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Fence Experts Needed

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by firechicken, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I were going to make a 4' high t-post fence, how long of t-posts would I need, how far in the ground should they go and finally how far apart would the posts need to be? I was thinking about something like a general purpose field fence or something similar. Any more info you think I might need would be appreciated as well. [​IMG]
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll need 5' t-posts. They're made to be embeded 1' only. You can get away with 10' spacing on the t-posts.

    HOWEVER, your fence won't be great for holding livestock. You really need wooden h-braces at all the corners, then a wood post about every 4th post along the line. T-posts are cheap, but won't hold much load being pushed againts or over them.
     
  3. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used this book to build my woven wire goat fence, like a field fence but even 4 x 4 squares. It will answer all your questions and ones that you haven't thought of yet!

    [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/Fences-Pasture-Garden-Gail-Damerow/dp/088266753X

    It was a really good guide and explains how to make corner braces and how deep to set the posts and all that. You have to stretch field fence and have good braced corners for it to be sturdy. It's worth taking time to do it right! How far apart the T posts are and how deep they need to be depends on what your soil is like, how level the ground is, what you are keeping in, ect.
     
  4. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 11, 2007
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    Thanks guys, the help is appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I have that book, too. The only thing I did wrong was run out and buy a post hole digger. Where I live, you can just push posts into the ground with the front loader on the tractor. We have pretty wet soil. :0
     
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Quote:Can't do that in Georgia red clay, it can literally be like a brick, post hole diggers are a must here.
     
  7. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You ain't kidding rooster, even with a post hole digger I had one helluva time digging the holes for the chicken pen. I would have to dig a little then fill the hole with water and let it sit awhile. It made the clay heavier to dig out but at least it broke it up some.

    Anyone know how to keep the fence tight while installing it?
     
  8. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When pulling out fence tight we wrapped the end around a 2 X 4 and then used two "come alongs" attached to a tree to ratchet it tight and then attached the fence. We don't have a tractor but some folks use a tractor to tension a fence although it is very dangerous because you can over tension it (always a danger of something snapping if you pull it too tight!!!). I will admit there were a few spots that we didn't have a convenient tree to loop the come alongs too and we attached the fence to our Blazer and pulled it tight that way.

    There is a tool called a "wire fence tensioner" that you can use too, you have to engineer your fence so that you have two pieces of wire together.

    Our Iowa soil is soft and fluffy, so we had not too much trouble digging the holes for the wooden posts by hand. I used 6 foot metal T posts and put them in 18 inches, leaving 6 inches above the fence because we may want to run an additional wire at the top one day.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:T-posts are good for holding lightweight fence material up off the ground, but they are very flimsy if there is much sideways pull on them, as you'd get at a corner or with wind load or with livestock leaning ont he fence. Even if this fence will only experience chickens, not four-legged stock or dogs, it WILL catch significant wind load unless you are in a very sheltered area *and* you keep the weeds and grass totally cut down along it.

    So put in some wooden posts here and there within the straight runs of fence as well, as another poster suggested. In a windy location with a weedy fence you may want to go as much as one T-post then one wooden the one T-post etc... you can do more T-posts in a row if you don't get much wind. Some kinds of larger stock can be kept from leaning on fences by a couple of electric wires stood off from the posts, but only if you have a *reliable* charger and install it the rightw ay.

    No matter where your fence is, you for sure need wooden posts at all the corners and ends (e.g. at gate openings). Otherwise your fence will almost immediatly start to sag and fall.

    For a 4' fence, get 6' posts and put them 18"-2' into the ground (go deeper for your wooden corner etc posts, and brace those well). It's not any harder than putting them in only a foot -- just a couple extra whams with the, er, T-post whammer-in-er tool (you know the one I am talking about?) and it really *does* give you a sturdier fence in my experience.

    If this is all sounding expensive <g> try local farm auctions for used heavy-duty T posts and fenceposts... often you can get 'em with years and years worth of 'life' left in them for a whole lot less than you would pay new.

    good luck,

    Pat, in the process of rebuilding/relocating one of the horse fences right now, as luck would have it.
     

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