Saturday, November 22, 2014

Odd bird

The other morning I noticed this bird out in the hayfield.  It was out there for quite a while just standing there.  Daisy, who was in and out of the house that morning, never noticed it.  Or maybe the bird's size gave her pause about going after it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Final miscellaneous fence build stuff

After more than a week of temperatures that have stayed below freezing it looks like my fence rebuilding is over for the year.  The ground is definitely frozen solid.

All told, for my various fence re-buildings in 2014, I put in 41 railroad ties as posts.  I swapped two gates with two different gates and put in four more gates. I rebuilt 600 ft of the fence along the road, and about 132 ft along the southern border when I put the corner posts and gate in that fence.

I used a good number of my salvaged boards on my corral rebuild.  I collected these boards over the years and the piles were a mish-mash of lengths, widths and thicknesses. I spent a fair amount of time looking for the right boards - no sense cutting boards to length when I may have the right sized board in a pile somewhere.

As you can see I have also accumulated lots of barb wire.  My old fences were 3 or 4 strands and my rebuilt fences are 6 strands so I have need of barb wire for the extra strands and to replace the strands that are old, rusted and brittle.

Daisy 'helped' me with many of the railroad ties.  What a cat!

There is plenty of fence to rebuild next year!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Split corral fence rebuild

Once I finished rebuilding the corral's perimeter fence I started rebuilding the fence that splits the corral.  As you can see below the fence needed a lot of work.

I only got a little of the fence done before other chores/events took me away from fence work.  I did get the hard part of the fence done as I put in two gates, one at each end.  The old fence between the barn and the west corral fence did not have any gates. The only way between the two sides of the corral was via a gate east of the barn.  Now, with three gates herding the cattle between the two sides is so much easier.  Especially when the cattle want to stay on the west side of the corral.

I had hoped to get back to completing the fence this year but the recent cold weather put an end to that as the ground is frozen very solid.  In the meantime I am using corral panels to make a fence for the 60 ft I have left to fence.

In the time between completing the south corral fence and starting this fence, I got a few more log cuttings from the timber framing company.  I wish I had more of these exact log cuttings as, even though Tammy didn't like them, I think they look so cool.

The back side of the log cuttings.

I put in a gate at the west side of the fence.

When I took apart the old fence I had a few nails that were very hard to get out of the post.

Here you see why these nails were so hard to remove: long and ribbed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

South corral fence rebuild

This past Spring, after I completed the west corral fence rebuild, I continued on and rebuilt the south corral fence.  This was a longer section of fence with 17 railroad ties and a gate.  The old south corral fence fence was straighter than the west corral fence so I ended up taking the old fence down as I rebuilt the new fence.  I kept the cattle on the north side of the corral so I didn't have to deal with them as I rebuilt the fence. 

I didn't have any log-like boards left to make my fence look "ghetto".  Tammy actually came out several afternoons and kept me company as I built the fence, and usually helped me when I needed an extra hand with longer boards.  Of course Daisy 'helped' me too every day.

While I had fixed this section of the fence earlier, it is an example of why I needed to upgrade my fence.

How the old fence looked when I started the rebuild.

 After the rebuild. A more solid fence.



This fence should last a long time.

The yellow rope kept my fence straight.

When digging holes for railroad ties I dug up an old chain.

I also dug up the remnants of an old tree stump.  Western Larch tree.

I put a gate in the fence.  Here I am drilling a hole in the railroad tie for the gate's latch.

The gate and the hole for the latch.

Beulah's newborn calf decided to lay nearby while I gathered railroad ties for the fence.  This made Beulah nervous which made me nervous.

When moving the railroad ties a mouse jumped out and ran under the pile of ties. I called for Daisy and she ran over. The mouse got away.

But then Daisy found the nest the mouse had built out of grass and cattle hair. Daisy started to pounce up and down on the nest and tearing at it.  Huh?   Then she uncovered baby mice.  They didn't survive.

Tammy sat in the chair a few days to watch me work on the fence.  Sometimes Daisy sat in the red feeder to watch me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

West corral fence rebuild

Way back the end of April I rebuilt the west side of the corral fence.  Over the years I had amassed enough railroad ties and boards for the rebuild.  The old chain link fence wasn't cutting it anymore, especially since the one horse would push on a number of posts to scratch her butt and cause the posts to lean out.  And, as I planned on getting a bull, I needed a more substantial fence for when I needed it to hold him.

Here is how the corral fence looked this Spring:

The old west corral fence angled outward and wasn't in line with the west corral fence for the loading corral.  This made the rebuild job a little easier as the new fence would be just inside the old fence and I could rebuild the fence while the cattle were still inside the corral.

The pile of rocks were what I had dug out of the ground when digging holes for the railroad ties.

I had to deal with curious cattle.

I put in 12 railroad ties as new posts for the rebuilt fence.  The fence is taller at about 6 ft.  This should discourage any cattle from getting a crazy idea about trying to jump over the fence.

For some of the boards I used cast-off wood from a business that does timber framing for traditional home-building. These were rounded parts of logs they had cut off.   I thought they looked appropriate for my corral fence and wished I had more of these boards for my fence.  Tammy didn't like these log-like boards and she told me they made my corral fence look "ghetto", and that she was looking forward to hear what my Uncles Curt and Larry had to say about my fence as she was sure they would agree with her and criticize my fence.

My "ghetto" fence

In the corner where the west fence meets the south fence I tried to 'notch' the boards a little bit  where they met so each line of boards were roughly the same level as I couldn't make them the exact same level.  I am not a fan of fences where each section's boards are nailed above or below the previous section's boards. That doesn't make for a 'smooth' even line of boards, and to me looks visually sloppy.

The only help I got from Tammy on the west fence was when, after I asked, she helped hold the long log-like boards so I could nail them and have them be straight.  Daisy spent every day 'helping' me as you can see in the video and the photos in the following link.

I have 20 more photos from the rebuild, mainly of the cattle and Daisy.

A short video of Daisy 'helping' me while I built the fence: