditional method. LOL. But hey, it works! Hope all is going well in your neck of the woods!

1/8/2012 2:36:11 PM

Suzanne, I see that you're acquiring that homestead creative get-by-with-what-you-can-afford mentality. That's a crucial to success on the homestead. You are off to a good start. Keep those creative thoughts going. Have a great day on the homestead.

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