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The Fence Post

Protecting Trees from Rutting Bucks

November 4, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

buck in forest

Bucks Using Trees

During the rut, between late September through November, a buck is after a doe. He advertises his desire by rubbing the summer-grown velvet off his antlers, thereby leaving his scent and establishing his territory, communicating his dominance over rivals with the hope that a doe will take notice. A buck will also rub the glands of his face and underside onto trees and branches. Not only do the bucks rub the trees, but they hit the trees noisily to announce their presence. Trees take another hit as rubbing occurs in late winter as the bucks seek to shed their antlers. Little do they know that you cared about that tree.

rut tree

Damage Done

The ravages to a tree from a rutting buck will start at about a foot off the ground up to 5 feet generally and a considerable amount of destruction can happen within the first 24 hours of this assault. Girdling, rubbing the bark layer off around the circumference of the tree will ultimately kill the tree, whereas patches of rubbed-off bark will stress the tree. The tree will then set out to heal itself and will be weakened or possibly die on the side or sides of the tree that have been roughed up. Externally the tree will show a scar. Another type of damage occurs in winter when deer can be literally starving and will eat the lower parts of a tree, including its bark. This damage can vary from year to year depending on the length and severity of the winter. For a buck, nutrition is key to the growth of antlers, a sign to females of his strength and suitability for breeding. Once deer become established in an area, they'll return and it can be very difficult to rid them from your land.

Tree bark scarred by rutting bucks

Which trees are targeted?

Regrettably, a buck is just as likely to damage a young, vulnerable tree as he is a mature tree and its branches. A young tree is particularly threatened if the sapwood is exposed over the winter. As far as varieties go, there does seem to be a preference for fragrant species such as pine, elm, spruce, sassafras, and cedar. Other common saplings to protect (up to 5 inches in diameter) are birches, maples, lindens, and magnolias. Upon realization that your trees and plants have become a victim of deer damage, immediate action is required. 

Countering the Attack 

An excellent method of protection is to create cages for trees, particularly young trees.  Use 4 T posts and 5-foot tall heavy fencing to surround a tree (at least 5 feet in diameter), secured with Zip-ties. Galvanized or Vinyl coated wire fencing is tough and long-lasting: our 14 gauge mesh with 2" x 2" openings, and particularly our mesh with 2" x 4" openings would be excellent choices (and this size mesh would keep beavers out as well.) Remember that black vinyl-coated wire blends better into the environment than green. Sturdy fence wire is important--lightweight chicken wire could collapse onto the tree and damage the bark. Wrapping a tree with burlap or specially made papers for trees do not provide enough protection from a rutting buck. Deer repellents just don't do the job that good fence wire will do in protecting a growing tree.

These cages are to guard a small number of trees. To protect an orchard or a large number of trees, you are in need of a deer and wildlife fence. Fencing out rabbits and various rodents, who eat the bark off the base of your tree can be controlled by a mesh with smaller openings. Louis Page has all kinds of blogs about fencing out deer. Just do a search on our main page for a wide variety of possibilities and the aspects you are interested in or are struggling with.  

How does the tree actually suffer?

The bark on the outside of a tree can be thought of as the first line of its defense. Here is the tree's outer edge of protection from whatever elements are affecting it. Keeping moisture out, bark guards the tree against inundation but it also helps to retain moisture in periods of low precipitation or drought. Just inside this outer bark is the inner bark, a layer that manages infestations, diseases, burrowing insects, and guards the tree against cold weather as well. Just underneath this is a very crucial thin layer in which nutrients are passed through the tree. The inner cambium layer (xylem) passes nutrients and water up from the roots; the outer cambium layer (phloem) brings food through photosynthesis from the leaves down the tree, distributing sugars that aid growth and the creation of bark. Excess phloem makes the bark; the old xylem tissue makes the wood of the tree.

Here are some videos that will get you started protecting your trees:

 

 

Galvanized After Welded Wire Mesh\

 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, 12.5 gauge, steel fence posts, deer and wildlife fence

Goat Fencing

September 30, 2019 | by Joe Morrell


goat next to fence on sunny day

Stubborn--Maybe, but also Strong and Smart

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 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.

About 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
  • Woven Wire--also makes for secure mesh, strong enough to hold together well when impacted by a demanding goat; plus, it 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

sheep and goat fence drawing: S knot

Best Not Underestimate Your Goat

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.

Have a look at this goat's ingenuity!  Wait for it...

 

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 the Best Fence

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. 

Consider Predators

Your goat may be wily, but it is also vulnerable to attack. “Coyotes are very good at killing sheep and goats. They will eat anything from newborns to adult animals. They are a threat year-round,” says Reid Redden, Texas A&M extension sheep and goats expert. Other trouble makers are:

  • dogs
  • bobcats
  • eagles
  • vultures
  • mountain lions

He confirms there are various trapping methods but for success, there's nothing like a good fence.

A Few 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
  • The lifespan of a domesticated goat is generally 12-18 years, varying 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 

The Endangered Hawaiian 'ua'u (or more commonly known as the Hawaiian Petrel)

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.) 

 

Some Progress

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 outdoor lights on homes and buildings 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. 

What about Coated Hex Mesh?

Hexagonal netting (aka chicken wire) that has been coated with a coating of PVC will last and last. After the 1" hex mesh is woven from 20 gauge galvanized wire (GBW), it is completely coated with a tough, flexible, bonded layer of black PVC.

The coating is:

  • extremely resistant to cracking, chipping, and weathering
  • unaffected by extremes of temperature
  • protected from degradation from sunlight by the UV inhibitors in the vinyl

Vinyl coated chicken wire has an approximate 18 gauge overall finished thickness and is highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Black color helps the mesh blend in with the landscape, becoming virtually invisible. This long-lasting mesh works well in a variety of applications: bird pens, garden fence, around the home or farm, and as you can see--on the lava slopes of Moana Loa!

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

Vinyl Coated Chicken Wire

If you are interested in more information on the restoration of the Hawaiian petrel: 

 

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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

 

oysterfloats

Man your Cages

Oysters are luxuriant in the minerals and nutrition they provide while offering their distinctive brand of culinary joy to a host of fans. 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 bringing renewal and protection to this humble mollusk, which in turn protects against the erosion of our coasts. As in other types of farming, painstaking methods and ongoing research are required in the process of bringing this crop to our tables.

Methods

One of the most common methods of cultivation is cage-raised oysters. Many of our favorites, indeed a majority, are bred this way. Happily, 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 
  • 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, also the local regulations, predators, and weather. Louis Page will stock your enterprise with a variety of necessities, be it 12.5 gauge galvanized after mesh, 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" openings. The wire mesh heights typically used by the oyster industry range from 12" to 48".

Learn from a farmer in action:

 

An Oyster is a Cleaning Machine

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.

Erosion Solutions

350 square miles of Oyster Reefs--that was the approximate number of oyster reefs occupying the waters around the city of New York in the 1600s. 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. Take a look at this article to learn about recent strides that are being made.

The Rebuilding                                                                                                            

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.

shucking oyster

So much to love here...

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 the 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. 

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

underwateroyster

Oyster Wire

 

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Topics: hardware cloth, GAW, vinyl coated, 3/4x3/4, 1x1, 14 gauge, galv after, 12.5 gauge

Animal Wire Mesh Fencing for Zoos, Parks and Homes

September 11, 2017 | by Debbie Page

donkey behind woven wire mesh

Containment or Exclusion?

There are many different styles of woven wire fence that can be successfully used in zoo displays. These wire fencing products can also be put to use around the home, farm and public areas such as parks and recreational areas. Think of these fences when you have any situation where animals need to be contained or excluded.

Cassowary behind woven wire mesh

Double-Wattled Cassowary & 2" x 4" woven wire mesh - Birmingham Zoo

2" x 4" openings, 12.5 gauge mesh -- Large Birds, Dogs, Horses, and Zebras

Woven 2" x 4" mesh is made with heavier 10 gauge selvage wires running along the top and bottom edge of the fence. This gives the fencing greater strength. Strong 12.5 gauge wire makes up the balance. A third piece of 12.5 gauge wire forms a smooth stiff knot around the horizontal and one piece vertical wires securely holding them together. Knotted construction gives the fence some flexibility making it easier to install over uneven ground. Woven 2" x 4" mesh is available in three different finishes: Class 1 galvanized, Class 3 galvanized and Class 3 black. It can be used effectively with very large birds, other animals such as dogs, horses and zebras and any other animal that requires a strong fence. 

2x2 aviary netting sold by Louis PageWoven 2" x 2" wire mesh fence on sides of display - Franklin Park Zoo

2" x 2" openings, 16 gauge mesh -- Birds and Small Animals

Made with the same knotted construction as the 2" x 4" fencing, this lighter weight woven wire fence is made using 14 gauge wires on top and bottom and 16 gauge wires for the filler. As with its heavier brother, the fencing has inherent flexibility. 2" x 2" mesh can be used with birds and other small animals - situations where a lighter fence will be effective.

deer ostrich fencing sold by Louis PageWoven Deer and wildlife fence - Franklin Park Zoo

12.5 gauge high tensile wire -- Deer and Wildlife 

Woven from 12.5 gauge high tensile wire, this strong heavily galvanized fencing can be used with many different kinds of animals. All feature spacing between horizontal wires that graduate from small at the bottom to large at the top. Heights range from 4' through 10'. Horizontal and vertical wires are held together with fixed knot construction. Deer and wildlife fencing is available with  a Class 3 galvanized finish. Some heights have a Class 3 black finish. The strength and height make this an ideal fence to use with a wide range of animals.

deer_fence_gate-resized-600.jpg

Deer fence gateway - Birmingham Zoo

Louis Page -- Resources for You

We source wire mesh fencing and aviary netting for zoos, parks and homes across North America. If you don't see something in this blog post, please check out our online shop or give us a call (800-225-0508) or email us (sales@LouisPage.com). We love animals and want to make sure both animals and humans stay safe and healthy for many years!

Shop Online Now

 

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Topics: high tensile wire, deer fence, bird barrier, Zoos, 12.5 gauge

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