How to berry posts?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hcammack, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    I am trying to build barry post to make my two chicken yards that will be rotated so my hens have fresh pasture. I was planing on making each yard 10x15 I have 12 hens so that is more than 10sqft per bird and they will get free range for most of the afternoon. These are heavy wooden beams and are over 6ft tall I was planning on using hardware cloth and baring a layer outside the yards. How can a barry them and make them stable without cement? also how far apart can a put them? do I need to buy a post hole digger?

    I will post pics of the posts tommarow,
  2. Mattake2

    Mattake2 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2008
    Cement is... unfortunately... the best answer. I didn't like my first couple of experiences with the stuff either but I've come to learn that it's worth the extra effort & expense. In most climates, wood buried underground will begin to rot only 28 months after being exposed to soil. The higher the humidity, the faster the deterioration.

    In Missouri... it's a constant struggle but an untreated fence post will effectively last around 12 years.

    Post hole diggers would certainly help! If you use a shovel or pick you likely loosen the soil that your posts will depend on for support. By using post hole diggers you make a vertical "jab" at the area you want your post to settle in.
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    Thank you I don't need this to last over 12 years because I am going to college in a few years so I guess I will purchase or borrow a post digger. I am also not sure if the wood is treated or not.

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  4. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    ok, so yea it might only last a few years and you are planning to leave for college.. but if i remember correctly you are the only chicken person in your family.. so I would make sure that it is strong because when you leave the chickens will get less paid attention to and your coop needs to be that much sturdier and preditor proof. [​IMG]

    would love to see pics of the progress tho..
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  5. palabeco

    palabeco Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    S.W. PA
    You will need a post hole digger, a shovel, a level, a tamper, gravel, some larger stones and some used motor oil.
    Paint the bottom 3 ft of your post very liberally with the oil.

    Dig your hole with the post hole digger to about 3ft plus a couple inches.

    Put a couple large stones in the bottom of the hole and tamp in.

    Add a few inches of gravel. Do not tamp the gravel.

    Place your post in the hole and center it and level it, this step takes 2 people.

    Add a few larger stones around the sides of the post and tamp in.

    Put some dirt around the post and tamp, keep adding dirt and tamping as you go, and keep checking the post for level.

    This is the way we put all our posts in, and if you can get it tamped in really good, you won't have any loose posts.

    Edited to add: you might want to check into renting a power auger. It will save alot of time and busted knuckles. We have a post hole digger on the tractor, only takes about 1 minute to drill a hole.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  6. spatcher

    spatcher Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    The new concrete products help a lot too Henry. A bag of "quick set" and a gallon of water in the hole and youre all set. Might want to try that.
  7. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Hey henry,

    Are you doing this alone? Have you bought the posts yet? When you buy the posts ask whoever you buy them from to show you the best way to install them

    I put in 1400 feet of fence this past winter. We dug 2' holes using an auger, we didn't use concrete. You just add a bit of dirt then using a 1x1" stick pack the dirt in tight around the post. Use a level to make sure the post stays straight as you pack.

    To bury your hardware cloth in the ground some, Dig your post holes about 5 feet apart then dig your trench between them. It is easier to do this before the posts have been put in the ground.

    Also go check out the library there are tons of good books on how to build fences.

    Good Luck

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Just a couple random comments:

    For what you're doing, I'd say use either 5" diameter cedar fenceposts (round, untreated, bark removed) (4" diameter won't last as long) or pressure treated 4x4s. Either will be FINE for you, longevity wise.

    I would recommend closer to the 3' suggestion than the 2' in terms of how deep to set the posts. Probably I'm biased 'cuz I'm used to fenceposts having to keep horses in, but still, it gives you a stronger post.

    Personally I would not use cement as it makes them a bugger to remove in the future, and as this is a residential backyard not a farm, it is quite possible some poor soul will want to remove them someday [​IMG]

    A gas-powered post hole digger will save you time, but IME it will NOT save you labor. It will give you quite the wrestling match and possibly some interesting bruises [​IMG]

    Just to highlight 2 things that others have said, because they are of crucial importance: don't rush thru the tamping stage. Tamp every 4-6" of fill and tamp evenly and HARD. And, the advice to put a couple big flat rocks on the sides of the posts (down in the hole) makes a GREAT BIG difference to stability. It's especially important if you're cheating on the depth of the hole. But you must be careful to tamp the dirt well under and around them as well as over them.

    Oh - and make sure to lay out a string, stretched tight between stakes, that marks where you are setting your posts. Even a slightly wibbly layout can make it significantly annoying to try to attach the rest of the lumber for the run, plus the way it looks will annoy you for as long as you live there [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat, who really needs to straighten (meaning, reset) the leany posts of about 60' of horse fence this summer, but has a bum shoulder at the moment that is providing a good excuse [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  9. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    thank you so much everyone [​IMG]
  10. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Check out his original post, He is using 6' posts. That is why I said do 2' to leave 4' above ground. You can get 3' rolls of hardware cloth 1/4'. If he puts a foot of the cloth in the ground he can over lap the two pieces a foot so nothing can climb through the pieces.

    I use cross ties on my farm for fence posts. I had a 2000# bull jump one. All he did was pull the wire down alittle on the woven wire fence. So i think a 4x4 2' in the ground can handle a flock of wild chickens or a stray dog or two. hehehe.



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