Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Send you flying? ...

by Simone McPherson

  For the past couple of days we have been building a new fence line – one that the cattle have asked for!  Yes they do, do this if you watch and listen to them
long enough, you will be able to hear what it is that they are wanting – for example; where they like to travel – where they “definitely” do not want to travel and areas of a paddock that they do not go to at all.  

 I have watched this behaviour and in asking El Ranchero about this observation on my findings he confirmed that this is an actual fact - they call it being a “Stockman” though he tells me, that these people are becoming rarer and rarer as time goes by as men; and women no longer can afford to or do not want the life of working on the land with animals and with natures elements.  

So with that in mind, for the past two weeks we have been pulling up an old fence line ...... 

.........and putting in another about 100mtr or so further up the hill - changing the flow of traffic – so to speak .... 

.......and the end is near which is very exciting for us both and I’m sure for the cattle as well. 

 And this thing about “recycling” well I am all for it – but gee! 

........It does entail quite a bit of work and a lot of mucking around to say the least! Especially when you are working with “Barb Wire” ......

.......such a barbaric thing, it is.  It has a mind of its own and attaches itself to anything – plant, human or beast.  I have already ruined a pair of jeans and two work shirts … 

.......not to mention El Rancheros hands, he’s wearing gloves now.  And the pace in which you work with this wire is – very slowly, carefully and methodically or you will get yourself in a mess.

 The only barb wire on this property is the barb that was put up shortly after purchasing this parcel of land as the fencing was virtually non-existent .......

........ actually there were fences but they were about 30 to 50 years old and in total disrepair with no hope of fixing them at all, and they had been designed to keep sheep and not cattle.

 So that is why we have Electric fence lines – they are cleaner, safer, require virtually no maintenance once operating, are more efficient and much more friendlier to both Stock, Native animals and the Feral animals – wild pigs, fallow deer, goats, foxes and wild dogs.

The cattle learn quickly to respect the fence lines.  We use a system of - a three wire for our normal paddocks and a four wire for weaning, as you can imagine.  With the three wire, this allows the calves to go to and fro – they wander, they love to explore things - and they learn quickly to respect the fence line and stay close to their mothers.   

While the Native and Feral animals also learn to respect the fence lines, the space under the last wire allows them to pass between paddocks without damaging the fences and causing grief to themselves.  Which is fantastic for us as there are no constant financial repairs needed to the fence lines that have been wrecked by both Stock and other animals.  It’s a win; win situation, I can vouch for that!

The Electric fence is operational 24/7 and is run by our Solar panels with an occasional boost by the old generator on those days that are cloudy or overcast – the main culprit is our flat-screen digital television – which we run for two to three hours each evening.  The laptops, we use for an hour or so over our lunch break.  

The fence line actually only uses the same power as does an electric light bulb, but you would not want to come in contact with it as it would send you flying!