Teaser 215: Fencing For Livestock and How We Proceeded

When we started work in the morning I noted the fencing crew had nearly completed the west side for the animal pens, the side facing the highway. It was critical because the livestock areas all butted against the fence, designed obviously to avoid the necessity of one side for each area. All the livestock areas butted against each, again avoiding the necessity of a side for each. The goats would be in the northwest corner but the north fence would not start until all the west fence was complete. The sheep area, next to the goats, was almost complete, roughly the size of an entire football field, with a door on the west side as well as a door on the east.

The fencing material we used consisted of metal posts, three meters in length in intervals of five meters, driven to a height of roughly eight feet, and fenced with straight wire—barbed wire was rejected—tighter at the bottom growing wider to the top with a total of eight, top to bottom. Each wire was attached to its post with post connectors, simply wire shaped like a “U” and twisted around the wire against the post. Every fifty meters that post was strung with wires on opposite sides to the ground attached to stakes driven at an angle and secured in concrete. This was done to assure stability of the fence since the tension of the wire would pull at each post without it. We had come alongs to pull the wire tight and with an entire crew working each aspect, the fencing would not take long to complete. You may ask why we didn't build a more secure and private fence. This was dismissed long ago. We weren't in Gossi to build our own little private garden. We wanted everything we did in the open, so all who surrounded us could see, and so we could see all who surrounded us. We rejected barbed wire to avoid injury to humans and animals. We considered barbed wire unnecessary.

The way we organized the fencing crew's procedure was simple. We measured ten meters from the highway, staked a length and sprayed paint over the string for the entire length of the west fence, nearly three miles. Two of the fencing crew then measured the distance to each stake placement, one for either side. They would dig using a post-hole implement to about a half-meter, pound a metal stake one meter in length at an angle away from the fence to about six inches above ground, and fill the hole with cement. The rest of the crew drove the fence posts from the northern corner to the southern corner. Only after the cement had set for twenty-four hours did they start lashing the wire to the posts and stabilization stakes but in two days they had already completed the west fence well beyond the southern perimeter of the animal pens.

- Just Desserts, Segment Twenty-SevenLost on the Dark Continent” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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