Buying a new place in WA, have some questions.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JanO, May 2, 2005.

  1. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Western Washington
    It appears that some of the trees on the property we are buying (offered to buy?) are large and strong enough to hold up a fence line. Has anybody ever used natural growth as fence post? Not for the whole thing, but just as support? I've seen it done for temporary fencing, but not permanent lines. Or would I be better off just going ahead and putting up Tpost for the whole thing in the beginning and be done with it? Sounds like a stupid question, but I am curious because we've never had that option here. (dont' have any natural trees, just ornimentals) Also, how good is the nylon type wire strand for cattle? I've never used it but have seen it used for horses so I'm wondering if I should give it a try or go straight to wire. Of course the cost is going to be a consideration as well.

    Also, I'm planning on getting a steer as soon as possible to finish off for the freezer by fall. I'm sure I can come up with shelter from the rain fairly easy and it'll be relatively short term so that shouldn't be too difficult. But, I really need to come up with a plan for a small barn or shelter for a family cow rather quickly. My Realtor talked to somebody interested in selling to me when we get up there. He and his wife are also wanting raw milk, home made butter and cheese but they don't have the time or desire to take care of, and milk a cow themselves. We are talking about a cow share arrangement of some sort (because selling raw dairy off the farm in WA is illegal) and I think they are more excited about it then I am. I was going to wait until spring before buying a family cow, but this fell into my lap and I don't think I want to pass it up if I find one that I like and can work out a price. Of course, I have to still see exactly what's being offered, but so far it sounds good. I just dont' want to have a cow die on me with pnemonia or something because I didn't have good enough shelter in the winter. Any ideas? Words of wisdom?
     
  2. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Location:
    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    You don't say where in Washington you're moving to, Eastern and Western Washington are two completely different climates. I'm in Western, so I can help you a bit with info for there.
    Trees can be used to support a fence, but I think its more trouble than its worth unless its a perimeter fence. Even then, the tree will grow around the wire and cause problems later if you ever intend to log the trees.
    Unless you are far up into the Cascades, your steer won't need a building. As long as he can get in under some trees he'll be fine, same for a milk cow. The rain is not the problem for them anyway, what they need to get out of is the sun!
    As for getting a milk cow before you have the facilities, I would let her go dry early so I would have some time to get a proper milk shed built. The shed would be merely for my comfort, not the cow. A well trained cow can be milked anywhere, I've milked them from a stool out in the pasture with no problems. Its just that you have to carry your wash bucket, stool and milkpail around instead of having everything in one place in the parlor.
     

  3. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Put in a proper fence and leave your poor trees alone. attaching anything to them will eventually kill them.

    I've never kept cattle in anything but barbed wire fences, although I have used an electric temporary fence for cross fencing.
     
  4. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
    Western Washington
    Christiaan we are going to Western WA not too far out of Chehalis. Won't get much in the way of snow, but I am expecting rain. Coming from So. Ca where the winters are mild I almost feel like a fish jumping out of the pond. All of my experience is with beef cattle so I'm confident when it comes to dealing with a steer. I'm just not so sure about dairy breeds, yet. I've only had one milk cow in my life, and she got sold before I figured out too much about her. (milked a lot of goats though. Does that count for anything? lol)I figure, if I go ahead and get a cow that I'll milk her in the garage if necessary, for my own comfort. At least until I'm set up with an alternative location. Although I'm not opposed to the pasture...lol Thank you for your input.
     
  5. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Yelm, WA
    my friend has 20 ac. in e. WA about 20 or 30 years ago someone attached the barbwire to the trees. All the wires are in the center of the trees now because they have grown so much. It looks cool, I like seeing weird stuff like that out in the country.