Thursday, October 1, 2009

Preparing For My Donkey!

Looks like I might have myself a donkey in about 2 weeks, if the riding and training all goes well! Fingers crossed for Ju Ju Bean the donkey, and Thomas Hayes who is riding it. YAY! The first chore to do was measure some existing fence to calculate how much more fence will be needed to erect. There is already a small fenced in area, but the donkey needs room to run and play! I need room to run and play with it! Within the newly fenced area my donkey will have access to two natural water sources to drink from, including a spring filled watering hole that he'll be sharing with the pig.
Each fence post has to be 120 inches apart, and is about 50 inches high (probably 3 feet underground to stay in place.) Any farmers & fence makers out there have fencing tips, send them my way. :)

So here is my donkey check list:
1. Chop fence posts, approximately 100 of them.
2. Erect fence with bunches of help
3. Settle on a place to get natural grass hay from (everyone around here does hay... everyone.)
4. Complete it's shelter.
5. Put a carrot on the end of a stick & get ready to ride!



Erik said...

On an 9' post, putting 3' underground is robust enough to hold up a heavy 6' wooden face. This assumes cement is being used to support the posts.

50" above and 36" below ground is overkill. You could get away with around 18-24" deep holes, depending on soil quality and how hard you tamp in the backfill.

Black locust makes very good fencing material, but if you're concerned about longevity you might consider protecting the posts by mixing in some gravel/sand into the infill (for drainage) and over-filling the holes a bit (so the posts don't become the low point where water gathers). This is pretty cheap, simple and non-toxic.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Thanks Erik for the tips! how awesome. You know, I dont think any of the farmers around here put their posts in concrete, but I will check on how they do it. I know people use the big pounding tool - the soil here is unlike anywhere else I have ever lived - there's way more top soil the normal, it's why the Native Americans called it "Big Sandy Mush".
Non toxic is what I am shooting for, ideally I'd like to use only wood and no barbed wire, but I have to check with some higher ups on that one. :)

Mokihana and Pete said...

This is great news.

Erik, nice info. The thing about concrete is the additives, when we used concrete for our vardo Pete mixed Portland cement with sand and water, no latex or fixatives. Non toxic, we're doing fine with it in our micro house.

And oh, how I hope you don't need to use barbed wire. That stuff is so ... deathly.

Yipppeeee Leslie. Good dreaming, friend. xxooMokihana

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Mokihana - is the Portland concrete you bought a special kind? How exactly did you mix it, what was the recipe?
I know barbed wire is gross, but the majority of the property is already lined with it from the cattle farms on each side. I have gotten caught on barbed wire many times.... i have a habit of jumping fences, hopefully JU JU bean does not!

t said...

randomly stumbled across this blog while googling sandy mush,where i live as well. glad to see other folks messing about in the country
portland cement is available anywhere

it is a part of concrete & mortar
this is how ive done it in the past
concrete = 1 part portland cement to 3 parts sand as well as some gravel

portland cement in powder form isnt good for you to breath or get on your skin once hardened its pretty benign
as far as fence posts thou theres some debate about concrete eating into the very wood you put it around
i only use concrete where i run into rocks and i cant dig deep enough
a locust post dug deep enough should be fine , use something to really tamp the dirt back into the hole so it in there good
ive tried to stay away from barb wire as well and used field fence which works great with goats but ive found that barb wire works better with cows cause they dont mess with it as much, they tend to really rub against my field fence and cause problems, not sure about donkeys but most around me are in barb wire
best of luck

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Thanks for all the great advice- I was told by other locals too not to use cement, but to use locust poles.

How awesome that you live in Big Sandy Mush too - do you ever go to the community center? Sometimes I go for wrestling and the dances. :)

Mokihana and Pete said...

Nice to see the "t" from your own neighborhood ... knew all about portland cement...good info and recipe for you and your donkey.

t said...

ive never been to the community center cept to vote and let me kids ride bikes
i always wanted to go to the dance thinking itd be some great oldtimey deal but it seems its not quite what one would think
looks like there some fall fest coming up thou.