Monday, January 6, 2014

Building a Woven Wire Fence: Part 2

It's official. The goats now have their own paddock. We call it "the goat run". In early December we tore down most of the old fence and got ready to put up a solid, woven-wire fence. (See Building a Woven Wire Fence: Part 1.) In the meantime Kiki and Clementine have been kickin' it in a jerry-rigged enclosure I made out of a roof panel, two pallets, two cattle panels, some zip ties, and two bungee cords. It looks like this:


Niiiiice, right? I know. It worked out great. The blob in the middle is an igloo-style doghouse I liberated from the curbside trash last year. It's the perfect size for two little goaties and they stay nice and warm in there on old nights. I threw an old blanket over the top as a little extra insulation and to provide a flap over the door. They have a thick bed of hay in there and some drinking water.

Mr. Chanclas' mother, father, and sister came up from Mexico to visit us for Christmas and New Year's. We had a blast although I think my father-in-law thinks we are trying to kill him. First he helped us chop down two dead trees and then we enlisted him to help us build the goat fence. He was a huge help, teaching me how to hang a gate and helping Mr. Chanclas stretch the woven wire and attach it to the posts.

Mr. Chanclas mixing concrete for setting the corner posts
First Mr. Chanclas pickaxed some holes for the wooden corner posts. Then he filled them with fast-setting concrete and set the posts.


The original dog run had only had one gate and it was awkwardly placed. We decided to keep that one as it provides easy access from the house but planned for a second gate on the opposite end to provide better access. I built the second gate out of scavenged wood from my materials yard, a latch and hinges I had picked up at the Habitat Re-store, and some corner braces I had to buy new (damn!) from the building supply place.

Salvaged lumber I used to build the second gate
I also made a wire stretcher out of a couple of old two by fours, four half-inch bolts, and the corresponding nuts and washers. I got to use my favorite drill bit, the Speedbor. With the Speedbor  drilling through two by fours feels like drilling through butter.

This is a great bit for drilling big holes FAST.

My homemade stretcher bar resting across two wooden stands.
Mr. Chanclas and his dad attached one end of the woven wire mesh to the first wooden post using fencing nails and then used the stretcher bar, two chains, and a come-along to stretch the mesh tight across the wooden post at the next corner. They attached the mesh to the second post and then loosened the come-along, moved the stretcher bar, and repeated the process at the next corner.

The first section of wire mesh is attached to the first wooden post and ready for stretching.

Mr. Chanclas attaches the stretcher board and chains

The fence after being stretched and secured
After all the wire mesh was stretched and attached we hung the gates and installed T-posts between the wooden corner posts. I was supposed to make the new gate to fit the gap they had left me but I got excited and built the gate before measuring the opening. Whoops. The gate was a few inches too narrow so we had to affix a dummy post to the wooden gate post to fill in some inches.

Oops. I made the gate too narrow so we had to fill in the gap

Mr. Chanclas hanging the wire mesh on the T-posts using wire clips

Using The Blue Tool to attach wire clips

Amy Lou from Solar Rain Bucket gave me some priceless advice when she told me to buy a wire clip tool for hanging the wire mesh on those T-posts. The tool, which we shall call The Blue Tool, cost me about $12 at Tractor Supply and was worth its weight in gold.

We still have a few things to do before the fence and run is truly finished but I am already able to let the goats out into their bigger yard while I'm at home. They love it. They went right to work doing what they do best: eating the shrubbery.

Kiki enjoying access to new greens
Building a Woven Wire Fence: Part 3 will be when I make a chicken-wire skirt around the bottom of the fence and replace the old floppy wire that is still hanging in the front section of the run. For now I'm just happy and relieved that the majority of the fence is done!

4 comments:

  1. I had no idea they would sleep in a dog igloo. I have a dog igloo. It seems all that is missing is goats. Since I have a pug and everyone knows that pugs don't sleep outside, they sleep inside in a plush dog bed specially fluffed by their masters at the start of every napping period.
    I think the universe is telling me to get goats. I like your little ones!

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  2. The universe is *definitely* telling you to get goats. Start planning!

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  3. I was helpful! Woohoo! Your goats are a.dor.a.ble.

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  4. Man, your FIL was such a great help! I'm so glad you guys had fun. The goats are so cute

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