Sunny Lea Sheep

Growing wool on a small farm in Kentucky

Just Another Day At The Farm

Thunder rolls, and I run, one eye on the sky to see if rain is coming, one on the ground so I don’t trip, my rubber boots slapping my legs with a monotonous thwacking sound. The sheep went to the back pasture for the first time this year today, and I’ve been worrying about whether they will come back up or not. It’s been a wild day, and although it is after 7 pm its not over yet.

Rewind to the beginning of the day, When Mom and I moved the flock before breakfast.

As I open the makeshift polywire gate to let the sheep out, I spot Tabitha, a yearling ewe born last Spring, hanging back with a newborn lamb at her side. Reluctant to leave her tiny, wobbly baby, but knowing fresh grass waits at the end of the poly-wire path, and anxious to follow the others. There are a few frantic moments of untangling the fence, trying to  keep Tabitha and the other new mama, who had a lamb earlier this week, in,  and let all the other sheep out, including the two lambs who were bumming around in the barn, and got left behind. Finally everything is back as it should be, and the flock disappears into the trees and around the bend in the path, leaping,  baa-ing, grabbing mouthfuls of grass on the fly, racing to where Mom waits to let them through the gate. I’m sleepy. I’m “hangry”. But happy. The new lambs are so cute, and it’s not raining. Then it is time to take care of the chicks and one grown chicken. The chicks have recently moved into the chicken house, which Dad put wheels on so that I can move it around the pastures, a strategy to improve chicken, sheep, cow, and pasture health all in one. I peer in and count, once, twice, three times, but the number stays the same. One is missing. I move the house, and the wheels lift it high enough for the chicks to run out, and it  is a circus to get them back in. That does it. This coop has to have a fence around it so that escaping chicks can’t go far, and so that they can also have some sunlight, and room to peck around during the day. But first the sheep need water.  The tank is barely filling, a mere trickle exiting the automatic waterer.  Mom walks along where the hose runs down from the house through the woods to the back  pasture and finds multiple leaks.

After several internet searches and phone calls to farm supply stores I come up with a plan for a chicken fence. The plan does not go as planned. I’m tired. I’m hot. But happy. I can see the sheep through the trees, wandering over an emerald hillside, and I know this is the life I love despite many  failures.

Tears. Frustration. Advice from Mom and the stupendous discovery of a previously used and then forgotten fence have a rough setup ready by supper time, with a break in the middle to help Mom fix the leaking hose in the woods  (add itchy to hot and tired), and take care of my cotton seedlings. It’s so exciting to think of the chickens enjoying their new home, despite the work it will take to move them regularly

After supper, as the thunder rumbles and I run, I try to remember the weather report, so important because the shearer may come on Tuesday if the fleeces are dry. Hurry, hurry. My food hasn’t really had time to settle. I have a stitch in my side. But I’m happy. The two new mamas are shut up in their own little pens to keep the others out of their hay, and the barn behind me is like a haven as the clouds gather and the storm rolls in. Mom yoohoos from down in the woods, and I yell back to let her know everything is ready.  She opens the gate.  The sheep rush by and they are all there. Thank goodness. No searching for a lost sheep in the stormy dark tonight. They get a treat of grain, training  them  to come up every night, and Dad helps me get  everyone locked  in the barn just as the rain pours down. Dashing through the downpour to fill water buckets I’m soaking wet and cut my finger, and its stings, but I’m happy. The sheep are all safe, I am looking forward to finishing the chicken fence tomorrow, and this life that is full of work makes you feel strong and well, even though you are tired and glad to fall into bed at the end of the day. It is rejuvenating, and fulfilling. There is so much to do, and so much to learn, and it’s wonderful. I don’t always remember that when I am frustrated and things aren’t going well on a specific project, but it comes back again and again, this feeling of belonging and contentment. The magic is to remember the joy when everything goes go south.

 

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A Different Kind of Farm

 

I need to stop telling people I want to be a farmer. I’m a little old for the what-do-you-want-to-be-when you-grow-up question anyway, but the subject still comes up. And when I say farming is the life for me, the picture that looms in most peoples mind’s invariably involves endless corn fields and monstrous tractors. But if I take the time to explain, I see their eyes glaze over after the first five minutes or so. I need a title that describes what I want to do so I don’t have to bore people with long speeches.

The farm I envision is, first and foremost, diverse.

I believe that the way I live now, buying the majority of my food from stores where it arrives from perhaps hundreds of miles away, is harmful to the environment; a reckless disregard for the future of the earth that God created us to take care of, and also harmful to my health, another gift from God.

Buying Organic makes me feel a little more responsible, but is it really?

John Jeavons and his team named their growing method Grow Biointensive. He describes the approach as agricultural miniaturization, an attempt to counter the problems brought on by industrial agriculture-which, he stresses, destroys the soil at an accelerated rate, losing between 6 and 16 tons of soil for every ton produced. Mechanized organic farming, according to Jeavons, is little better: it destroys the soil seventeen to seventy times faster than nature creates it. By buying food that is cultivated at the expense of destroying topsoil, writes Jeavons, we become complicit in this destruction … if we continue to destroy the soil at this pace humanity will have degraded all arable land on the planet in the next century. The biointensive method creates soil at a substantial rate.”

~ Perrine and Charles Herve-Gruyer in Miraculous Abundance

I want to grow as much of my food as possible; so, rather than practicing the conventional modal of producing a lot of one thing, I want to produce a little of many things. Veggies, fruit trees, nut trees, sheep, a milk cow, chickens, herbs, and so much more, and do it in a responsible manner that builds the soil, by using raised bed methods and mulching, creating silvopastures where careful grazing and maintaining of the forest mean that livestock and trees can grow together, and avoiding all use of chemicals by building the diversity and therefore the health of plants and animals.

When we eat today, we no longer listen to the needs of our body; we listen to commercials. But do shareholders of industrial agriculture corporations really care about our health? The explosion of food allergies and chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer attests, unfortunately, to the food and health drift in which our so-called advanced societies are stuck. It’s small consolation that all these diseases of modern civilization raise the GDP.

Is it reasonable to let corporations, forced by logic of profit in the short term and competition for market share, decide how our bodies are formed? Are the industrial food corporations competent at replacing natural food, which fed us for almost all of our history on earth, by food containing several thousand different synthetic molecules whose effects combined and long-term have not been tested?

When we know the suffering experienced by a cancer patient and the magnitude of the number of people affected (more than fourteen million new cases are diagnosed each year around the world, with treatment thought to cost hundreds of billions of dollars), it is surprising we do not collectively choose to prioritize agriculture and food that is truly natural.

Twenty-four hundred years ago, Hippocrates advised, “Let your food be you medicine.” More and more of us are rediscovering the truth behind this simple statement. …

Ingesting polluted industrial food is a form of assault on our bodies. An assault on life.
Giving these foods to our children can be seen as slow assassination … Healthy diets should be part of our basic education … But the important things are not taught in school. We note at the farm that many young adults don’t know how to cook vegetables,or even know the difference among onions, shallots, and garlic.

~ Perrine and Charles Herve-Gruyer in Miraculous Abundance

You can probably tell that I have found the Herve-Gruyers very inspiring. The picture on the cover of their book Miraculous Abundance is particularly so:

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That is the kind of farm I want. That is the kind of farm that provides real, nutrient dense food, while nurturing the environment at the same time. Growing food AND building soil.

So far, although there has been an almost overwhelming amount of work and some discouragements and disappointments, one of the most rewarding and exciting things about learning to farm  has been gaining new skills  that are truly useful to me in real life.

“The overall spectrum of knowledge that the small-scale farmer must acquire is awesome. He must be the proverbial “jack-of-all-trades,” and he must be the master of many of them. Aside from a fundamental acquaintance with farm machinery and its specific function, he must have a considerable fund of knowledge in the “-ologies” (biology, entomology, meteorology,  plant pathology, etc.). He needs a working acquaintance with silviculture, veterinary medicine, and basic economics, and the day-to-day requirements of working the soil require him to have a sound background in agronomy. His work also encompasses elements of accounting, surveying, and engineering, and he cannot avoid becoming a passable rough carpenter and journeyman mechanic” -Karl Schwenke, Successful Small-Scale Farming

I was never a very good student, partly because I find it hard to apply my mind to topics unless they are useful in a practical way to me. The  knowledge in the books I now undertake to read interests me greatly,  and sticks, because I am using it here and now.

To anyone aspiring to start their own small farming adventure, my first advice is read, read, read. I like to go to the library, put in a keyword, and collect all the books I can find on that subject until I can’t carry any more. Often the ones I think look the least interesting have the best information.  I am going to make a new page here on the blog, a list of books that have inspired me or been particularly helpful, so if you are looking for ideas, check it out.

It will be a long, slow process, to create a self sustaining, diverse, biointensive farm, adding a little bit every year. In the past I was never fond of gardening, this year I am very interested in learning, and will be doing as much as I can.

Right now I am super excited about some apple trees and cotton plants headed this way, and planting root veggies to see if I can grow enough to last over the winter.

It will take a long time to get to the point where I no longer buy most of my food in stores, and I may never reach the point where I don’t buy anything, but every little step in the right direction helps, if even just a tiny bit. I don’t just want a sheep farm, I want a farm exploding with a great variety of abundance, working with nature instead of against it.

I hope that someday, the picture in the average persons head when they hear the word “farm” is no longer a flat endless corn field, but a verdant landscape filled with trees, gardens,  animals, and flowers, all mixed together into a beautiful harmonious whole.

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Lambs 2018

Welcome to Sunny Lea Sheep Hotel! Parking reserved for expectant mothers.

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I had to go out on a limb-I mean a beam- to get some of these pictures.

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No vacancies currently available.

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Mr. Collins came on the scene Monday morning, Sir William Lucas (below) that night, and Bingley this morning.

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Twelve to eighteen lambs are expected to arrive this Spring, stay tuned to meet the new guys, there could be more any minute.

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Grazing For A More Self-Sufficient Future

We have an on-going project, a never ending quest to improve our pastures, and learn as much about the subject as we can. We have been rotational grazing for a few years now, and it has improved the forage immensely, without our having spent a penny on fertilizers or grass seed. By dividing pastures up into small areas and moving the animals every few days, we have helped to prevent over-grazing, and encouraged new growth.

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The two pictures below were taken last summer, one from an over-grazed area of the barn pasture, another from the part we rotated. The entire barn pasture used to look like the picture on the left, the picture on the right shows how much it can improve just by a few years of rotational grazing.

 

A distant far off goal, a dream for the future, is to have enough pastures cleared, and carefully managed to stock pile grass, even for winter (Mom’s and my dream) or make our own hay (Dad’s). This would save us a huge amount of money; buying hay in the winter is expensive, and inconvenient, because we do not have a big truck or trailer for hauling it, and must either get minuscule amounts at a time or have it delivered, another expense.

“Pasture in a conventional grazing system, is often a limited polyculture, fields seeded to forage species that farmer, or more likely the extension agent or seed salesman, says are best for that area…Where prolonged, unlimited grazing inhibits or kills the existing ground cover, to the point where it will no longer support livestock, pastures must be reseeded, usually with one or a very few plant species, which will in their turn be grazed down and planted over. Grass, in this picture, is a conventional crop sown for harvest with ruminants, the profit on whose sale being hopefully sufficient to pay the cost of the grass seed and drill and finance the resowing of the pasture next season.

In pastures under intensive rotational grazing, on the other hand, native species are preferred and are generally not sown but rather encouraged…Many respected graziers, including Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, and Greg Judy, encourage a wait-and-see approach to pasture forage composition, noting that biodiversity  is favored by this hands-off attitude. Fertile soil is by definition richly diverse in soil biota, and the diversity belowground will be reflected in diversity above. If we trust our pastures, trust our ecosystems, we can put our animals on grass and watch the array of forage species unfold. “   ~from The Independent Farmstead by Shawn and Beth Doughetery

We are just beginners at this rotation thing, but to quote the Doughetery’s again,

“There is no such thing as bad rotational grazing; only good and better”

We are constantly working on this project, the type of work varying depending on the season. In the summer we are moving portable fence around, and trying to keep the weeds off the electric fence, in the fall and winter we are clearing old permanent fence rows,  cutting posts, and clearing existing pasture,  in the spring building new fence for more pasture.

The goal of this entire project being to make the farm more self sustaining. Right now we put a lot of money into keeping our livestock. Until we can grow all the food needed for them,  we just have an expensive hobby.

I don’t entertain any grand ideas of this farm ever making a lot of money. That’s not the point. I do dream of it someday producing most of  our food, without requiring  outside inputs.

“The language of artisanal farming is that of all the other arts. It is nice to make a lot of money from a book, or a painting, or a song, but that is not why real artists do it. If they can just make a modest living from their work, they are satisfied. If they can’t, they still keep on working on their art and do something else for necessary income. New garden farmers are the same. They talk about soil enrichment just like artists talk about paint. It is not about money but about beauty, inspiration, taste, and timelessness…The real reward is looking out over our gardens and farms and know that we are adding real value and beauty to the world, or at least doing no harm.”  ~Gene Logsdon

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The Web Collector

It’s the best part of the day, a time to think and slow down, and remember that this is a beautiful world, too often wasted by hours spent in buildings, toiling away to make money so we can buy food, instead of toiling away in the beautiful great wide outdoors to grow food. The ultimate irony. We purchase food that wrecks our health, and pay (!) to work out in gyms, when we could grow better sustenance, and get better exercise simply by doing what we were created to do.

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it”  Genesis 2:15

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

 ~Wendell Berry

I am bringing up the sheep from the back pasture, herding  them up near the barn to keep them safe from coyotes, bobcats, and dogs.  The long path passes through a stand of forest, huge cedars along one side, a mixture of trees and underbrush on the other. It is growing dark, and the shadowy sentinels rustle softly, green light glowing like emerald gems through their branches. Crickets chirp and birds sing. This is where I belong. In the great wide world, where one has only to look at the detail in each living thing to know that a creator exists.

Along the path spiders spin their webs, great swaths of delicate sticky strands that drape me one by one, clinging to my arms and face, stretching out behind me. They are like the little worries of life; the first  you brush aside, not much disturbed, but soon they pile up, a hopeless entanglement that sticks with you long hours after they first take hold.

The sheep are sometimes waiting by the gate, sometimes away back in the trees, but always they come when I call, with the exception of a rainy night last week, when they were convinced that to be soaked by the down pour  was a worse fate then to be eaten by coyotes.

There have even been a few occasions when they have come up of their own accord, the gates having been left open. I believe sheep can be trained to certain patterns with patience and consistency. In this case, their minerals are at the barn, and they come for this reason. The lambs especially gulp  them down, leaving an amusing reddish stamp on their mouths, which appears ridiculously like lipstick.

Now I take time, though it is growing late and I must be up early, to pet the sheep and look them over. Who has foreign material tangled in their precious fleece? Is Martha any closer to having her baby? Can I convince the lambs to let me scratch their chins? Tommy is friendly, perhaps overly so, and Nutkin is getting there. Thomasina wants to be, but must keep up the pretense of not wanting to be.

The lights of the house glow warm and friendly beckoning me in. My day is much better for ending this way, a little time spent in nature to refresh and calm.  Good night sheep. Life is good.

 

 

 

 

The Bert Sweater: Chapter Two

In chapter one, you saw how a fleece is sorted, washed, and carded. All that work merely sets the stage for the magical process of spinning. Preparing the fiber is  a huge task, but in the end it  is only the work that prepares you for more work. (Which prepares you for more work, because after spinning comes knitting.) It is really a simple thing, twisting fibers into yarn, but it seems magical, and wonderfully old-fashioned;  all wrapped up in princesses and fairy tales,  pilgrims and pioneers.

Spinning is very satisfying once you can make a decently consistent yarn, and relaxing, a steady beat that reminds you the world is still turning and life goes on.

Bert is lovely to spin, very soft, and because his locks are different colors along their length, grey closer to the skin, turning to brown in the middle, and fading to fawn at the tips, the yarn is not a solid color, but a lovely heathery brown.

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I made  3-ply yarn with all of Bert’s fleece. When spinning, you take a length of carded fiber, and pull it out to the thickness you want the yarn to be (called drafting) and allow the wheel to add twist. This is called spinning “singles”

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You then twist two or more singles together in the opposite direction (this is called plying);  in this case three singles are twisted together making a “3-ply” yarn.

102_5274Last year while spinning all my fleeces up for knitting into mittens and hats to sell, I found that while my fiber felt soft, the yarns I spun were stiff, and the things knit from them had little drape, and were not as soft as I wanted. Research in books and on the internet revealed I was spinning  “worsted” style which produces a strong, smooth,  hard-wearing yarn, and that  “woolen” style spinning makes a   fluffier yarn. It incorporates more air into the fibers, so that it is warmer, and makes a softer finished garment.  How you prepare and draft out the fiber determine whether you are spinning “worsted” or “woolen”. Currently, I spin a “semi-worsted” yarn in which the fiber is prepared for woolen style, but spun with a worsted drafting  technique. This is because I have not yet mastered woolen (“long draw”)  drafting.

Also, I was simply putting too much twist in the yarn. To help with this, I dug some commercial 3-ply yarn out if my stash, snipped off a little piece, untwisted the plies, and used them as a reference while spinning, trying to match it as closely as possible. When it came time to ply I referred to the commercial yarn again, comparing it and my yarn to see if I was plying to much or too little. This also helped me to spin the thickness of yarn I wanted, because when spinning singles, it is hard to tell how thick a three ply made from them will be.

Between these two discoveries, my yarn is now much softer and drapes nicely, although it is still not completely consistent.

After the yarn is spun and plied, you take it off the “bobbins” (spools) and make it into a big loop, called a “hank”. You can do this using  a kind person’s hands, the back of a chair, or  a “swift”,  an umbrella-like tool that makes the process quicker.

To keep the hanks neat, they are twisted into “skeins”:

 

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All of Bert’s wool is now spun, and the knitting has commenced. Stay tuned for an update on the progress!

 

 

High Tensile Fence Building Tips, and How to Estimate the Cost

High tensile fence has several advantages over other types of fence. It is easier to work with than barb wire, (something I consider a curse upon the earth after having wound up what seemed like miles and miles of it) and easier to construct and maintain then woven wire. It is also cheaper to  build.

There are a couple things to consider before beginning with your own fence. One pertains to fencing in general, the other to high tensile in particular.

1. While a fence may appear to be made of metal and wood, with a little plastic thrown in, it is mostly  made of blood sweat and tears. And I mean that very literally . In my fencing career I have gained scars from the wounds, lost  weight while still eating huge meals of very fattening foods, and sat down on the dirt and bawled out of pure frustration. Unless you are paying someone else to build your fence , plan for these three things to be a big part of your life. Do not undertake this if you are not willing to work very hard. You will go to bed at night with every bone and muscle aching, only to wake up and do it all again the next day and the next.

Enough with the Johnny Raincloud though. It is very worth it in the end. You’ll be glad you did it.

2. High Tensile  is a mental  barrier not a a physical one. This fence will only keep your animals in if you keep it properly maintained. Trim weeds regularly, tighten wires as needed, and walk the fence often to check for shorts like trees branches. Test it to be sure you have a strong currant. The animals can easily plow though the fence if they want to. Make sure they don’t want to. And put them where the grass is. They’ll stay in much better if they have plenty to eat. We had a sheep who could not be kept in the fence because when she was a lamb, we put her out in a field with fence that was not hooked up to the electric. She got so used to going through, that even when the electric was on, she continued to be a nuisance. You will need to train the animals by making sure the fence is very hot their first time out.

So while high tensile is the most affordable option for fencing, it does require quite a bit of time both while building and throughout it’s lifetime.

Now to meat of the matter.

before

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We use metal t-posts in between the braces. In flat country, you can go great distances between posts, but here in the hills of Kentucky we put them closer together, about seven or eight steps (12′-15′)  apart. You don’t want them too close, because one of the advantages of high tensile is the “rubber band effect”. If a tree falls on the fence, the wire will stretch down to the ground, but spring back up, unbroken, after the tree is removed. If the posts are too close together (or if the wire is over tightened), you lose this handy trait.

There are some points we have discovered along the way, that make for a straighter, stronger fence. It is sometimes hard to remember them all, and so not every brace we build is perfect, especially at the end of a long day.

Helpful Tips:

  • Build the braces two at a time. Set the corner posts, then stretch one of the lower fence wires, complete with insulators and a wire strainer, and tighten it just enough to get a straight line, but not so much much that you can’t pull it back out of the way while the inside post holes are being dug. This way, you can be sure the inside posts are set in the right place, so that the brace is pointing the right direction, and the wires will not be putting pressure on the inside post once they are tightened. example2.png
  • Set the posts with gravel. We used to use the dirt from the hole, but gravel is much faster and much more secure. Dirt must be carefully tamped down with a thin stick, gravel can simply be shoveled in.
  • Don’t set the inside post until the horizontal brace is up. This way you have more wiggle room to get everything to fit.
  • Staple all the insulators down before you tighten the wires, or it will be hard to position them, and they may split.
  • Make the cross wire run in a figure eight. This way it interferes less with fence wires. Make sure the strainer ends up on the back side of the brace for the same reason.
  • Slide on extra sort insulators in case one breaks or you need to slip them between the cross-wire and fence wire to keep them from touching. This happens most often on the top and bottom wires, as the figure eight is wider at these points.
  • Use a “Story Stick”, a stick with the desired position of the fence wires marked on it, to figure out where to drill the holes for the brace pins. The horizontal brace should sit between the top two wires. When using the story stick, make sure it sits on level ground. This may require digging away some of the dirt or gravel around the base of the post.
  • Make sure the cross-wire is slanted the correct way.  We once did several incorrectly, so that they were pulling the corner post over, instead of bracing it back! Oops. Just remember it should be UP on the inside post, and DOWN on the corner post.
  • When you pound in the metal t-posts, start in the middle of a stretch, not by a brace. This will make it straighter. If you work end to end, its is more likely they will get slightly out of line. Start in the middle, then go to the middle of each half, and so on.
  • PUT THE WIRE STRAINERS  IN THE MIDDLE OF A STRETCH, NOT BY A BRACE. That way, the tension is equally divided on each side of the wire strainer. Also realize, the fence will stretch over time, and every year you will tighten it more, so leave room for the wire strainers to move quite a bit. Don’t pound in a metal post right by them.

Required tools:

  • Wire cutters
  • Hammer
  • Strainer handle for tightening all wires
  • Post hole digger
  • Fencing pliers for pulling out staples that were nailed in wrong. Believe me it will happen.
  • Cordless drill with 1/2″ bit long enough to drill through the 6″ inside brace post.
  • Chainsaw. This will only be needed if you have to adjust the length of the horizontal brace. If the hole for the inside post is carefully dug, you should not need to trim the horizontal brace.
  • Shovel
  • Spinning Jenny,  for dispensing the roll of wire

How to estimate the cost:

Each corner brace will cost about $105.20

3   6″x8′ posts, $42

2   4″x8′ posts, $14

8 wire strainers,  (one for each cross-wire, and one for each fence wire)  $24

12  long insulators, $12

24  short insulators, $2.40

18  Staples, $1.80

2  10″ brace pins $2.00

2  5″ brace pins, $1.00

Each end brace (for gates) will cost about   $87.50

This is assuming you buy the wood posts. We save a lot of money, (and have a rip roaring good time!)  by cutting our own cedar posts.

Now, what is a little more difficult to figure; wire will cost about $ .03/foot.

So, figure out how many feet of fence you need (x), and  multiply that by 6, since you need six wires:  6x=a    Multiply a by .03:    .03a =b

You will also need  one  6′ metal t-post and six clip-on insulators ($5.21) for every 12-15′ feet of wire. We’ll say 12, to make things simpler.

To figure the cost of t-posts plus insulators,  divide x  by 12:   x/12 = c

and multiply  c  by  5.21:                                 5.21c  = d

So the wire, t-posts and insulators  will cost    b + d = e  (for Exhausted. That’s how I feel after all that math. Yuck.) The last time I had to use Algebra was for  learning how to knit a custom heel on a sock.  When in school, I firmly believed that crap would never be something to use in (my) real life.

Okay, to estimate the whole total cost of the fence (drum-roll),  you need to draw a picture, so you know how many corner braces and end braces you need, and then figure out how many feet of fence you need, and just add up the cost from there. Let me refresh you on the numbers:

Corner Braces,  $105.20 each

End Braces, $87.50 each

Wire,  $.03/foot  times 6

T-posts and clip-on insulators,  $5.21 for every 12 feet of fence.

So this example, which has four corner braces and one end brace:

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would cost $802.77

A handy tool you can use is Google Maps. Here you can estimate how may feet of fence you will need.

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This is the new pasture we just finished building last week. Using the numbers I gave you above, a pasture this size (and shape!) would cost  $2335.93   if you bought the posts, and $1663.93 if you cut your own posts. This is reasonably  close to what we spent, so I think my calculations are pretty accurate, and you can use this info to be sure you are prepared for the expense of building. Happy fencing!

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