Weekend Update

First, I’ll start with my recipe for really enjoying working seven day weeks. Have two wildly different jobs and really enjoy them both. I enjoy programming, and I enjoy farming. Forty hours a week of each makes a nice, well-balanced life.

I failed in my resolution to stay out of the hives this weekend. However, my feeling of last weekend turned out to be correct. Nothing much happened. The left-most hive is finally drawing the super that they got three weeks ago. The others that got new supers one and two weeks ago are all busy exploring, but not actually drawing any comb. So I’ll try again next week to stay out.

Fencing We spent the rest of the weekend running fence. It turns out that there are only two kinds of fence that will contain northern shortail sheep: woven wire and multistrand electric (usually high tensile). We know this from experience with Icelandics and Shetlands, and I’ve talked to a Romanov breeder. Somehow I just don’t think the North Ronaldsays or Finnsheep are a lot different.

We’d run several hundred feet of high tensile in 2005, and discovered two reasons that it works better in New Zealand than New England: rocks, and irregular ground. I suppose if you were refencing a pasture that had been grazed coninuously for the last couple hundred years, you wouldn’t have that problem, but most of us here are rebuilding farms that have been abandoned for a century or more. Anyway, you simply are not going to get a hundred foot run on a strand low enough to keep lambs in. It will hit the ground somewhere along the way.

Then we went and got horses, and quickly discovered that electric wire, especially high tensile, is not recommended for horses. They have trouble seeing it, and they can spook, so they can run into it and it does the cheesecutter thing. And oh yeah, you can’t use normal woven wire either because they get their hooves stuck in it and break those long, delicate legs. You have to use realy tight stuff, usually 2×4 inches. Oh cool. Twice the metal, twice the weight, twice the money. You can use the electric rope because thay can see that. The electric rope would indeed contain Minx … for several minutes. She would be laughing too hard to actually walk through it.

More fencing So, we are left with woven wire, possibly with a couple strands of electric rope, one above it to keep Misty in, and one below to keep Minx in and predators out.

We had friends down in Peterborough give us several hundred feet of salvaged 66 inch high, horse-type woven wire last week. It was enough to run from Kevin’s hog panel set-up along Mack Hill Road down to the swamp, and even a few feet along the swamp. As we get deeper into the week, we’ll know what next weekend looks like and whether to dispatch Lisa down to Wellscroft to get another few hundred feet of wire for next weekend. After all, we also have the horse house and firewood in desperate need of work.

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