Before we let the new steers out of the cattle yards at Cheslyn Rise, we had to check all the fences in the first paddock. Checking fences and tightening the barbed wire is slow, but quite easy if you have the right tools.
When I first saw fence strainers I had no idea how to use them. Actually every time I see them I can't remember how to use them! Luckily Pete had a tutorial from an old farmer at one stage and he can always remember how to use them. What you do is put a chain or plain wire around the fence post and clip the big part of the tool onto the chain/wire. Clip the small part onto the fence wire that you want to tighten (and this is the same process if fixing an existing fence, or building a new one). You use the other end of the big part to creep over the chain on the small part, which pulls the tool together to bring the wire closer to the pole and pull the fence tight.
|tightening the fence wire|
When you have the wire tight enough you wrap the end of the wire around the pole ONCE and then twist it over itself in front of the pole and then wrap the remaining water back along the wire. You need to make it tight, but not tangled, as you'll probably have to undo it and tighten it again eventually.
|wrapping around the pole|
|twisting the ends|
|The finished product|
You need to find all the end-assembly and strainer posts and check the wire on each side. The most important wires are the two in the middle, if these are hanging loose the cattle will find them and push through the fence every time! All the fence posts on our property are split from iron bark gum trees felled on the property.
I don't know if these fencing strainers are special to Australia, is this how people build fences in other countries? I would be fascinated to hear about different methods.
|termite damage (but this post will last for a while yet)|
|fencing over a creek crossing|
|a bush gate|
|taking a relaxing dip in the dam after some hard work fencing!|