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The Fence Post

Should I Build or Buy a Pre-Built Rabbit Cage?

December 5, 2019 | by Debbie Page

Rabbit behind mesh cage

Safe Enclosures for your Rabbits

Safety is the most important priority when building and buying rabbit cages. We specifically sell and recommend materials that keep rabbits safe. This article includes information on ready-made rabbit cages shipped from Pennsylvania. It also includes two materials that are safe for building your own rabbit cages from scratch: 1. Baby Saver and 2. Welded Wire Mesh.

DIY Rabbit Cage Materials for Customizing Rabbit Cages

The Baby Saver or Protecting Your Kit

Baby Saver wire is designed specifically for protecting kits (baby rabbits) in rabbit cages. Unlike standard welded wire mesh which has a 1” x 2” mesh for the entire width, this wire mesh has a ½” x 1” mesh for the bottom 4” which prevents kits from falling or being pulled through the cage.

Even though baby saver wire is more expensive than the standard wire used for rabbit cages, the cost is more than worth it to prevent the loss of kits. After all, what good is a rabbit cage if it does not protect the kits?

Baby saver is welded from 14 gauge wire and is available in both GAW (Galvanized After Weld) and GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) finish. The GAW wire will last far longer than the GBW. After the welding process the mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The weld spots and wires are thoroughly protected from rust and corrosion. Although more expensive initially, you will save the expense and hassle of replacement.

Dimensions and Planning

Rolls are 18” x 100’. The bottom 4” has a mesh opening of ½” x 1” and the top 14” has a mesh opening of 1” x 2”. It is made of 14 gauge galvanized steel wire for strength and security.

Protect your kits from untimely death by choosing baby saver wire so you and your rabbits can enjoy peace of mind! Your Mama rabbits will thank you!

Welded Wire Mesh in All Sizes

Although Baby Saver is specified for rabbit cages, there are other options. You can get creative and use what is generally known as welded wire mesh. Welded wire mesh can be used to make rabbit cages and hutches in all shapes in sizes. In other words, you can customize your cages in any way you want. Welded wire mesh in the 16 gauge, 1/2" x 1" is the ideal mesh size to use for flooring. Widths available - 12", 15", 18", 24", 30", 36", 48", 60" and 72". Galvanized After Weld finish is recommended due to its ability to stand up to the corrosive effects of rabbit urine. The 14 gauge, 1" x 2" mesh is the perfect size for the sides and top. Galvanized Before Weld wire can be used for these panels to save money, if needed. These products will keep your rabbits (and other small animals) safe and secure.

Remember that domesticated rabbits have lost some of their ability to cope with life outside and it is preferable that they are kept indoors. A hutch left outside is vulnerable to attack by predators; for example, a raccoon can reach in and do damage. It also must be noted that simply the approach of a predator can cause a heart attack as a rabbit has no capacity to run or hide.  

If you have other animals, other meshes are also available that can be used to make cages and pens for larger animals such as:

  • apron fence for beagle training pens
  • woven diamond mesh and 2" x 4" mesh for horses
  • woven deer and wildlife fence

Be sure to Check the Louis Page website for sourcing a huge variety of animal enclosures.

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, cages, baby saver, galvanized after, GAW

Spite Fences

November 20, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Spite Fences

Some neighbors might ignore you quite satisfactorily, other neighbors are kind and conversational in passing, and some offer more exchange, even the possibility of becoming true friends. And then there are those neighbors that consider your mere presence an insult. Just the sight of you and your domain an anathema. This grumbling soul can for the most part be ignored by you, reasoning that there must be good reasons, and as you are not in charge of this curmudgeon's emotional state, it is best to simply go on about your business, keeping the glaring eyes in your periphery. Seething anger is unpleasant all the way to being scary and best not to jostle a hornets' nest. Until the day when it goes up--the eyesore, that pure symbol of animosity, a monument to meanness: an ugly fence. A spite fence. An intentionally unappealing fence that: 

  • goes with nothing
  • has no purpose
  • interrupts everything
  • calls attention to itself 

seated angry man raging with hoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                www.asmussenfoto.dk

This was a new concept for me, the phenomenon of "spite fences." This is when a neighbor builds a fence to purposefully antagonize his neighbors. If the fence is unattractive, the eyesore may elicit a response from the neighborhood as a whole. Understandably, the neighbors are cut off from the angry builder of the fence and possibly from other neighbors. Court cases that involve such disputes are difficult to measure, as the offense is for the most part psychological. In the U.S., the blocking of light and air is generally not considered an offense as it can be in other countries. If the issue is actually the height of a fence, local codes may be consulted and the law may have your back; however, merely blocking the view of a neighboring yard is not a cause for official complaint. A major directive on fence building is that it not cause injury to others. Some states have adopted ordinances regarding spite fences and guidelines have been created. Generally, it must be established that the fence is solely built to antagonize and has no practical or seemly purpose. It is up to the defendant to prove that the fence has a function other than to perturb those living nearby.

Reconciliation Possibilities 

At the outset, it may be important to consider that you're not the one to approach the offender. One of your other neighbors may have a better relationship with with the problematic fence owner and may be able smooth the way. If you've collected other complaining neighbors, it may be best to put your objections in writing rather than showing up at the door en masse. On your own time, venting and gossiping about your neighbor may seem unifying with others, but it may be fueling the fire and raising your blood pressure. If at all possible, depending on the willingness of the various parties involved in a fence dispute, a mediator might be able to assist in a standoff. A trained mediator enables a discussion with both parties in the aim of establishing a dialogue, exploring the fence's purpose and the potential dismantling of the fence.  

two person writing on paper on brown wooden table

Lacking a Resolution

You must question yourself and realize that the conflict may never go away and that you must acknowledge your part in the dispute, working on the triggers the fence brings up in you. Is it possible you are being arrogant and high-minded? Is your being right propping up a sense of self-righteousness that borders on obsession?  Are there any inroads you could make to mollify the hostility with the neighbor? Is there a way you can introduce humor into the situation moving forward, if only for yourself?  Not feeding the antagonism may assist in a resolution. Adjust your perspective and try to find a bigger picture to help diffuse the tension. Taking a step back and waiting to respond when conflict arises is always a good plan. It never hurts to retreat, reflect, allow your blood pressure to lower, and then return to the fray, if indeed necessary.

Woman Sitting on Brown Wooden Chair Beside Coconut

 

While we're on the subject of neighbors, have a look at our blog, "Does a Good Fence Make a Good Neighbor?"

 

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Topics: fence building, fence choices, Fencing Tips

Stone Fences Yesterday and Today

October 17, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

green grass near wall and trees

The gold city series 02

 

The First Fences

In exploring New England, one becomes aware of a continual presence during a hike or looking out a car window. Along the roadways, in forests, in front of homes, farms, and even office parks, stone fences speak silently of earlier times. The immutable evidence of a history of necessity; a result of farming and working the land, now juxtaposed with modernity recalls us to a fledgling nation. 

Frost heaves and Farming

17th century settlers created field after field; pulling tree after tree out until the land was 70% deforested. This allowed rocks to become unearthed from a combination of erosion and frost heaves, resulting in piles of rocks hauled to the edges of fields. They were, over the following centuries, laboriously fashioned into the stone fences we see today. This created a distinct line of forest to field. Of similar origins to the field stones of the British Isles, these familiar rocks suited the settlers in New England. Some surmise that the earliest stone fence in New England dates to 1607, most likely it was previous to this date. Ultimately some 240,000 miles of stone fences were erected, peaking in the mid 19th century, when industrialization altered the practice. 

A Habitat

Stone fences are hives of activity for many types of wildlife--small creatures take refuge in the crevices, spaces, and tunnels. The evidence or tracks of mice, squirrels, chipmunks, minks and weasels may be noticed in and around. The walls may serve as a system of trails by larger animals or foxes may deposit scat on or around the walls to alert others. As temperatures climb, spiders, worms, and insects use the stonewalls for shelter while tree frogs and snakes take refuge as well--hibernating beneath during the winter months. 

Here are some examples of more current stone fence building:

 

Another early fence of note and particular to the practice of the early settlers is the worm fence. A fence, zigzag in plan, made of rails resting across one another at an angle - according to the Random House Dictionary.

This style of fencing is also known as Snake Fence, ZigZag Fence and Battlefield Fence - the latter term due to its presence on many Civil War battlefields. Worm Fence (also known as Virginia Worm fence) has been used in America since the 1600's. Easy to build, split wood rails are stacked on each other to create the fence. The ends of the rails alternate, creating the openings. For stability of the stacked rails, each section of fence is angled from the previous one, giving the appearance of a worm or snake.

worm fence at Gettysburg

 

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Topics: fence, fence building, worm fence

Goat Fencing

September 30, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

The Right Fence

Adult and baby goat in pen

Protecting Your Herd

Barnyard or backyard, goats may be a source of comic relief or the creators of mayhem. So much depends on the enclosure you provide for your herd. Goats interact with fencing and will test its limits. Your herd of goats will find a fence's vulnerability and capitalize on it for their own exploring and ravenous ends. 

To begin with, a 4 foot high high tensile woven wire fence with 4" x 4" openings is the rule. Goats are strong and smart and your fence has to be as well. Tough and flexible woven 12.5 gauge wire with strong stiff stay knots is imperative. This combination of factors will stand up to the roughhousing that goats bring to the party.

Let's break down some of those terms--

  • Woven Wire--A woven wire fence's linked yet loose structure allows for a large amount of bend, twist and pull without breaking -- a perfect design if you have livestock to contain.This makes for secure mesh, strong enough to hold together well when impacted by a demanding goat. This also adapts to variable terrain.                                                                                                                                                                           
  • 12.5 Gauge--a thickness of wire with a minimum of 1,350 pounds breaking strength, which you'll find plenty strong for your goats.                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • High Tensile--means higher carbon steel wire, roughly twice the strength of low carbon wire yet lighter due to the higher grade of steel, the payoff being easier handling. Safer than barbed wire for your goats and can be electrified. Standard Class 3 galvanizing protects the wire and extends its life. With proper maintenance it can last up to 40 years.                                                                                                                                     
  • 4" x 4" Openings--goats can't get their heads and horns through, avoiding injury. It's smooth wire; again, reducing injuries.                                                                                           
  • S knot, (also known as Square Deal): This knot is used insquare deal fence knot making non-climb 4" x 4" mesh sheep and goat fence. The S knot prevents the fence from buckling or sagging. It also provides extra vertical strength and rigidity while at the same time allowing flexibility. These knots add to the fence's adaptability to hilly terrain. One-piece vertical stay wires, attached to line wires--with a crimp--prevent slippage. 

A Goat's Ways

Add an extra strand of electric fence wire at the top of the fence to ensure safety, especially for more ambitious goats. Yet, no matter what system is in place when keeping goats: vigilance is required. A break or defect in the fence and your goat will take advantage of it, resulting in runaway goats. Straying goats will munch a rose bush over a clump of grass. When goats are limited to a grassy enclosure, the incidence of worms and parasites goes up. They are known as browsers in their style of feeding--leafy fodder above the ground is of particular interest and they will use a fence to find ways to get at bushy shrubs and the lower growth of trees--or happily climb trees. If you've got a goat that makes a practice of finding new and creative ways of escaping, it may be time to enhance your enclosure for Ms. or Mr. Gruff, upgrading your existing fence. A rebellious goat will readily tutor other goats in your herd with its pillaging tactics.

 

If you're desiring a backyard goat, remember that cities and towns may have size and number limits. Consider your neighbors as they can be noisy. You must have space--you cannot share your yard with a goat as your yard won't exist after a goat has its way. As omnivorous as they seem they will not eat what they've peed on so their fodder must be kept off the ground in a raised feeder. 

a black and a white goat in gated entry

Shedding and Fence Stress

Seems to be that shedding is going to be one of the stressors on your fence. Shedding? Yes, this is why a woven wire fence comes in handy; it flexes with the strains of a goat using it to rub off its warm winter undercoat that comes off in spring. You might give your goats a good brushing to prevent wear and tear on your fence. 

Goat Facts:

  • First and foremost--goats are social animals and being isolated is stressful for them.
  • They walk immediately after being born and are weaned around 3 months.
  • Birth occurs in spring, after 5-6 months gestation, producing 1 or 2 kids.
  • A male goat is known as a billy or a buck; if castrated, they are called wethers.
  • Females are does or nannies. They are generally ready to breed once they have reached 80 lbs.
  • Lifespan of domesticated goat: generally 12-18 years and varies with the breed.

GOAT FENCE

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Topics: goat, woven wire, high tensile wire, 12.5 gauge

Alligator Easily Scales Fence

September 5, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Chain-link Fail

When thinking about alligators in the U.S. one imagines first and foremost Florida, then perhaps Georgia and Louisiana. However, their presence goes much further than that--add Alabama, Mississippi, South and North Carolina, the eastern part of Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and the bottom tip of Arkansas. 

Here is a stunner. There is a plethora of safety guidelines available online for avoiding these threats to life and limb.

 

The estimated number of alligators in just Florida is 1.25 million. By the late 80s, the American alligator was considered endangered. It has quickly recovered its population since being protected. As humans encroach upon the habitat of alligators, the incidences of interacting with these significant reptiles have increased dramatically. 

In any case, the alligator safety basics are:

  • Do not attempt to deal with alligator yourself
  • Call your local animal control or 911
  • Do not approach an alligator
  • Do not feed an alligator
  • Avoid sudden movements                                                                                                                                                                        
    gray alligator at daytime
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Topics: wire mesh, fencing materials, woven wire, welded wire

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