So really, MrGillis is the authority on this, but until he is willing to sit down and write a post himself, I guess I just have to explain it as best I can, myself.
I decided to write this blog, because I am proud of our fencing. Like, really proud. We get complimented on it, so I guess we should be. But it’s not without a lot of work and thought, so here we go.
For Starters: all the stuff you’ll need
No Climb Fence– lots of it. 5 foot height. We found the best deal at TSC. Its expensive stuff, but worth it. We have a total of about 500 ft of fencing and still want to do at least that over again.
8 foot fence posts- we used cedar posts, and 4×4 pressure treated posts that were gifted. We placed our posts about 8 to 10 feet apart depending on terrain. The cedar posts were cheap but we had to clean the bark off.
6 foot Metal TPosts – for those places where we weren’t able to put our regular posts – like heavily rooted areas. But these are NOT efficient for the entirety of the fence and should only used sparingly.
Post Hole Digger(s) – the more the better, because digging holes 3 feet deep is best done by lots of people – many hands- light work and all that jazz.
Drainage Spade – This is REALLY helpful breaking thru tough spots and while isnt necessary, is very helpful.
1-1/4 ” Fence staples – Hundreds. For every post you use you’ll need at least 8-10 and on corner posts you want more.
Fencing pliers – its a 6-in-1 tool can work as a staple puller, staple pincher, gripper, wire cutter, wire puller and hammer. (We got a two pack on clearance at TSC for about 3 bucks I think. We took that as another sign that we were meant to own these alpacas, honestly)
Hammer – the fencing pliers can be used for this, but I HATED using them because of the handle width vs the size of my hand, so I used a hammer and things went much faster.
Fence Puller – this is just two boards with three holes drilled in them – one at the top, one in the middle and one on the bottom. These holes HAVE to match up when you place the boards together. Then you have three eye hook bolts to fit the holes, to clap the boards together, to hold the fence in place in between the two boards, while you use a truck or tractor to pull the fence straighter and tighter, before stapling it to the posts. Phew, I can’t really explain it better.
Chain for Puller – to Hook the fence puller to your vehicle of choice, its three chains that go into a single chain, to help pull the fence more evenly. I feel like a picture of what my hubby built is the best way to explain it. MrGillis’ chain puller mickthingy cost about $30 bucks total.
Some sort of truck, tractor, wench, whatever you have handy, to pull the fence tight with.
So the reality of fence construction is that it is a whole lot of labor and time. Once you get all your supplies together, you are still facing hours of work. Muscle building, sweat causing, exhaustion inducing work.
First, you need to mark your perimeter. This is an important step, because you need to know where to dig your post holes before you go any further.
Now, at this point, we unroll our fencing so it would relax a little bit, but also to help give us a visual on our fence and possible perimeter. Then at every 8 to 10 feet we took our drainage spade and marked where the pole was going to be put. When we were happy at the probable end product, we set ourselves to digging holes, 3 feet deep.
For safety’s sake, we dig a hole, put the post in to mark the spot and then go onto digging the next hole. Don’t want to forget where those pesky ankle breakers are in wait for.. well, breaking ankles, I guess.
We work this way, until one entire side of fence is done. When all the holes are dug, all the poles are set, and we go back and straighten each pole and fill in the hole with the dirt we just dug out, around it to make it steady.
After we set the poles that we need for that first side of fence, we attach the end of the fence to the first pole with our staples. This first post is attached with a staple on EVERY single woven wire intersections.
Then we go to the other end of the side we’re working on and attach the fence puller to the fence. Then you put the puller on the chain hookup. Once this is all set up, you hook the chain end to your vehicle. Make sure everything is even, and be careful while doing it. Once the puller is even, and pulling the top, middle and bottom of the fence evenly, very slowly and carefully start pulling the fence with your vehicle. This is really best done with a couple people and good communication.
Once the fence is pulled tight and straight, put the brakes on and park that sucker to hold your setup while you are working.
Now, its time to start stapling. We start from the bottom of each post and work our way up, hammering in a staple every other intersection until all the posts have the fence stapled tightly to them. Then we staple what will be the corner post, the same way we stapled the first post, with a staple on every wire.
Once you’re all stapled up on that side, its time to let the fence puller contraption go slack, and take it apart until you need it again.
Now repeat all these steps for how ever many sides you need in order to complete a closed paddock.
Remember to leave an area for a gate, with a good latch.
On this paddock we have a small personal gate I use for when I’m going in or out by myself, but we also have this big 12 (??) footer that is for winter, so we can easily just plow the yard with our truck. This is going to save me a lot of work come those mid February blizzards we get.
And now, some pictures of the alpacas going from curious to SUPER HAPPY about their new paddock.
So, that’s about all I can say on the subject of fencing for alpacas. Until next time, have a wicked good day!