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The Fence Post

Goat Fencing

September 30, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

The Right FenceAdult 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

Cat-Proof Fence--Five Miles of it

July 25, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

 

cat stalking in brush 

Rescuing the Endangered Hawaiian Petrel: a three year project 

In the lava crevices on the slopes of Moana Loa, the Hawaiian petrel nests. Now a bit less nervously as a 5-mile hexagonal mesh fence protects these endangered birds from feral cats, who stalk and feast on the birds' vulnerable chicks. The curved floppy top of the fence prevents the cats from successfully scaling it. Take a look at this video which explains the massive undertaking of installing this cat-proof wire mesh fence in a remote location as well as showing the nesting habits of the 'ua'u (or Hawaiian petrel.) 

 

 

There used to be thousands of petrels and it is said that their presence would blacken the skies at particular times of the year. The population has dwindled due to increased settlements and people bringing in cats, rats, feral pigs, and barn owls. The struggle goes on as lights are very disorienting to the young birds, causing groundings, which leave them vulnerable to predators. The 'ua'u is also preyed upon by Indian mongooses and feral dogs which this fence also restrains. Two years on, there are reports that this hexagonal mesh fence is proving successful as there is an upturn in the number of nesting sites in the area.   

Tell us about the job and Louis Page will supply the type of fence you need.

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Topics: black vinyl coated, vinyl coated, 1.5x1.5, galv after, 12.5 gauge, 1" mesh, exclusion fence

The Cultivated Oyster

May 7, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

oysters on ice in a wooden box

Oyster Farmers: Man your Cages 

Painstaking methods and ongoing research are required in the process of bringing this coastal crop to our tables. Oysters are luxuriant in the minerals they contain while offering us bountiful nutrition and culinary joy. Unfortunately, oysters have been under attack in the past few hundred years and the current restoration of oyster reefs all along America's coastline is providing some protection for the humble mollusk, which in turn will protect us.

Oysters and Nutrition

A single medium-sized raw oyster contains roughly 5 grams of high quality and complete protein, as well as these life-saving and life-enhancing vitamins and nutrients:

Zinc--the humble oyster is brimming with the stuff. Zinc is important for cell division and is responsible for the function of red and white blood cells in our bodies. It is indispensable for physical performance, energy levels, body composition and maintaining ideal hormone levels. Zinc is also an antioxidant--busy stabilizing stress levels and fighting aging. Low levels of zinc are known to cause reduced libido and infertility.

Potassium--occurs in high levels in oysters: it helps lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels, and provide good cholesterol.

Vitamin D--essential for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth. Low vitamin D is associated with breast, colon and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression, and weight gain.

Vitamin E--aids in making cellular membranes strong and flexible.

Vitamin B12--oysters are an excellent source. B12 regulates metabolism and formation of red blood cells while maintaining the central nervous system, brain health, and development.

Iron--the main component of hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen in the blood. Iron is crucial to red blood cell production and therefore to vitality. In its fight against anemia, iron stimulates the nervous system, supporting muscles and energy levels, cognitive function, and stomach health.

Copper--regulates iron, ensures appropriate enzymatic reactions, enhances the health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. It regulates heart rhythm, balances thyroid levels, enhances red blood cell production, and reduces cholesterol. Amino acids and vitamins are metabolized by copper. The body does not manufacture it and therefore must be added through diet. Consult an oyster.

Manganese--a powerful antioxidant. Creates essential enzymes for building bone, maintaining bone structure, and bone metabolism. Assists in the formation of connective tissues and absorption of calcium while regulating sex hormones, healthy blood sugar levels, and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Selenium--an antioxidant, a catalyst for active thyroid hormone production, necessary for sperm motility, may prevent miscarriage and is thought to be a mood stabilizer. Healthy levels are linked to reduced cancer and heart disease risk.

Yet as always, consume oysters in moderation as they are so vitamin rich, they can result in mineral overdose, and always buy them from reputable sources. Consume oysters as a preventative and not as a medical treatment, especially in the case of established heart disease. And the martini you might add to the mix? Well...life has its trade-offs. 

Methods of Cultivation

One of the most common methods of cultivation is cage-raised oysters. Many of our favorites, indeed a majority, are bred this way. Fortunately, shell-fish farms are high on the list of sustainable methods of farming--pleasing environmentalists and purveyors. Some methods of cultivation are rack and bag, tray, floating and buoy suspension. 

Cage-raised Oysters cultivated above the bottom of a bay are:

  • kept cleaner
  • protected from predators
  • thinner-shelled oysters
  • resulting in better yields
  • sometimes mixed in their cultivation--cage-raised above, then transferred to the bottom of the bay toward the end of their development--creating stronger shells   

Oysters raised on the bottom of the ocean floor are:

  • similar to how oysters grow in the wild
  • stronger shelled
  • vulnerable to mother nature
    • oysters may suffocate under the bottom of the bay
    • suffer attack by predators, such as the oyster drill or the New England dog whelk, commonly found in intertidal areas of Rhode Island
    • frozen in ice and taken out to sea

Methods used to raise oysters on the bottom of the ocean are many and may depend on geography--beach versus bay, local regulations, predators, and weather. Louis Page will stock your enterprise with a variety of necessities, be it 12.5 gauge galvanized after, 14 or 16 gauge vinyl coated wire mesh in 3/4" x 3/4', 1" x 1", 1.5" x 1.5" openings or hardware cloth which comes in 1/2" x 1/2" and 1/4" x 1/4". The wire mesh heights typically used by the oyster industry range from 12" to 48".

Learn from a farmer in action:

 

Cleaning and Maintaining the Environment

One adult oyster filters 30 to 50 gallons of water every day. Pollutants such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide are filtered from coastal waters by oysters, rendering them clearer and cleaner. The presence of oysters helps to control algae as they build up ecosystems by attracting various types of sea life. A keystone species is central to keeping an ecosystem functioning and as such, oysters are relied upon by other species in maintaining biodiversity along coastlines and in estuaries.

The Mollusk That Fed New York

350 square miles of Oyster Reefs. In the 1600s, that was the approximate number of oyster reefs occupying the waters around the city of New York. Oysters were plentiful and by the 1800s oyster carts were the hot dog stands of the day. At the time, half of the world's oyster population was found in that area. 85% of oyster reefs have disappeared around the world in the last 100 years, due to higher ocean acidity, over-harvesting, and disease. By the early 1900s, the oysters were gone, eaten. Wouldn't you know it, these reefs control erosion and act as buffers from high waves during storms; hence, major cities are protected by them. Oyster reefs act in a sponge-like way, drawing the energy out of passing waves and are actually more effective and inexpensive than steel walls and wooden bulkheads, which increase sand erosion ahead of these artificial structures.

Military and environmental groups are working together to plant miles of oyster reefs along the coastline of New Jersey, which has suffered much storm damage in recent years. Other reefs are being built along the East Coast as far south as Florida. Amazingly, every coastal state in the U.S. is using oyster reefs for the buffering of storms and/or water amelioration. As they struggle to survive, it is best to leave these wild oysters and their reefs to their important work, and rely on farmed oysters for consumption. 

oysters on the half shell

Growing Hope                                                                                                                                           There is a project afoot to rebuild the oyster reefs around the New York Harbor in the next twenty years. The Billion Oyster Project sets its sights on building 100 acres of oyster reefs which will become home to a billion oysters by 2035. Oyster larvae, known as spat, naturally attach to oyster shells and after many generations, build up the reef. Based on the success of a scheme in the Chesapeake, restaurants are returning oyster shells so that after curing for an extended time, they are put back onto the reefs that are being rebuilt.      

Louis Page is committed to sourcing and delivering the finest fence and mesh available to do the rugged and exacting work of cultivating oysters. You can be assured that the products we sell are the best-engineered on the market today. 

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, GAW, vinyl coated, 3/4x3/4, 1x1, 16 gauge, 1.5x1.5, 1/2x1/2, 14 gauge, galv after, 12.5 gauge

Can Deer Fence Be a Part of an Integrated Pest Management Program?

November 16, 2012 | by Don Hillis

deer jumping over barbed wire fence

A Deer Comes Crashing In

The deer population has been an ongoing concern for several reasons. They’re a safety risk near roadways and a nuisance in urban areas. Do you remember the movie “Bambi?” That’s the term commonly used when referring to deer. My first encounter with a deer was at age nine. I remember riding in a car one fall morning along a country road lined with barbed wire fencing and flat open fields. Suddenly, my eyes fixed on a brown object moving at an unbelievable speed towards the road. A deer suddenly leapt over the fence in front of the car. Everything moved in slow motion as the deer slid onto the hood and smashed through the windshield where its long neck and head came to rest between me and the driver. Fortunately, no one was injured. The deer was not so lucky. True story!

galvanized high tensile deer fence

White-Tailed 

The Northeast and other areas have seen damage from white-tailed deer on crops, orchards and residential landscaping. Community developments in rural areas have forced deer to look for new food sources in gardens, and even lawns. Destruction of vegetation in communities has generated awareness for new methods of deer control in conjunction with deer fencing materials: polypropylene, vinyl coated hex netting and high tensile deer fence.

IPM: Integrated Pest Management

The EPA definition - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

The IPM approach can be applied to both agricultural and non-agricultural settings, such as the home, garden, and workplace. IPM takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options including, but not limited to, the judicious use of pesticides.

An Integrated Pest Management approach is a strategic approach to dealing with deer. The University of Rhode Island landscape horticulture program lists a fact sheet online with an (IPM) control plan that lists effective methods to control deer.

Three steps to Integrated Pest Management

Before instituting an effective IPM method it’s important to take the following three steps:

  1. Define your objectives by identifying your short and long term goals.
  2. Analyze the site by noting the damage done, plants eaten, and size of the deer herd if possible.
  3. Develop a plan by having a budget and deciding what tactics to employ. You can put all this together in an IPM approach to your deer control problem with greater success.

Deer Fencing for Results

Deer fence is one of the ways of implementing an IPM for deer control. Three types of mesh fences are available: 2" x 1-3/4" extruded black polypropylene, 1" black vinyl coated hexagonal mesh, and 12-1/2 gauge high tensile woven wire. All are available in extra tall sizes. The type you choose can be determined by the steps listed above. Which is best-suited to your needs?

 

Want more information about polypropylene and vinyl coated hex deer fence?
Download the Hex and Poly Deer Fence brochure!
 
 
 
Want more information about high tensile deer fence?
Download the woven Deer Fence brochure!
 
 
 

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Topics: deer fence, black vinyl coated, 12.5 gauge, hex mesh

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