Rapid Rebar Fencing

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by PeterD, May 22, 2011.

  1. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member

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    What to do. The bloke I bought the farm from sold the fence post digger PTO powered attachment to the tractor and left a lot of paddocks fenced only on 3 sides...

    Rebar! its not just for concrete :)

    I picked up 2.4 metre wide by 6 metre long rectangles of 8mm thick rebar.

    I picked up on sale the really large contractor sized Ozito grinder and a long life cutting wheel.

    One day of sparks flying and I had taken 20 ordered sheets of rebar and cut them into 1.2 metre by 6 metre long rebar fence pieces.

    They only had 1650mm long star pickets at the fencing supply so I bit the bullet and ordered them and a big heavy fence post smasher tool and some tie wire.

    With just two people it is easy to carry the pieces of rebar down the paddock.

    With the rebar cut in half you have a lot of pointy bits to stick down and step into the ground to hold it firm in addition to tie wires to the pickets.

    It is easy to carry the pickets, tie wire and star picket smasher.

    In one day we had closed off the open side of a large paddock, about 11 pieces of rebar and 3 pickets per piece as the 4th is a shared picket between two pieces.

    Rebar cost is a little over $7/metre as you get good pricing when you order 20 sheets at a time :)

    Cutting in half gives 40 6 metre long sheets or 240 metres worth of fencing to create cells in the interior paddocks. I plan to move pigs on a yearly basis around the paddock and plant behind them as I move them from spot to spot. Its easy to move and readjust a rebar fence. Even to make curves!

    I am now spending time with some chicken wire and tie wire and covering up three squares (200mm squares in the rebar) from the bottom up in chicken wire.

    These pieces of rebar shall be the pig fencing and the chicken mesh prevents piglets from squeezing through and injuring their hips.

    Just thought I'd share a low tool, no petrol, no tractor method to get strong fencing up in a hurry.

    Now I can get the Dexter cows on the property and as the sewing on of chicken wire takes time, I'll have to wait a wee bit longer to get pigs.

    EDIT: A new auger PTO powered for the tractor would start at $1,500.00 and go up a lot from there. It cost me just over $2,000.00 for all my fencing and tools which I get to keep. While I will miss the fence post digger, I would have had to spend a lot more money on top of the $1,500.00 for actual fencing material and it would not be as rapid with just the two of us on the farm to erect post fencing which would still need ring lock or other fencing added to keep small to medium sized animals in/out.

    Cheers,
    PeterD
     
  2. garnede

    garnede Junior Member

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    Depending on what you are planting you might consider planting the paddock, moving the pigs onto it in the fall, and then planting it again in the spring. Gene Logsdon tells about a method of raising pigs that lets the pigs harvest their own food. You will need 1/2 acre for each sow with piglets. Plant 1/2 acre of corn per sow and leave it standing in the field. Breed your sow to deliver in mid to late summer. Let the pigs into the corn a few rows at a time, excluding them with electric fence. They will knock down the corn and eat it themselves. They will eat the corn, cobs, stalks, and all. All you will have to do is move the electric fence every few days. This should be enough feed to raise the piglets to 200-250 pound market weight. Then you will have to feed the sow by other means for a winter/spring litter. Or you can let the sow only raise 1 litter a year. The pigs will still root up the ground add manure, and prepare the ground for it's next planting, but they won't need any supplemental feed. Additionally corn raised in this way does not need to be weeded, since the pigs will eat them too. If a litter of 8-12 piglets is too much for you, you can just buy a few each year and feed them out. If your feeding fewer pigs then let the cow "graze" the corn first and nock most of it down, then let the pigs in. They will clean up what ever is left.
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Use a hand auger ya woos! ;)
     
  4. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member

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    How does a corn feed diet effect the fat quality in pigs?

    I remember reading that modern intensive feedlot techniques and primarily grain diets led to the creation of unhealthy fats as the majority of makeup in meats while pasture grazed meats reverted to more healthier forms of fats?

    Or is my memory all mixed up as I get older :p

    Cheers,
    PeterD
     
  5. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I use a lot of rebar, too. My greenhouses are even made out of 6.5 meter rebar hoops. Little birds love to sit on the tops of the poles. I put up PVC arbors by putting in rebar first, sliding the PVC over it, as uprights, and then fashioning a PVC top on it. But my climbing vines absolutely refuse to cling to it, and I am hoping that the bats don't have problems with it. Haven't seen any dead bodies around.
     
  6. garnede

    garnede Junior Member

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    It is not so much corn making bad fat as poorly grown corn, usually GMO, combined with soybeans being fed to an animal that can barely turn around and never feels dirt under their feet. If the pigs eat the whole plant, not just the seed in addition to whatever else is there they will form healthier fats. They get omega 3 fats from eating green foods. They get high levels of vitamin D from sunshine. for additional plant matter you can seed clover into the corn once it is over a foot tall to add a protein rich food source to the field. It also grows a tap root to draw nutrients to the surface and as a legume it forms nodules off of the secondary roots, which the pigs will root up and eat too. This may work better in a pasture rotation than a garden rotation.

    year 1: Temporary pasture
    year 2: Pastured pigs
    Year 3: Garden
    Year 4: corn & pigs
    Year 5: hay crop alfalfa & clover
    Year 6: Emergency pasture & hay crop
    Year 7: Temporary pasture
     
  7. PeterD

    PeterD Junior Member

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    Cheers for the rotation schedule, gives me something to think about. Not sure about being able to incorporate a garden in the schedule though as being out in the paddocks and sequencing down the slope its not a convenient spot of a time/energy intensive activity like a garden.

    My first corn on the property goes in this upcoming season, golden something (corniest tasting corn from diggers, organic?)

    But since I have stone mills and steel mills for milling my own grains and oily seeds on the property I want to give corn meal and corn flour a go so I will have to look at getting some of those nice looking Indian corns with all the colours that go rock hard and are good for grinding. Not sure if they are good for the pigs as well though but if so then I could see a lot of corn growing for on-site pig eating, manuring back into the soil activities going on. Again being in the paddock it is far away from ready water sources except rain so a hardy corn such as Indian corn might be a match.

    Cheers,
    PeterD
     
  8. garnede

    garnede Junior Member

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    Take a look at Wade's Giant Indian Corn. It usually produces 1 large 12" ear per stalk. It is a field corn, which dries well and stores well. I have some growing in my garden for corn meal, masa, grits, etc. They also make great fall decorations, both the stalks and the ears. If you choose to leave the garden year out, just add another year as emergency pasture or temporary pasture. The emergency pasture is one you prefer to use for making hay, but if it is a dry year you can let the animals graze it.

    The Author I mentioned, Gene Logsdon, is the inspiration for the method. He has his pasture divided into several paddocks. Those that flood or are too steep to till/use a tractor are permanent pastures. The ones that are flat to mildly sloping become temporary pasture / garden rotation. He does not follow permaculture, but he still advocates many of the same principals. He has a blog that is loaded with great information:
    https://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/
     
  9. rosco

    rosco Junior Member

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    Rebar...reo....wonderful, wonderful stuff.

    We use it as supports for most everything - beans, pumpkins, passion fruit, tomatoes, berries....made a 2.4 x 1200 wide x100 mm thick panel out of the 100mm rectangle stuff which has made a beautiful strong rusty/steely 3D grid that supports a gorgeous deciduous clematis too. As a cheap and handy vertical accent it can't be beat.
     
  10. martyn

    martyn Junior Member

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    Corn will give the pigs yellow fat, bacon and ham with yellow fat just doesn't look right. Make sure your fence is tied down well to your pickets, our experience has been that the pigs will lift the posts out on a rainyday. My pigs have the wrecked the steel/reo mesh on our gates just because they are bored sometimes. They will also get thier mouths stuck in the mesh, I've had to cut a couple out now, the boar has been the worst because of his tusks.

    I'd still run eletric around the inside of the fence. If you don't the pigs will rub up against the fence and it'll be on the ground in no time flat. And don't feed them anywhere near the fence, they dig into the ground where you feed them and the piglets will be out in no time flat.

    For fence posts we use the 4inch steel posts and a phnuematic post driver with a 4inch kit on it. The driver saves alot of time and wear and tear on your eldows - the out lay is alot, but if you split something like that between five or six people you can reduce the cost, the petrol powered compressor comes in handy for many jobs, plus you can poswer more then one tool at a time. It has more then halved the time it takes us to fence.
     

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