Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How to put up electric fence.... even if you don't know what you are doing

You might remember my post a while back about "How to put up fence.... even if you don't know what you are doing." Today is Part Two - The Hot Wire Version. 

Setting up new electric fence is as easy as pushing in posts!

Once you have your charger installed moving and adding electric fence is extremely easy. The most important things to know are:

1. Make sure the fence is turned off before you work on it.

2. Go back and double check that the fence is is turned off before you work on it. I'm not kidding.

Someone needs to clear this. Someone who is not me.

The goats did a great job of grazing down the previous area we fenced for them... as well as the area down by the pond. They've been doing such a great job we decided to put them to work on a new area. We have a smallish bramble pile that we are sure is chalk full of downed hardwood trees from last year. But the Impenetrable Jungle grew up before we could get to it. I figure them goats are the perfect men for the job of getting rid of the bramble. Especially since yours truly is once again covered in poison ivy and scratches from the wild rose.

Dahli, loves to clear stuff. She is the right man for the job.

So today I stopped by the Tractor Supply and got 10 push in posts. This entire project cost me about $26 plus supplies on hand. It took about 45 minutes and it only took that long because Zander was giving me cute looks and I had to stop work and keep giving him smooches.

 The only tricky thing was going around this tree. I don't want the goats to kill it.

The only tools I needed were my bare hands and a wire cutters. I used these needle nosed pliers. The steps were very easy.
Only used the pliers. But everyone should have a fence tool like this orange handled one.

First, I determined and cleared a path thru the bramble to run the hotwire fence. I used clippers and then mowed down a little bit of it. The only tricky thing about this project was that I needed to run the fence around an apple tree. I don't want the goats to get to it and eat it.

I cleared a small path. Hey! That's me talking a picture! 

After eyeballing the distance I went along and pushed in the plastic posts. I wanted them about 10 feet apart and closer together to go around the tree. Face the hooks on the posts inside - that's the side where you want your wires to be. 

Just push in the posts with your foot.

After I checked twice so make sure the fence was unplugged, I unhooked the existing hotwires. As luck would have it, the existing fence was connected right were I needed to un-connect it. So I did. I just twisted the existing wires apart. I would have just cut the existing wires if they weren't already twisted together. The great thing about hotwire is that you can just piece sections together. You don't need a single, unbroken line of wire. You just need to make sure your connections are strong.

The old fenceline.

Then I got the hotwire on my fancy wire-unroller (a stick.). I connected the new wire to the old one and strung up the new wire along the new fenceline.

This is the hotwire we use. Note the fancy stick that we use as a spool to unroll the wire.

When I got to the end I cut the new wire and just twisted the old and new wires together and voila! How easy was that?

Easy peasy! Just twist it together and you've made a connection.

After I checked all my connections and made sure there wasn't any bramble or anything touching the hot wires I gathered up my tools and went and plugged the fence back in.

Then the real test. I went and got the goats. If you walk with determination your goats will pretty much follow you anywhere. So I headed down the hill like I was going somewhere great. Pretty soon all those girls were walking right behind me.

Goats at work in the new area.

The goats were a little skeptical when they got to the old fenceline. All of them had gotten zapped a couple times so they were wondering where, exactly, I was leading them. But I called their names and they figured out the old fence was gone...so they came right up to me.

Before you know it - goats at work! It was great! I love it when a plan comes together. I was just about to get some video of the goats happily munching away on the bramble when Dahli started stomping her feet. I turned my head just in time to see...... GROUND BEEZ SWARMING!!!

"GO! GO! GO!" I shouted and ran off doing a Kermit the Frog-like run. I ran. Fast. The goats ran. Fast. Well. Come to think of it. Most of them ran. About half way up the hill I did a head count and we were missing someone.


She ran faster and made it up the hill. Thankfully no one was stung. But I'm going to have to go out there and get rid of that nest.

Anyway. That's how you quickly and easily set up a new section of electric fence. If you don't have the charger set up there are a few more steps. However it's not terribly hard. If you are nervous about working with a charger you can always have someone help you or hire in a pro. But once you have the charger set up creating a new space is very easy.

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you working on electric fencing?


Laura said...

When we ran Spanish goats, their main task was brush clearing, and because I am deadly allergic to poison ivy, those were the pastures they went into first. And they chowed down on that stuff! Unfortunately, fencewire was touching something and I came home one day to goats on top of the cars, in the garden, and on top of a parked canoe. *sigh*

D.Hausmann said...

Great Post! I was expecting to hear about someone (you) getting zapped, but not so. Ground bees can be a problem. I don't mess with them unless they are in the way of my or my animals progress. Just to say I enjoy your Posts a lot. Thanks!

Weekend Cowgirl said...

We have never done any electric fencing, but have been tempted a few times!

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