Introduction

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4 years 8 months ago #535799 by jamesannie
Introduction was created by jamesannie
Hi All,
New in this forum ....................

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4 years 8 months ago #535802 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Introduction
And Hi to you too!

Welcome!

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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4 years 8 months ago #535806 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Introduction
That's a greeting, not an introduction! More please.

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4 years 8 months ago #535809 by Hawkspur
Replied by Hawkspur on topic Introduction
Hi and welcome.

We'd love to know (we are nosey/curious/interested however you wish to see it:P ) where you are, what you are doing on your land and are planning to do.

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4 years 8 months ago #535850 by Kokamo
Replied by Kokamo on topic Introduction
I'm also a new sign up, am purchasing a flat 10 acre block in the Wairarapa, seriously, a very flat 10 acre rectangle, the world is my lifestyle oyster. I know we have a huge amount to learn, but that's ok, we don't have to learn it all in one go.

This website has been a huge help getting us this far, but a reference book on lifestyle blocks/small acreage would also be great to have...but have reference books vanished now everything can be accessed by the net? For example, even though the web is omnipresent, it hasn't answered my questions about planning block layout. All I can find is a book about stock management by Paul Martin, which looks great, but is out of print...anyone know of anything else? Or shall i just ask everything I want to know here, there's an incredible range of knowledge on the site I can see. Any suggestions?

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4 years 8 months ago #535857 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Introduction
have you read Complete self sufficiency book by John Seymour? It sets out plans for 5 to 10 acre blocks. If it's bare land and you will be building then consider the cost of getting power etc from the road to the house and length of driveway. If it's a quiet road then you can build closer. Where will the well be and septic tank, you dont want the septic field too close to the well. Really it mostly hinges on where the house site is.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 years 8 months ago #535863 by Kokamo
Replied by Kokamo on topic Introduction
Thanks Tony, that's a great suggestion. I had hoped to find a kiwi book, local knowledge for local conditions yadda yadda, but a British reference would be about the next best thing.

I'm not too worried about house & affiliated services, positioning them comes fairly naturally due to prevailing wind & views, though having lived on town water & sewage my whole life, I know there's a bit to learn. It's more the livestock side of things, if we use say 1 acre for house, garden & orchard, are there rights & wrongs as to how to divide up the remaining 9 acres? Do we create nine 1 acre paddocks, four 2&a bit acre paddocks or just leave it as one giant free for all. I'm not talking productive farming, just a few alpacas (goes without saying), maybe some goats, (as I imagine half the block owners in the country are now thinking after last week's Country Calendar episode), and maybe three potential lamb roasts. Are there any hard and fast rules?

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4 years 8 months ago #535864 by Mudlerk
Replied by Mudlerk on topic Introduction
I think you could find a used copy of Martin's book...and other Kiwi ones...on fishpond or amazon. Yonks ago I was given a copy of the Martin book to review for the Manawatu Standard: basically said he's a vet and it's great on diseases, etc, but not a patch on fence-building, drainage, etc. to "Practical Smallfarming in New Zealand" by Trisha Fisk. I think even her second edition is out of print too...but you can probably find one on the net. I ran across one in a secondhand book shop recently, but unfortunately have already given it to another lifestyler.

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4 years 8 months ago #535865 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Introduction
ok, sounds like you are good re house site. As regards fences would go for as many small paddocks as you can afford to fence and supply water to. You need one small paddock that you can corral your animals into for loading, shearing etc. It's a good idea to make this small paddock one that they get used to using, like having a water trough in there, then you can simply shut the gate when the shearer says 'I'll be there in 20 minutes'!
I favour sheep netting over plan wire fences, they are easer to install for the beginner.
As far as a vege garden goes, a long strip about 2 metres wide is ideal as you can reach into it from each side and you can place bug netting over it to keep the nasties off. Believe me, you'll need it if you want to grow potatoes and brassicas. Also if you have the luxury of a tractor and rotary hoe, you can just run down it at the start of the season. Make sure you have water nearby for irrigation. A tractor is a must really, an older Fergie 35 is perfect, it will make life so much easier for you. Don't be tempted to run the place as a business, it's not worth getting involved with IRD.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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4 years 8 months ago #535867 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Introduction
If I were running animals that could be kept in with electric fences (everything except sheep and goats, I would only permanent fence one side of the drains, and around the house. Everything else would be movable electric fencing.

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4 years 8 months ago #535869 by VioletFarmer
Replied by VioletFarmer on topic Introduction
LongRidge makes a good point, and its what I do, but our sheep are trained to respect electrics from young, most aren't. @nd vote for sheep netting- we have one wire of electric along the top. Our biggest paddock is 1ha (2.4 acres) I wouldn't go smaller than that if you want to get paddocks re grassed, hay/ silage/ baleage cut, spraying done. Most contractors gear is very large these days, and they need space to access and turn with out breaking gate posts etc- (most contractors are careful- but having generous gate ways (14 ft is a good size) is helpful). Ditto on one smallish paddock for handling, yards can be made simply with old gates, old pallets + warratahs, or post & rail- whatever your budget & ability is inclined towards. Ive found the Koanga Institute orchard planting guide helpful, you can order it on their website. Farmlands also put out a Lifestyle Farming guide for free.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #535881 by Kokamo
Replied by Kokamo on topic Introduction
Would you believe, a copy of Trisha Fisk's book sold on Trade me on Saturday for $10, argh. But thank you for the name, I'll keep hunting.

Interesting that there are lots of ways to size paddocks, all of them have pros & cons. I talked to someone with a 5acre block recently, he said he covers his rates with the money he makes from bandage, so definitely worth considering keeping some large spaces.

So a couple of questions from suggestions raised. Sheep netting, which I'm guessing is that fence high wire squares of about 6 inches, is the netting itself cost comparable with wire, & is it really installable by complete amateurs? And electric fencing, expensive to run?

Now I'm off to download the Farmlands animal guide...
Last edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Kokamo.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #535926 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Introduction
It's natural to want the cheapest fencing option but you may regret it later. If you are doing the work yourself, go for netting. You can even use metal standards which you can hammer in yourself.
Electric is good but relies on always having power on, unless you have a battery/solar operated unit. Electric fencing is almost zero to run.
You don't have to make fences super bullet proof though, as not even the strongest fence is going to stop hungry cattle from pushing it over to get to the neighbours feed!
As long as animals have food and water they will not usually try to get out.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
Last edit: 4 years 8 months ago by tonybaker.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #535931 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Introduction
We did this fencing (see bottom of picture, which somehow I managed to attach twice?!) ourselves last weekend, with second-hand 1.5m netting and y-posts. We used the taller netting because our sheep are a bit goat-like in their approach to fences :whistle:

It was relatively quick and easy to install (I am a total amateur but other half grew up on a farm so is quite handy with this kind of thing) and so far so good with keeping the sheep contained!

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.
Attachments:
Last edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Wren.

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4 years 8 months ago #535935 by Kokamo
Replied by Kokamo on topic Introduction
This is my theory, which I hope isn't a complete townie one. We put a decent 5/7 wire fence along two external boundaries that aren't currently fenced. We need to do extensive wind-breaking plantings along one of those boundaries & some of the other, so what should be put up to protect the plantings a few meters from the fancy fence for a few years, electric, unbattened fence, netting? I'll go for what does the job, balanced by whether one option is twice the price of another.

I must admit I thought electric would be pricy to be run, but losing all our tree plants would be expensive too, so we want something that's going to get it through the vulnerable years. My expectation is that we'll have someone else's sheep keep the grass down for a couple of years, (though how will we know if they respect our fencing or not..). Electrically versed hubby tells me electric fencing can run off a battery...he can do the replanting if he's wrong. We do have the advantage of having almost completely flat & unexciting land, other forum discussions tell me this helps keep the cost down, & we're pretty practical folk, so happy to have a crack at doing the work ourselves, as long as everyone driving by isn't going to laugh & say "Ah townies, thought they could do fencing themselves, ahahahahaha".

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