2014-07-30 02:24 am (UTC)
This is Chuck/Victorian Barbarian (Live Journal doesn't register my identification attempts)
Great old timer story--I recognize the type from the small town I grew up in, down to the bench in front of the little grocery store.
The gaps my daddy used in our "bob wire" fences always had a regular wooden post in the middle as well as one at the active end, of the same diameter as, but not as tall as, the wooden fence posts set in the ground. As I recall, his fences (to keep in cows, mostly) were of sturdier construction than many of the other ones in our part of Parker County. When he improved the fences on our place, shifting to metal fence posts, he put in a few proper gates, but made do with some gaps--again, with a supporting wooden post in the middle but a metal post to loop-close. The middle post was necessary not only for stabilization, but also because the cattle we had would have gone through the barbed wire on an unstabilized gap. (He just called it a "gap" rather than "gate" or "gap gate," that being the parlance where he grew up in Mississippi.)
2014-07-30 02:50 am (UTC)
Re: Gap gates
None of the ones I've seen here have a regular-diameter post in the middle, though they usually have one or two much weaker cedar staves. Fence-building in this area is, as it was where I grew up in South Texas, a sign of character (and/or wealth!!) and people can be known by their fences.
My husband builds really good fences, though it's harder and harder for him (and slower) as he has physical problems now. All the fences on the 80 acres were in very bad condition when we bought it. He's done the quarter mile west fence, and most of the south fence. But he was building for cattle, not goats. Right now there's utility construction at one end, where the gap gate to the highway is, but the utility's going to put in a real gate, they promised. Then we'll pay to have the highway-end fence rebuilt by one of the local fence-builders. Just bob wire, but not falling apart.
Gap gates are called Taranaki gates
in my neck of the woods, after one specific rural area, although they're used all over.
Now that's a good-looking gap gate! Much tidier than most of the ones you see here. And a gorgeous view, too.
I have a friend who has recently aquired a couple of rescue goats, they have trashed the fences, but also the hutches of the rescue rabbits and the coops of the rescue chickens. May I share this story with her (with attribution of course)?
Thank you for asking. Yes, though the easiest way is just to send her the link. A woman near here who keeps dairy goats says the smaller the enclosure, the more the goats will get after the fence...running into it, butting it, leaning on it, pawing at it, climbing it if they can (with the goat-weight hanging off a fence, many fences buckle) etc. They do get on top of anything climbable or jump-up-able (we looked out one day and found that the neighbor's goats were jumping up and down on top of one of the metal-roofed sheds, trying to reach a tree limb with leaves they could grab and eat. And I saw one escapee standing on another goat, shortly before it went over the fence.
Here's a practical YouTube video about goat fencing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWgZ3CRQ1jM
He doesn't mention that if you have a way for goats to climb something else near the fence, they can jump down over the fence.
You *have* to find a way to build that conversation into one of your books! :-)
*chuckles* My grandfather didn't like goats. He said the best way to keep goats in was to drop them in a deep hole and throw down food to them. But you still needed a fence around the pit because the goats would jump out. Guess that was why he never had goats.
I've known a few horses looking for a way out. Alvin is the resident Houdini at the barn. His latch is VERY low on the door, 2 part, clipped with a leadshank (clip facing down) and the shank is tied to an adjacent stall to provide tension so he can't wiggle it around enough. That said he is also usually looking for ways to hurt himself (though never to my knowledge as a result of busting out of the stall ... even when the hinges and latches are no-where to be found).
Love the story and I have heard that about goats. Pigs are pretty creative at escaping too (and will know within seconds if the electric fence is off. Thus sayeth my uncle.
See, with the horses I would be just evil enough to build two extra gates, and a looping "run" that goes around a building and leads back to the same corral. "I'm free! Wait...what?"
Goats? I've worked with goats, briefly. The local supermarket keeps goat in the meat section. I told one of the meat cutters, "Hey, man, I understand: after the last time I milked one of those things, I was ready to chop it up, too." From the way he was laughing, I'd guess he's dealt with the live, ornery thing too.
Oh my, that does take me back. I'm an archaeologist - retired from the field now, due to knees and back, but not from teaching. I have opened and closed many such gates and they are a pain - but a fence-wrench makes it a lot easier! If you have never seen one, it is a short loop of chain or rope attached to a stick. You loop the loop over the gap post and then thread the stick between strands of wire on the standing pole and use the lever to pull the gate stake close enough that you can get that loop of wire holding it closed off. Same thing to close it.
A rather sadistic trick that archaeological crews used to pull on newbies - you send them out to open the gate for the truck, then drive through once it is opened and solemnly watch them struggle and finally shut it -- usually on the wrong side! Then you laugh. I recall I was quite disappointing to the crew my first time - having grown up in the country, I knew enough to go through the gate before closing it!
This is Elizabeth Mancz from Akron Ohio if you need that info.