from no grass to 40 acres

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8 years 1 month ago #37637 by mikeandfi
Hi Guys

Well we made the shift and 8 weeks in its all getting a bit less scary. We shifted from a zero grass property in Mount Eden to a small farm at Leigh. 19 cattle at present and ancient fences.

Currently mending boundary and internal fences after my dairy farmer mate told me it would only take a few weeks... yeah right.

Then the great electrification project, first new (recycled) poles went in this week to replace the old pigtail efence.

Its been interesting.

Now the real problem - the disappearing orchard... see separate post

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8 years 1 month ago #487354 by MrsW
Replied by MrsW on topic from no grass to 40 acres
Hi, you have made a great move. My husband and I moved from Stonefields in St Johns where we were so close to neighbours we could hear them making a cup of tea to a farmlet on 9 acres in Dairy Flat. Now we have pigs, goats, dogs and cats and are loving the lifestyle. We also had many fences to mend and the electrification project also. I feel alive being out on the farm even though the work never stops and the learning curve gets bigger and bigger. We have got many tips from our local store Falloons and will never be afraid to ask, everyone has to start somewhere. :)

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8 years 1 month ago #487356 by Belle Bosse
Great move and good luck! Am sure you will love it.

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8 years 1 month ago #487396 by Negodil
Replied by Negodil on topic from no grass to 40 acres
Welcome to the lifestyle and the forum. Most important advice is ask questions, we all keep learning. Never fear appearing silly whether you're asking a neighbour or postinga question on the forum.

Fairhaven Alpacas, breeding champion Suri alpaca in Temuka

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8 years 1 month ago #487451 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic from no grass to 40 acres
When we moved onto our block 20-odd years ago, we had two very rickety road boundary fences. I put a hotwire along them until I got a round tuit to replace them. 12 years ago, one was replaced by the Council when they removed our fence (and our land) to widen and seal the road. So fortunately I had not needed to get that round tuit for that fence. With the other fence, by a couple of years ago it had got so much barberry growing through it that it had been pushed over in too many places. I've done lots of fencing, so know how to do it. But I am now much older so the 5 day, 350m netting fence with one gate job took 5 weeks.
So, if you were only going to keep cattle, electric alone would probably suffice. And with cattle, if the fences don't have 2 hotwires on them, top and middle, the cattle will push the fence over in hours no matter how good it is. Cattle that know how to jump can also do a standing leap over a normal 1.1m high fence.
Note to self - repair those posts in the deer fence that the bull and neighbours steers broke, and tie down the deer fence where the neighbours steer pushed under the other day. I really wish that the hotwire had not been taken off those fences :-(.

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8 years 1 month ago #487477 by igor
Replied by igor on topic from no grass to 40 acres
I grew up with half the farm fenced with single wire electric because that was all we could afford. The system had so little kick that dad connected break fence wires to the most convenient live wire with his bare hands. Can't say that my brother and I enjoyed this part of setting up break fences but we had to do it anyway. The cows seldom got out.

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8 years 1 month ago #487479 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic from no grass to 40 acres

LongRidge;491829 wrote: ...And with cattle, if the fences don't have 2 hotwires on them, top and middle, the cattle will push the fence over in hours no matter how good it is....

Your cattle, like your unusual sheep, are not like any others anywhere in the country.

Certainly a standard post and batten fence will suffer some lean when regularly accessed by large cattle (they rub to scratch themselves and push their heads through if there's something to eat on the other side), but if a fence falls over in hours, either you don't know as much as you think you do about fencing or you're using seriously dodgy materials.

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8 years 1 month ago #487527 by eelcat
Replied by eelcat on topic from no grass to 40 acres
Our cows must be remarkably well behaved if other people's cows know over non-electric fences. We now only have 2 cows and their (should have been weaned calves) but they have never damaged, nor escaped from standard post and wire fences. We keep one bull calf each year until he gets large enough for me to decide he's leaving and even they don't do anything to our fences. We strip graze internally with electric tape. The calves will scoot underneath until they are large enough to get sorted but our "proper" fences are not electrified or even barbed!

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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8 years 1 month ago #487529 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic from no grass to 40 acres
Yes, that was an exaggeration to empthesize the usefulness of hotwires ..... unless you happen to buy scatty weaners that have not been fence trained ....

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