As most of you know, we have been saving for new farm fencing for quite a while now. Not only did we want to replace the dilapidated existing fence but also construct a dog yard in the back of the house for our trio of pooches. Of course we had plans to start this project last year but an entire host of house repairs ensued including termite treatment, repairs and prevention which soaked up our funds like a sponge. We finally reached our savings goal earlier this year and started designing and planning for our fence face lift. You can view our property design plan here.
Before fence installation commenced, there was a ton of property preparation. Over the years, Tallow trees or your typical trash pasture tree grew into the existing wood fence and needed to be cut down. Since we want to add paddocks for each stall in the barn one day, we decided to cut down the Tallow trees in the pasture as well.
My cowboy worked outside in 90° heat every single day for a solid week. He cut each tree down with a chainsaw, having to sharpen the blades twice during the course of the project. He then hauled the limbs to the back burn pile. Even with the help of our neighbor’s tractor, it was still extremely hard work. Each night he would come inside, literally soaking wet from sweat.
Of course Freedom is right there to see what is going on with the trees, the tractor and me.
He doesn’t miss a beat.
We realized there was no way we would survive removing the existing fence ourselves in this heat and we still needed to address the tree stumps littering our property line and pasture. Our friends at Rentz Construction were kind enough to help us with their excavator.
By the time I got home that afternoon, our farm was unrecognizable. The fence was gone, the trees were gone and the horses were antsy after being stuck in the barn all day.
Even though it looked like a bomb went off at the farm, it was progress. We were that much closer to having an improved farm plan for us and the animals.
At the end of demo day, rain moved through our area and flooded the pasture. After the rain stopped, we worked on installing temporary fencing for Sparkle and Freedom.
Andrew was exhausted already from a hard week, but we worked together to get it done. Life at the farm requires teamwork at all times. Usually when one is dragging, the other will act as a cheerleader and encourage us both to keep persevering.
After the rain and the hard work, we were graced with the most spectacular sunset and the heavy load of the day melted away, piece by piece.
The horses weren’t too happy with the small enclosure but we kept reassuring them it was only temporary. Sparkle still gave me the side eye with a hoof stomp. I knew she would eventually forgive us.
At that point, the trees were excavated and the fence was knocked down, but debris still littered the property. Andrew continued working on the property, picking up old fence boards and hauling unusable items to the burn pile. It may not sound like much but factor in the heat and the project became Mount Everest.
As the farm clean up continued, the Gypsy Chicks certainly enjoyed the wide open spaces and kept us smiling as they bopped around every surface.
Rain followed rain for a week straight, finally flooding our road and property. It was no problem for our neighbor’s tractor though and my cowboy felt right at home.
At least we’re still having fun amidst the frustration of flooding! That’s my positive spin on things these days.
Finally the big day arrived, lumber was delivered and construction began on our fence.
We chose United Fencing out of Lafayette, LA and couldn’t be more pleased with their work. Even with a long drive from Lafayette, they showed up early and worked in some of the worst conditions for a week and a half. On the last day, Chad Bellelo, the owner, even finished up the job in the intense heat and muck of our back pasture all by himself! I was impressed by their commitment, professionalism and fantastic finished product.
Day 1 consisted of digging holes for fence posts and setting each one in concrete. Seeing the dog yard begin to take shape that first day made me happy.
Day 2 brought even more progress as the front cross fencing started to appear and the remaining wood posts were set in the ground.
Day 2 also brought an unexpected hiccup as they hit a water line near our barn. We thought it possibly was a line for the neighboring property because we were unaware of water near the barn. The hiccup turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The water line does belong to us and Andrew installed a shut off valve and pipe marker for future use. That will definitely save us extra work down the road. Once our barn is updated (hopefully next year), we have plans for a proper horse wash rack and a cleaning station during hunting season.
By Day 3, my vision was coming alive right before my eyes. The front right side and dog yard were cross fenced and the only portions remaining were the areas around the barn and garden.
When I walked into the dog yard and looked around at the beautiful fencing with wire panel backing, I could see our pooches making lots of wonderful memories. Even the shadows of the fence are pretty.
As I walked around the front and admired the grand display, I couldn’t help but thank our Lord above for the blessings in our life. The dream of farm life is tangible because of Him.
As Day 4 came to a close, the final portions of cross fencing were constructed around the barn and garden area.
The end of Day 5 brought glorious progress with installation of all gates and pieces of the puzzle were finally put in place.
The final phase of our Fence Face Lift was barbed wire installation in the back portion of our property to the wood line. The barbed wire install proved more difficult for the crew with United Fencing than what meets the eye. Because of the torrential downpours our area has been experiencing this summer, the pasture hasn’t had a chance to fully dry out. Therefore, running a Polaris Ranger with a trailer of materials and a tractor through the muck wasn’t for the faint of heart.
I think our guys had moments of frustration as they were trying to work in such awful conditions. Mud was everywhere and ruts were deepening with each run. We didn’t have much of a choice once we started this project and after two days of trenching through water and mud, the barbed wire was finished.
You can see by the ruts in the pasture that we are in desperate need of dirt work after the fence facelift. In the next few months, we are focusing on saving for a ditch installation through the middle of our pasture.
It isn’t ideal to cut the pasture down the middle but a ditch to the bayou would properly drain the pasture during heavy rainfall. We will make it work and it will be beautiful. Maybe a sweet bridge would spruce it up a bit. Until then, we will battle through the water and mud just as we have been since we bought the farm.
Even with all the rain and mud everywhere, our Gypsy Chicks are fitting right in and making themselves at home. This is exactly why I love our chickens. They make the simple things in life extraordinary by their presence alone. And so much for keeping the chickens out of the dog yard!
Don’t worry, I’m planning a Gypsy Chick update post soon. You won’t want to miss it!