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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.

Rabbit Wire

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

Gabions...More Design Ideas

August 20, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

If you've got the creative notions, we've got the mesh.

Standard or Custom Orders

Welded from heavy 11 gauge wire, typical gabion mesh has 3" x 3" openings, with Galvanized After Weld mesh as the standard--protecting against rust while offering a long life. In coastal or saline environments, a tough coating of PVC is recommended to offset corrosion and this, together with the galvanization, offers double protection. Also available: panels for assembling gabion baskets, with a standard set of dimensions being 3' x 3' x 6' or a larger set can be ordered in lengths of 9' and 12'.

It's very possible that your project may require a different set of specifications--gabion mesh can be customized and special ordered.

At Louis Page, we love the ingenuity applied to the design of gabions and the endless variety of uses for them, whether it's for walls, casual seating, embankments or planters, the list goes on. The sturdiness and style make these small or great feats of engineering an enhancement to whatever surroundings they inhabit. 

Use Gabions also for:

  • erosion control
  • bank stabilization
  • channel linings
  • weirs 

Shop Gabions

gabion drawing filled with rocks

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, gabion, galvanized after, GAW, wire gauges

Safer Mesh for Chickens

April 24, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Chicken in profile

Night of the Fisher Cat
Our first set of chickens were thrashed by what looked like the work of a head-hunting fisher cat--an odd type here in suburban New England. Our chickens, tragically named after Jane Austen characters, came to disastrous ends--four of them were left headless and scattered indiscriminately, while the other four had vanished. One imagines the fisher cat family sitting snugly at table.  

A Sleepy Possum

Ordinary chicken wire has its uses; but here, it was not the best choice. Soon our newly acquired replacement chickens were visited by a very respectable possum who bunked in the cozy chicken cubicles, less tempted by eggs but rather by the shelter and soft strawy beds. Imagine scanning past the cubicles, checking for eggs and finding a possum snoozing next door to a seemingly oblivious chicken. Chicken wire boasts flexibility, yes, but is highly susceptible to rust, is hardly rodent or small animal-proof, while strong animals can shred it. As is often said, chicken wire is more for keeping chickens in than for keeping predators out. However, It can work well in areas devoid of predators or on the top of a pen in warmer climates to keep airborne hunters at bay.

chickens in coop

Strong choice--1/2 inch, 19 gauge wire

More pricey than chicken wire--though if you add in the resulting security of your flock--it's less expensive. 1/2 inch welded wire is the safe, strong option. While being more difficult to cut than chicken wire, it keeps out a wide variety of predators and should be used on all openings, such as vents and windows, of the coop. Sized right to keep smaller predators from reaching in, 1/2 inch, 19 gauge wire mesh is certainly the stronger choice. It can be bent by hand and at the same time it holds its shape well. Bury it 8-12 inches with a curve outward from the coop at the bottom. Vinyl coated hardware cloth is a great way to avoid rust.

Keeps out larger animals, such as:

  • dogs
  • coyotes 
  • foxes 

And smaller ones:

  • possums
  • snakes
  • mice and rats
  • weasels
  • fisher cats

The Hardware Cloth Solution

1/2" x 1/2" mesh, 19 gauge galvanized after weld (abbreviated generally by GAW) wire mesh and fence is commonly known as hardware cloth. Molten zinc is applied after the 19 gauge wire is welded into a 1/2" x 1/2" mesh. Here the workhorse zinc covers the entire wire cloth mesh, completely sealing it for protection against corrosion and rust--particularly crucial are the vulnerable welded areas which benefit greatly from this zinc bath. This guarantees that 19 gauge 1/2" x 1/2" mesh will be assured of a long life and being of lighter weight and strength it ends up costing less than the thicker 16 gauge 1/2 x 1/2 mesh. It's great for enclosing small animals or keeping out rodents, gophers, and other nuisance animals. This also can be used for economical flooring for game birds while 16 gauge is also recommended. Keep in mind that availability may be an issue and that this is a material that requires special ordering. Louis Page can help with all those particulars.  

As you can see cutting this mesh takes some strength and some helpful tools... 

 

or here's a video with a good option... 

 

Aviary Netting   

Ominously, predators don't just come from the ground and sides, but also from above. In thinking about a covering for your chicken run, consider thinking about aviary netting. Louis Page stocks a great netting that is extremely tough and can cope with snow load if you live in a cold climate.

Aviary Netting

 

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Topics: wire mesh, welded wire mesh, galvanized after, GAW, 1/2" mesh

A Fence for Your Emu

February 19, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

emu

These grand, imposing, flightless birds are probably as tall or taller than you. Some folks consider them pets, some consider them products. Whichever, we'll start with a brief description, then recommend the right fence, followed by explaining this bird's unique nesting habits.  

Obviously, if you're choosing an emu as a pet, your taste is somewhat extravagant and you no doubt realize that an appropriate space for this very large bird should be one of your first concerns. Here are some considerations:

  • They range from 5 to 6½ feet tall
  • weighing up to 130 lbs
  • They can run up to 30 miles per hour
  • Imagine these big birds traveling hundreds of miles for food and water in the Australian outback. They need space and for healthy birds, you must provide an opportunity for exercise. A long pen is recommended so they can run--at least ¼ acre to 2 acres in size. 
  • Audible--their grunts and squawks can be heard up to 2 miles away. You might want to think about your neighbors as you plan your emu enclave.
  • Emus are especially docile toward humans especially if they are handled from birth. If an emu feels threatened, its claws can do real damage. Other small animals in the yard, such as chickens, can be trampled.
  • They like baths and enjoy an occasional dip. In a pinch, a child's paddling pool can suffice.

2" x 4' fence with square knots drawing

About that fence...

Your emu will benefit from a  2" x 4" woven, non-climbable mesh fence that is five to six feet high. It is attractive, has a long lifetime, and makes a safe and secure fence for emus. The strong 10, 12½ or 14 gauge steel wires (depending on style) are treated for maximum rust and corrosion protection. The heavier wires used on the top and bottom edges give this fence additional strength. Stiff "square" knots, formed by a third piece of wire woven around each intersection, hold the horizontal and vertical wires securely. The mesh offers flexibility, allowing for its construction on uneven terrain. The woven knots are rust-resistant and will not hold water. This fence features knots that are smooth, which protect both animals and people from injury. 

The Friendly, yet Defensive Broody Male

Females are larger than males and can exhibit aggressive behavior, especially during breeding season. They lay their eggs and wander off, leaving the males in charge of the nursery. The males build their nests in a shallow hole in the ground using grasses, leaves, and sticks. After the female lays her eggs, the male steps in. He becomes broody and takes control, remaining on the nest for 8 weeks until the emu chicks hatch.

Generally, the males may seem friendlier, being the nest tenders--yet much more defensive of the newly hatched chicks than of the eggs which can be removed from the nest without much upset. The male doesn't leave the nest, his sole activity (no eating, drinking or even defecating!) is to turn the eggs a couple of times a day and understandably, during this stretch of time, he loses a third of his body weight. Once hatched, they will remain with their father up to a year and a half and are ready for breeding between two and three years of age.

emu with chicks on dry grassy field

While the female usually abandons this domestic scene, she goes on to mate with other males and will produce up to three clutches (between 5 and 15 eggs in a season.)  In her wandering, the female may deposit eggs in the nests of males with whom she hasn't bred. The large eggs weigh about a pound, are teal in color, and measure about 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. Thinking culinarily, a single egg contains the equivalent of 10-12 chicken eggs with a richness similar to duck eggs.

Various Emu Facts

  • Emus are in the family of originally southern hemisphere flightless birds known as ratites which include ostriches, kiwis, rheas, and the cassowary.  
  • They are omnivores. 
  • Their diet consists of nuts, seeds, fruit, bark, stems, insects, small reptiles, amphibians, and small animals.
  • One mature emu contains three gallons of oil, which is prized for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • They spend a good amount of their days pecking at things, quite indiscriminately; so an environment that provides foraging possibilities, with plenty of shrubs, dirt (they extract minerals), pebbles (used for digestion), and insects, will keep them occupied, reduce boredom and may decrease pecking of the fence.
  • Pens must be kept clear of any trash, wires, nails, etc, to avoid trips to the vet.
  • Pacing can be a sign of stress due to being confined.
  • In the bush of Australia, the usual predators of emus are dingos, the native wild dogs. Eagles can also attack from above. The eggs and smaller chicks are sought by a number of animals and reptiles, but the ever-vigilant male rarely allows opportunity.
  • Life expectancy of an emu is 10 to 20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

 

The Australian Coat of Arms

Australian Coat of Arms.png

Note: if you're interested in keeping ostriches, fence-wise, much of what applies to emus applies to them. And know that a 2" x 4" woven, non-climbable mesh fence is also used for:

• Garden fence

• Horse paddock fence

• Parks and public areas 

• Dog kennels and containment

Browse Products Now

 

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Topics: galvanized after, GAW, emu and ostrich fence

The Cultivated Oyster

May 7, 2018 | by Joe Morrell

oysters on the half shell

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: Nutritive Value

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. 

oysterfloats

Means 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:

 

An oyster cleans and maintains its 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 Humble 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. 

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 E.Page Inc. is committed to sourcing and delivering the finest fence and mesh supplies 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. 

underwateroyster

 

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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

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