Posted in Homestead

DIY Affordable Homestead Fencing

My husband, Doug, and I have never been accused of being handy. We do, however, have a great passion for homesteading, so over the years we have learned and we have made it work! We watched our first goats, adorable and nimble as they were, hop through the holes in the field fencing and go gallivanting around the fairgrounds beneath the hooves of horses riding by. Since then, we have put up fencing with smaller holes, specific to goats. It works great for chickens and sheep as well. No more five inch holes around here. No matter where we are homesteading, we have found that field fencing is by far the most affordable, fastest, and easiest for a few non-handy (but very passionate) homesteaders.

We have had the great privilege of purchasing a little over an acre in the country. My husband works full time-plus to support our little farm (having learned early on in this journey that a regular income sure comes in handy), so we are limited to weekends to complete tasks. The first of our tasks was to separate the acre into thirds. The back third is left wild to honor the many cedars, wild plants, and animals that hop about back there.

Rescued farm animal yard and mini-barn in a fun pumpkin orange. The coop will be painted to match!
Gandalf the White(ish)
For extra security, dog panels cannot be beat to protect your flock.

A third for the future pet farm animals and their guard, the Great Gandalf. Part of that third, directly in the back of the house, was fenced off for a garden.

55×40 fenced in kitchen garden. The pallet compost bins are just over the back fence.

The front third will be medicine gardens and a corn field. There was a vineyard planned, ’cause a farmgirl can dream, but it turns out that we have need for more tomatoes than wine grapes so the vineyard got nixed for Amish Paste and Romas. (We will still grow some grapes for the table and juice.)

Larger poultry yard in the foreground and tomato canning garden.

Next week’s task is to further separate a 30×30 area in the front pasture so that the chickens can have a bigger area. The front garden fence was intended to keep stray dogs out (they could jump the fence, I suppose, but usually a fence will dissuade dogs, and to keep cars out of the future garden. Folks see dirt and park wherever! Get off my imaginary garden! Fences keep some out and some in. A field fence easily manages that.

Medicine and Perennial Garden, Corn field beyond, and fruit trees and bushes lining the side fence all the way down.

Ironically, it costs a bit to get started as a homesteader. For less than $500, including the post pounder, we were able to fence in what we needed of an acre. That is pretty good. Gates are important for pasture rotation, moving animals about, and ease for the farmer to get where they are going! Once we have the chicken area up, we will have six gates. Gates are the most expensive part of fencing, so if you can find some used, do that.

Setting up a homestead needn’t break the bank. We have been in our home going on six months now. We have put in a wood stove, put up a mini-barn, and fencing. Next week is chicken fencing, the week after will be the clothes line, and so forth. Keep doing projects throughout the winter as you can because come spring, the focus moves to the garden!

Posted in Homestead

Affordable Fencing (and pasture rotation)

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I have a lovely dream of a freshly painted house, garage/”barn”, and chicken coop.  Surrounded by lines of crisp white picket fencing.  I priced it out.  Over a thousand dollars.  Now, I need to be realistic.  I did not come into any money and this is a farm.  Vinyl it is.  For around $300 I can fence in everywhere I want.  The deer fencing is doing great but it won’t trick the goats or the greyhound, so a real fence needed to go up.  Doug pounded in the t-posts, I helped hold up the roll of vinyl fencing while he tied it on with wire.  He hammered railroad ties in between the posts into the ground to discourage going under the fence and whallah!  A new pasture for the goats, dogs, and chickens.

The front yard will get the same to keep folks from trampling the arms of the pumpkins and cutting through the yard in the dark.

I love the idea of rotational grazing where the animals stay in one area for a few weeks then move to the next.  It keeps the area fresh from having rest and doesn’t get overly trampled or eaten.  I can move the animals to the main area, the new pasture, and in the front yard in the winter.  That will stop traffic!  (“Was that an alpaca or a funny looking Afghan hound?”)  We can do pasture rotation even on a small scale.  The garage door opens into either pasture!

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There is a lot of non-dangerous junk that has accumulated from past tenants that has become a bit of a playground.  Bumble is having a great time exploring the new digs, the goats follow him and play on tree stumps, I think I lost a chicken in the locust trees back there, and there is lots of tall grass to play in.  (Instead of the back porch where we like to jump on our old, small dog, and tear up the table cloth!)

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