Erecting the hybrid fence

YouTube can be helpful, and I plan on uploading some videos of key tasks as they arise, which will be linked back. Here’s an outline of the steps.

1) Get a layout. This may involve consideration of laws and ordinances, geography, obstacles, hazards, etc. Unless there is certainty about property boundaries, a survey should be furnished from the county surveyor. From the layout you get your bill of materials. Where gates will be located should be decided. Note well: it is easier and more economic to put gates at terminal ends and corners than in the middle of a run. A very useful (and free) planning tool for this is Draftlogic’s area and distance calculator tools.

2) Purchase and bring the materials to the site if you are building it yourself. You will need a pickup truck or a tow vehicle (a rear wheel or four wheel drive pickup, SUV, or van) combined with an adequate trailer to get this job done. I am of the opinion one should own one of these options so you don’t have to borrow or rent, particularly if you are serious about any kind of farming. Allow at least a day for this purchasing task, and drop the materials as close to where you will use them when you bring them home. Much of this kind of work is lugging stuff around, so make it easier on yourself!

3) Put in your corner or terminal posts. Try your best to get an honest four feet down on these and do the best job you can tamping them in. Get them plumb any way you can (neither levels nor bobs work well, in the end I just developed “an eye for it”). They are the first posts you will put in, which is the reverse of what it would ideally be. Take your time and don’t call it good enough until it really is.

4) Then run the barbwire at ground level or a string (if you aren’t using barbwire) to provide a guide for the line post holes. Then dig and set the line posts [such a short sentence, yet so much work!].

5) Then unroll the woven wire and tie-off [fencer term] on one terminal post. Then get another roll and do the same on the opposite terminal post. Unroll the rolls working towards each other. Pull up the slack on both sides, leaving a foot or overlap, and cut. Clamp your stretcher bars (homemade or purchase) to the fence about 2-5’ apart (this will depend on length of the run and the elasticity of the fence). Then use your come-alongs or fence pullers to bring the two bars towards each other. Trim the horizontal wires to overlap a couple inches. Then crimp them in place and release the clamped bars. Make sure to leave an eighth of an inch or more between individual crimps (three are needed for a straight splice and two for a loop end). Staple (always diagonal) and leave at least an eighth of an inch of space between the staple and the wire.

6) Now screw your insulators in for electric wire. Payout [another fencer term] the reel of electric wire and slip, pin, or fasten it on the insulators. I run insulated electric fence wire (never use household wire, it is rated only for a 600v usually, and fence operates at 3,000-10,000 volts) rated for underground use under all my gates so there is continuity of current. I never rely on clips or any other non-permeant type of connection to provide continuity. I do use clips to make electrical continuity for portable fencing.

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7) And as far as gates go, I’ve found that just 16’ long 50” tall “cattle panels” from Tractor Supply or Rural King make economical and expedient gates. Each of these panels costs around $20 and they are extremely versatile, portable, and long lasting. They rival the 2×4 for utility and your imagination is the limit. There are different ways you can make this work from using staples as hinges, to eyebolts and rods for latches, etc. The curly-q wires that Premier sells have their place.

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