The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Best choice for temporary fence material?

best material choice for making a temporary fence

I'm ready to pronounce this plastic, temporary fence experiment a success.

The put up and take down procedure is easy and quick.

99 cent pasture ebookWe've been using this type of material for a few years now. I remember first getting it during the 2008 election. There's no sign of U.V. damage yet. I'd guess it might be another 10 years before we start seeing signs of drying and cracking. I'll let you know in 2022 if it's still the cat's meow of the temporary fence world.

One downside to this material is the chewability factor. It takes Lucy about a minute to bite her way through if she really wants to, and thinks nobody is looking. She's usually a good dog, but has a serious bad girl streak to her when it comes to kitchen scraps meant for the flock.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Everyone has their own theories on dog training, but one method that has worked very well with our Saint Bernard is to catch him in the act of doing something bad and correct him immediately (and I mean like that very second) with a loud "Aaaat!" or "No!" but not using his name. If he stops, he gets an immediate chest rub or treat if he's within reach (or a "Good boy!" if he's not within reach). We also only use his name in praise for being good, never in scolding. He used to chew up our stuff everyday, but this has really worked (to get him to know that only his toys are for chewing, the cat is not to be chased, to leave the old dog alone, to not jump, etc). Maybe throw some scraps to the chickens, get out of sight of the dog, wait for her to test the fence, and try a shrill "AAAAT!" A little off-subject, but just thought I'd mention it... :)

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Wed Feb 15 17:22:35 2012

Lucy is extremely trainable, but she doesn't seem to be able to extrapolate from one situation to another. For example, she used to break into the barn to tear up our garbage, but I caught her in the act a few times and taught her not to do that. Then, a week or so later, I saw more garbage bags torn up --- what had happened?! Lucy had gone in the other door, figuring my "no" only meant don't go in the door I'd told her about before.

The trouble with our pastures is that there's a lot of fencing, which means she could break in all over. Given her absence of extrapolative skills, I suspect we'd have to catch her in the act along each section of the fence to get through to her. Mark's zapped her a few times with a K-9 electric fence, which does teach her quite well about select areas, but we've never cared enough to go to the trouble of running that all the way around.

What we might do is eventually put up cattle panels all the way around. That way she couldn't break in....

Comment by anna Wed Feb 15 17:31:56 2012

Dogs can be real sticklers for the rules sometimes, and in the worst way, amiright? ;) Sounds like her guarding skills and unwavering companionship more than make up for a couple naughty habits, though. I'd be so lost without our pets, even though they drive me nuts sometimes!

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Wed Feb 15 17:49:41 2012
I had the same results. And since the main thing I was trying to do was keep the dog out of the garden, not keep a flock in, it was a failure for me. I've had to upgrade to metal mesh fencing covered in plastic. I would actually say that it's easier to deploy than the plastic, but much more expensive. I opted for the 2"x4" spacing.
Comment by Danny Wed Feb 15 19:13:21 2012
..Is this any different than the orange variety? Our chickens freerange and it is driving me batty..and the dogs now want to eat the chicken feed too, not just the scraps. I think in the summer I will do the same with a couple of rows but we may end up fencing in areas where we want to go rather than pen in the chickens, hehe
Comment by eagergridlessbeaver Thu Feb 16 11:20:42 2012
Awesome! We were just speculating what to use when we want to pen the chickens in an area long enough to get some free weeding out of them.
Comment by Eliza @ Appalachian Feet Thu Feb 16 12:35:05 2012

Mitsy --- Yup, she's not to be reasoned with. Good thing she's so cute...

Danny --- Metal mesh fencing covered with plastic? That sounds interesting. If you check back, I'd love to hear more about it --- where you got it, what the brand is.

eagergridlessbeaver --- I think it's exactly the same as the orange variety, except for color. I know what you mean about dogs eating the chicken feed. Lucy's pretty good about that, as long as you don't put it in front of her nose....

Eliza --- Yup, that's exactly what we used it for. Very handy for that use!

Comment by anna Thu Feb 16 12:53:34 2012

I bought mine at Home Depot and they list it as YARDGARD 4 ft. x 50 ft.Green Vinyl Welded Wire. I'd post a link, but they use dynamic web links so they expire really fast and won't work. As I said, it's more expensive than the fencing you've used, but there's no way to chew through it. And if I start having problems with animals crawling under, I could also bury the fencing into the ground.

Ultimately, I may actually end up using the wireless dog fence to keep my dog out of the garden. It would restrict her ability to roam the yard as much, but money is getting tight lately and I'm planting a larger garden and I can't afford more fencing right now. But I also wonder if restricting her from the garden will defeat her ability to keep other garden pests out of the garden.

Here's my conclusion so far. If I had the money, I would definitely buy more of this fencing and fence my whole garden. It's easier to string up than the plastic fencing because it doesn't stretch. I found that the stretch in the plastic fencing left me areas the dog could squeeze under due to uneven ground and that she could chew through in no time at all. But I'm in a tight place for money right now, so I may have to at least try limiting her range to more of the front yard via her wireless shock collar and see what results I get with that.

I'm sure you'll keep posting up your new results, I'll keep commenting as my experience grows as well.

Comment by Danny Thu Feb 16 19:27:27 2012

Sorry to bring back a comment thread from the dead, but I had two things occur to me while reading this. First was, what if you gave Lucy some of the dog-safe scraps, at least once in a while so she knew she was getting her fair share and the "treats" wouldn't be so enticing when they were out of her area. And second, maybe she has a nutrient deficiency of some sort, so the craving for these scraps overrides normal rules and behavior. If that's the case, the first idea might still work, or maybe switching to a more natural homemade dog food (assuming you're feeding "normal" dogfood.

Just a thought, David

Comment by David Wed Jun 26 23:36:58 2013

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