Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rolling barbed wire from a downed fence

We have lots of four point barbed wire all over the place. Many are cross fences that are useful for rotating our herd but many of the fences are placed in areas that limit the access for the herd to get to us when we are feeding cake in the back pasture. My cowboy says, "This fence has to go." Well folks, that's when I pull on my 'fencing pants' and get to work since my cowboy is down south in the oil field and I am the one making our home run. Yup folks, I am the one at home taking care of the ranch while my husband is making ends meet! We are still very young and we have goals of where we want to be in the future so we bust our buts and sometimes don't get to see each other for months on end! So not only am I taking care of two kids, eight horses, five dogs, and one cat...I have the responsibility of taking care of a bunch of cattle and help them through calving season. Don't get me wrong, there are certain things that I can't do so I rely on my new neighbors (I bet they love my calls!) and if we need, a veterinarian. Knock on wood, we haven't had to call them yet. I'm saying all this because women CAN ranch and do it really well. I know lots of women who help side by side making sure that the job gets done. Some of these women can rope better than any man can! We are just as equal in this line of work as our men. Ok time to get off my soap box and back to work!

Here is my 'tutorial' on how to roll a 4 point barbed fence once you have all the wire off the T-posts and the T-posts pulled out of the ground. I then separate each line if you have more than one down line. You can do it several feet apart or if you are really 'challenged' you can move each line 10-30 feet from one another. 
This is the start of my roll. I make one loop and twist the end around that loop. My trusty "Gin" at my side wanting love.

I then pick up the wire roll and roll it along the downed wire. This is a very important 'step'. You need to reduce the slack on the downed wire. If the wire is all floppy then when you roll it up it will fall off of the wire wreath you are creating. So you need to continually (while rolling up) put some tension by pulling the wreath towards your body, making the wire on the ground straight and able to roll in your wreath. (I sure hope you guys understand this important part). The above picture shows the long wire on the ground in front. If I stood the wire wreath up like this, I would pull the entire wreath towards my body and it would make the wire on the ground 'tight and straight'. Then I just start to roll it up by 'rolling' it. It's like driving a car and continually turning your wreath like a steering wheel. 

There is a lot of overgrowth on our fence lines due to years of neglect. Instead of jumping into that thorn bush...YA RIGHT...I am going to pull it through and lay it beside the bush!

You can see the wire on my foot before I pull.

Oh wait, my lack of attention is kicking in, look at the awesome bird nest that I found in the grass. :) 

Ok back to pulling, as you can see, it takes a little effort but you can pull your line out of the thorn bushes without having to go in it! 

Another moment...I saw this on the grass and it is a cocoon I think.. As soon as I crouched down to take a picture, Danno had to come over and lick my face..lick a girl when she's down! I carefully rolled up my buddy and we'll see if it survives to make a beautiful butterfly...or wasps... :) Even though I think wasps use mud. 

While I was busy taking pictures of bird nests and cocoons, my dogs were always with me, creating a protective barrier between the cattle and myself. The cattle are on just on the other side of the trees in an open pasture. You can barely make out Gin who is way far back by the blue sky line in the middle and then Danno is by the gas tank. I love these guys, they protect me and warn me when a cow approaches. 

Here is the end result of one 4 point barbed wire completed. I use the end wire and wrap it around the entire wreath before I let it all out of my hands (it might just go crazy if you didn't wind it tight). 

I take some extra wire and wrap three other places on the wreath. So in total I have four ties around the entire wreath, equally spaced out.

The end result is a beautiful strand of wire that you can reuse if another wire, in use, breaks or if you need to create a new 'fence line'.

Such an inspiring sight, four wire wreaths rolled. Wonder if I could decorate with that? :) JK.

We also accumulated this old ford truck in our move. I don't think it runs but my husband is a mechanic too (he's made skidders, tractors, and all kinds of stuff run) so he might get this going. How fun would that be chuggin to town? Ok perhaps not town!

I laughed when I saw this sticker. We have our own beer truck! Woot. Too bad my cowboy is allergic to wheat! So we might have to change it to a wine truck or slap a biohazard sticker on and pretend we are carrying something toxic. Throw a dirty diaper in the back.

I also don't like working in long sleeved shirts. You can see that I now look like I got in a fight with a porcupine. 

I would suggest a tight fitting long sleeved shirt, if you have a sweatshirt on you will just get so tangled in your wire you will not have fun. You will HAVE to wear leather gloves or you will not make it!

My fencing pants. 

I hope you guys enjoyed my little blurb on rolling barbed wire. As always I'm asking anyone to comment! Do you have a better way? I'd like to hear it.