Check your fences....a vent!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by JanO, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    854
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Western Washington
    It seems I'm the one who is constantly ranting to whoever will listen how important it is to keep livestock fences in good shape. But, growing up on a ranch I learned from a young age how disastrous it could be if your animals got out. There are very few things that make me more nervous then poor boundaries where livestock is concerned.

    I have one neighbor who seems to think that bailing twine is a good substitute wire fence line. Well last night this particular neighbor, who I've even made minor repairs for without her knowledge, found out that my ranting isn't without reason. Two of her four horses got out and found their way down to the highway. Some passers-by pulled over and attempted to either catch them, or maybe guide them out of the way, not really sure exactly what they were trying to do. But in the process another motorist, who was drunk, came flying through and hit them. The sheriff estimates that she was going at least 90 MPH! Both horses were killed instantly. It's a miracle that none of the people who were out there trying to catch them weren't hit too.

    We were called about 1:00am to assist with getting them off the highway with our front loader. (We are less then a quarter mile away.) So we loaded up everything we could think of that we might need in the pickup while DH drove the tractor down to scoop up the horses and take them to the owners property. They have a backhoe there now to bury them. I couldn't tell last night in the dark, but this morning I went to the owners house and sure enough....her fences were down again! Some of them are literally pieced together with strands of wire and twine tied together.

    What really irks me though, is that she doesn't seem to realize that this could have been prevented if she would have spent the money and time to fix them. A couple weeks ago DH & I even offered to do it for her and install a hot box. All she had to do was pay for the wire since the post are in good shape. I have a spare hot box that I was willing to give her. She didn't want to spend the money and kept saying that what she has is good enough. Well, obviously it isn't because now two horses are dead.

    IF YOUR FENCES ARE IN NEED OF REPAIR, DON'T HESITATE. FIX THEM NOW! I don't ever want to see animals mangled on the highway again. Don't let it happen to yours.

    OK, I'm going to get off my soap box now...
     
  2. fricknfarm

    fricknfarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Wire fence doesn't take much time or money, really foolish of her not to repair it. Thank God no one was hurt. Too bad about the horses. Funny, my horse go out the other night, don't know how or why but we saw a hunters' truck at the corner of our property yesterday morning, i think they spooked her and she jumped the back fence, one 20' section of the top wire was a little loose and she had small cuts on her right legs. She's a good girl and just wanted back in her pasture. swometimes even good fences aren't enough tho. the farmer next to us doen't keep his in the best shape,sometimes runs cows that test every inch. They came over here once, he came to get them while I was out and left my fence open. Ruby went for a short walk that day.
     

  3. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,018
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Our fences are good, neighbor on the south built his fence, and tied onto all our corner posts, got mad when i suggested he put in a brace post on his side. one night, neighbor on the north had cows get out, and without our knowledge, tore down our gate.10 pm, our horses got out, scared to death, as they had NEVER been out of their pasture. ran quarter of a mile--me right after them, to our southern neighbors, who promptly started shooting at me!!finally got him settled, and horses home. but in the two years since, if theres a horse out anywhere, they come to my house to tell me MY horses are out.one and only time in 40 years has ANY animal of ours got out of confinement-dogs included.--lol--guineas dont count--they only go to my daughters.
     
  4. idontno

    idontno Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Western Kansas
    Had friend who hit a horse on the hiway..Came right threw the winshield.You can guess the out come.He left 2 young kids and a wife.Fix the fences...idontno
     
  5. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    880
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Early one morning we were driving down the highway, it was still dark out. As we rounded a curve "something" big in the road suddenly moves towards us. DH steers onto the shoulder~bump, bumpty, bump, bump~on the grass at 50 MPH we went. Back on the road again we realized that whatever it was that had been in the road was now galloping along beside us! The shoulder thing has slowed us way down to about 25 MPH and whatever it was~was keeping up with us! And it was running so close to the side of us that DH could have reached out and patted it. Not knowing what it was DH hit the gas to try getting away from it. Of course it couldn't keep up with us! After a few seconds as we were looking back trying to see what the heck it was then we saw a big horse gallop behind us and into a field. We turned around and went back. DH got out and closed the open gate and made sure that it was secure before we were on our way again. I doubt that its owners even knew he had been out on the highway racing traffic during the night~can you imagine what might have happened if one of us had zigged instead of zagged?
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    Good fences make good neighbors.
     
  7. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,545
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Appalachian Foothills
    That's why around here, I build my fence on my side of the lot line & you build yours on your side. Looks silly, 2 fences side by side, but is better in the long run.

    So sad, too bad. Wonder what it'll take for her to learn...
     
  8. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Not to mention if you are found negligent with having stock out in the road and a history of similar problems and/or not fixing fence when pointed out its flaws, you most likely can sign away everything you own ( and everything you will make in the future ) to the heirs of whoevers vehicle your stock went thru the windshield of.....so your neighbor is playing with matches and dynamite regarding financial liability and her families future....
     
  9. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    sounds like a lot of extra work/expense one good fence should do the job
     
  10. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

    Messages:
    17,092
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    I'll admit, some of our fence looks knda rough, but it's electric all the way around.
    We are going to rebuild it starting with what's closest to the road, but with 4 miles of fence, it's going to take a while to get it all.
     
  11. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,680
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
    That's what farm insurance is for.

    When the insurance agent found out how many goats I have, she told me we would have to insure as a farm.

    The main reason was if one of the animals escaped and caused a traffic accident, we would be covered.

    Of course, if any of my goats escaped, they would probably end up maaing at the kitchen door. But it is just as well.

    The only one that escaped in my little ND who still pops through the fence at feeding time. She is starting to get stuck in the middle now...I think I need to put some welded wire on the outside to hold her in.

    The ND mama's babies just hop through the fence to her when we are putting her in the outside-the-big-pen-pen...kind of cute...need some more welded wire...
     
  12. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Location:
    No. Illinois
    This is just good common sense.

    Unfortunately, some folks are not in possession of any....
     
  13. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    And some folks have a hard enough time paying property taxes on fixed incomes to also pay for extra insurance!
     
  14. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Yep some folks can't afford the farm insurance or liability insurance. I hate to generalize, but these may also be the folks who can't afford to maintain their fence.

    Of course in my experience, maintaining fence is pretty cheap in material cost, it does take time and effort though.

    One thing about living in the country and having livestock, I can always, at any time, find a piece of fence that needs mending/improvement.

    :)
     
  15. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,126
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    And in my opinion, these may also be the folks who can't afford livestock to begin with!!!
     
  16. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    486
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    I agree, if you can't afford to keep livestock in safe pastures and in good condition, you shouldn't have any. But people do anyhow.
     
  17. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    507
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    Western WA
    I agree that they shouldn't have the livestock then. Responsible ownership begins with deciding whether you can afford to properly care for and protect the animal(s) in the first place.
    The next step is to actually follow through with the actions needed to protect both the animals and the general public or family, whether it be an agressive rooster, a biting dog or a cow or horse on the highway.

    An insurance policy and decent fencing is cheap in the long run. Outright negligence or a careless moment, an animal doing something that it shouldn't be doing could mean that someone else ends up with your farm and then some.

    We have had people trespass and also kids come into our yard to retrieve their ball or to play with our kids, whatever. Accidents happen. This is why we attached a million dollar liability policy on top of our regular homeowner's insurance.
    "Pain and suffering" and "emotional trauma" sure adds up fast.
     
  18. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    854
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Western Washington
    That's exactly my opinion as well. I may not be rich by any means, but I know that if my animals get out it's because a gate was left open, not a fence being down. Oh, I know that sometimes things happen and it can't be avoided, but for the most part basic maintanence will solve a problem before there's trouble. I've been told that I overbuilt mine, but rather have it over done, then not.

    I will concede though that if the drunk driver hadn't of come through when she did that the horses would have probably been brought back home and would be fine... there's plenty of blame on both sides to go around. But that's still not justification for them to be out in the first place, when it could have easily been avoided.

    I haven't talked to the neighbor that lost the horses since yesterday morning. Actually I'm trying to avoid her. I'm still too furious over the whole situation and feel it's better to stay away and keep my mouth shut. Saw the sheriff over there yesterday afternoon though. Don't know what was going on, and really don't want to know. Will say this ... if anybody comes to me and ask my opinion I won't hesitate to give it. I haven't seen her other two horses either... think she may have moved them someplace else to keep from losing them. Sure going to be interesting to see what happens when the insurance companies, the drivers auto and the horse owners homeowners, get a hold of it.
     
  19. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

    Messages:
    3,086
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    AHA! So that's what people use all that extra baling twine for!

    I spend about 4 hours out in my yard yesterday cleaning up a small portion of the junk that the previous owner just apparently tossed over his shoulder when finished with. I must have pulled out 200 strings of twine embedded in the ground. :flame: What a pig!

    On the other hand, he also left behind a substantial pile of metal, maybe that's worth something at the recycler's.

    DD
     
  20. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Highly Variable
    When we owned property in Texas (fifty acres), the "neighbors" on an adjacent thirty-acre property put up a ONE-strand barbed wire fence (NOT electrified). As one might expect, their horses and goats were frequent “visitors” to our property. We returned the animals several times and asked in a nice way that the fence be made adequate to contain their animals. "Can't afford to" was the standard answer.

    They were no more respectful of property of others themselves, and often wandered or even drove on our land. An occasional accidental trespass would have been no problem, but constant intrusions and their "I deserve help" attitudes were not acceptable.

    We called the Sheriff and verified that Texas has strong trespass laws. A deputy told the neighbor in person that if he caught their people on our land they would go straight to jail and if we filed a trespass report a warrant would be issued. He also informed them that we had the right to secure wandering animals and ask that they be impounded (at owner expense).

    Somehow they found the money to fix the fence, then animals, including people, stayed off our land. Sometimes asking nicely doesn’t work.