TALKING TURKEY: HOW DO I FENCE MY RURAL OR URBAN FARM?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Sat, Nov 21, 2015

 


The turkey is a majestic and friendly bird that anyone can raise and own. They forage well and take up very little room.

Though many "experts" recommend that turkeys be raised seperate from chickens, many backyard flocks raise turkeys alongside their flocks of chickens, bantams, ducks and geese.ul and helpful in controlling a variety of pests, turkeys are easy to raise and fun to watch. Turkeys can be a profitable addition to a large to small farmstead.

Also gaining recent popularity is the desire for the small urban farm youtr own backyard. 

People typically raise turkeys for meat, although some people like to keep a Tom (a mature male turkey) around as a pet.

Before you decide to add turkeys to your country or urban farmstead, here are the basics on raising them the right way.

 


In an Eggshell: What Turkeys Require for Home Enclosure Needs.


Turkey2

First you need to ask yourself, Are turkeys right for my rural or urban farm? Turkeys require a different setup as far as housing and pasture from laying hens. They like to be outdoors regardless of the weather, although they do need to be eight to twelve weeks of age before they can safely be on pasture. 

If you've raised chickens for eggs or meat, turkeys are similar-but they require a bit more babying, especially as poults (young turkeys). They are also very social with humans, much more so than chickens, so you'll need to be willing to spend some time with your birds every day.

Before then, they should be kept in a brooder, perhaps with access to a fenced in sun porch. 

 

 

  • Safety & protection from predators

  • Places to dust bathe

  • Wood or metal roosts to fly into at night

  • Access to range with other livestock

  • A safe, durable and weather resistant fence system

As a general rule of thumb: 5 by 8 foot roost will house about 20 turkeys.

*Please keep in mind that urban farm foul laws vary from city to city in the United States. Recent laws have made it easier for residents to raise backyard foul and many citizens are taking advantage of the opportunity for fresh eggs and meat and a closer connection to their food supply. If you are interested in following this trend with your very own flock, it's important to understand the legal basics in your community. 

Fencing and Housing for Your Turkeys

Wood is an ideal construction material for a roost or a pen fence, and electical conduit can also be used as extra turkey security on top the wooden posts to keep the pen lightweight and easily movable.  If the roost or turkey tractor is very lightweight, it may need to be staked down so it doesn't blow over or away.

For temporary fencing, you can use electric poultry netting. If you want to build a more permanent enclosure, your farm fence should be as high as possible - at least four feet - given that these birds can and will fly

Wooden fencing structures are tried and true not only for the livestock's protection but also to provide more organic and natural farm aethetic. The wood fence can be topped with netting, to further enforce security and prevent escape. 

Woven wire fencing is another good option and is made of smooth wire horizontally, held together by vertical wires or "stays." The horizontal spacing is closer toward the bottom and wider at the top. It is held in place with wood posts or metal T-posts. Woven wire fencing is ideal permanent fencing for goats, sheep, pigs and poultry. Because these animals can squeeze through larger-spaced wires, or dig under or climb over other fences, woven wire is often chosen to keep them contained. Some farmers use it for horses as well.

The fencing should always be flush to the ground and sturdy so that the turkeys are protected from predators such as fox, raccoons, weasels and neighborhood dogs. You can also trim the wing of their feathers of rogue flyers, as most turkeys will probably stay in the fenced in pen happily unless something disturbs them.

Turkeys can be turned out onto pasture with cattle if you are enclosing a rural farmstead. They will scratch and pick corn and other undigested grains out of their fellow livestock's feed in order to spread nutrients and improve the biologic quality of the pasture.

They will also eat pest weeds such as nettles, dock, and chicory which aids in nurturing pasture as well.

Thus far, recommendations for simple movable root structures and fenced in pens assume you are raising spring turkeys that will be slaughtered for meat at around 28 weeks of age, and thus you don't need winter housing or separate gated or fenced in spots for toms and hens to guard and sit on their eggs. A fenced in pen with solid sides makes a good space for a broody hen to hatch out poults. This can be within the large or small turkey roosts.

 

turkey farm hurricane fence turkey farm fence

Reaping the Rewards of a Small Turkey Farm 

woven wire

Raising friendly, handsome turkeys for your family's use is both fun and worthwhile. If you raise them to eat, you'll have a much more wholesome and flavorful turkey than anything you could buy at the supermarket. Several of the old heritage breeds are still available, as well as the modern broad-breasted whites.Raising and housing turkeys has been gaining momentum. At the 2010 American Poultry Association National Poultry Show in Shawnee, Oklahoma, there were over 4500 birds shown. Of those 4500 birds, less than 60 were Turkeys. At the 2012 convention of the same name there were over 140 turkeys!
turkey fence fig05

One of our country's founding father's Benjamin Franklin is notorious for his very public opinion on the tukey as America's first national bird. In letter to his daughter, Franklin wrote:

   "For my own part I wish the Eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen h  perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the Eagle pursues him and takes it from him."

Topics: Fence, hoa fence, wooden fence, farm fencing, security fence, farm fence, thanksgiving fence

Cedar or Pressure Treated Wood. Which will work best for my fence project?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Wood fences are beautiful, no doubt, and (PVC) vinyl fences even come with simulated options making man-made materials look and feel nature based. 

But in Virginia, cedar wood and pressure-treated pine are two of our top-selling residential fence types.

Eighty percent of all wood fencing is composed of either pine or cedar wood.

Below are various residential fence solutions available throughout the United States.

6' Privacy Cedar with Clear Posts

6' Shadowbox Convex cedar

Two Cedar privacy fence options - Left: 6 ft. cedar privacy fence with clear posts / Right: 6 ft. cedar Shadowbox privacy fence

 

Red cedar trees are indigenous to the American Northwest and Canada. The red cedar wood's straight, tight grain and lack of knots make for optimal fence material. It is naturally highly resistant to decomposition, displays a beautiful red hue, and is well-known for its' aromatic woodsy smell.

Cedar does not warp or shrink and is a naturally stable material perfect for picket and privacy fences. Cedar wood fences stand the test of time, and look great decades after installation.

For fence posts, cedar can go several years without rotting; however, they tend to be less durable against soil erosion than pressure treated pine posts.

For this reason, it may be a good idea to use pressure treated pine for the posts and cedar for the rest of the fence. 

Or, the cedar fence posts can be set in concrete to prevent soil-related rotting.

Pressure treated wood (PTP) is the most popular residential fence choice in outdoor structures (decks, porches, and all types of residential fences, for example).

PTP can warp, shrink, and crack. The sun makes any outdoor damage worse especially if you don't stain it.

To avoid this, pressure treated pine (PTP) is chemically-treated in order to prevent against decay, termites, weathering, and other pine-related troubles. All PTP fences come with a warranty to protect against termites and rotting.

PTP fences need to be consistently and regularly maintained. It is recommended that all pressure treated pine fencing should be stained and sealed about 6 weeks after installation to improve and maintain a handsome appearance and prevent rot. 

https://www.hurricanefenceinc.com/wood-fences

Pressure treated: 6 ft. concave board picket fence

 

Keeping your pressure treated fence wet when it is hot or exposed to the sun can also be done to maintain your pine fence and keep the fence from cracking. Staining, sealing, moistening, stripping, and cleaning are all maintenance techniques that are commonly used and recommended for pressure treated pine fences.

Cedar is increasingly rare and thus more expensive than pine. However, cedar stands up to the test of time and it's aroma and handsome appearance coupled with the comparatively low required maintenance make it a smart investment. These incentives outweigh the cons for most people who are strongly considering cedar as a fence material. 

Knowing the pros and cons of each type of wood type will help to make an informed decision when choosing the fence and fence company that fits your needs. 


 

Topics: Fence Design, Specifications, Specialty Fence, Homeowners Association, backyard Fence, Fence Maintenance, cedar fence, codes, wooden fence, wood privacy fence, pressure treated fence, wood fence, cedar privacy fence, cedar wood fence, Pressure Treated Wood Fence, Reasons for Privacy Fence

Choosing between Vinyl (PVC) and Aluminum Fence: How do they compare?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Wed, Mar 05, 2014

Vinyl Fence vs. Aluminum Fence

Deciding between vinyl (PVC) and Ornamental Aluminum Fence can be a bit daunting for the consumer. There are a couple factors you many want to take into consideration before making a well informed decision about how you choose to enclose your outdoor space. These fencing aspects are: privacy, security, maintenance, gate configuration, fence cost, and color selection.

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residential fence, fence richmond, aluminum, ornamental, fence richmond, fence virginia

 

Privacy:

When it comes to privacy, vinyl pulls ahead. With fence heights reaching up to 6’ or 8’ and its solid state, vinyl is perfect for back yards, pool enclosures, perimeter fencing, and dumpster or mechanical enclosures. Aluminum can only offer similar privacy if fill-in panels are added. However, these panels take away from the traditional ornamental look of the fence.

Security:

Ornamental aluminum definitely takes the lead when it comes to security. Due to its limitations, vinyl fence cannot meet the material conditions for large gate uses. It simply cannot be made as security conscious as it aluminum counterpart. When looking to improve security of an office building, and apartment complexes, commercial and industrial grade aluminum fence is always the best choice. Heavy duty and decorative gates can easily be equipped with automated electric operators and access controls for additional security measures and ease of operation.  Residential grade aluminum fences are somewhat less secure, but are still an ideal solution for keeping children and pets in or out of the back yard.

Maintenance:

Requiring little to no maintenance vinyl has a slight edge over aluminum. Though ornamental fence is also low maintenance, a simple occasional wash with soap and water is all it takes to keep this vinyl as beautiful as the day it was installed.

Gate configuration:

fence workshop

For many buyers larger gates are a must have. With ornamental aluminum, these demanding sizes can be met. Aluminum gate sizes vary from 3’ wide walk gates to 30’ wide slide gates. Features such as self-closing hinges, pool latches, magnetic latches, and gate operators and access controls for larger fences all work wonderfully with aluminum fence. Aluminum gates also work to meet standardized pool codes. Vinyl Gates are only manufactured in sizes from 3’ wide single panel swing gates to 12’ or 16’ wide double panel swing gates.  Large gates are usually constructed with pipe posts and frames, to which the vinyl fence panels are then attached. Vinyl products are rarely used in automated systems.

Cost:

The cost of installation for either material is about the same, relative to size. Naturally, the price goes up as the size of the fence increases. Large ornamental aluminum gates will cost more than smaller sized vinyl ones. 

Color Selection:

aluminum gates, gates virginia, va, ideal, ideal fence, fence solutions

Above: Check out a super cool fence solution app. from Ideal Aluminum, or download the app from our homepage or in iTunes.

Ornamental Aluminum fences are available in a variety of styles, sizes and grades for almost any fence requirement.  The standard powder coating colors - green, brown, white, and black give years of attractive protection. Ornamental color variations are currently being increased but specific suppliers do produce custom colors. Although most vinyl fences are white, many manufacturers now offer several color selections as well as wood grain and textured surfaces.

Once these aspects have been taken into consideration, an experienced professional fence specialist should be able to provide customer service and expertise in getting a fence that fits your unique specifications, whether it be vinyl or aluminum. 

Topics: Fence Design, Specifications, Homeowners Association, Residential Fence, Vinyl Fence, backyard Fence, Fence, Fence Maintenance, fence regulations, Privacy Fence, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, wooden fence

Is Pressure Treated Wood for Fencing Environmentally Friendly?

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Oct 31, 2013

Treated Wood Environment   Environment Friendly Treated Wood

Yes! The use of pressure treated wood for Residential and Commercial fencing is in fact, environmentally friendly.

Hurricane Fence Company relies on Treated Lumber Outlet (TLO) for a healthy portion of our Residential Pressure Treated Wood-Fence products.

Wood Preservation allows for the use of renewable resources while preserving the amount of decay to the actual lumber. This effectively uses fewer trees because of the pressure-treatment.
CCA has been used to pressure treat lumber since the 1940s. Since the 1970s, the majority of the wood used in outdoor residential settings has been CCA-treated wood. Pressure treated wood containing CCA is no longer being produced for use in most residential settings, including decks and playsets.

The use of trees rather than plastics or metals is better for the environment due to the known costs of using petroleum based products or steel or aluminum fence production methods which have higher energy expenditures during their manufacturing processes. Additionally, these metals and fence materials create a higher dependency on foreign sources enabling a larger carbon footprint, thus increasing pollution.

What exactly is Pressure Treated Wood or Lumber?

Pressure-Treated Lumber is wood that has had a liquid preservative forced into it in order to protect against deterioration due to environmental factors such as weathering, rot or insect attack.

The most commonly used preservatives are chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and pentachlorophenol. In the treatment process, finished treated lumber is placed in large container, which is sealed and filled with the preservative solution. As the pressure in the container is increased, the preservatives are forced into the lumber; the excess preservative is drained from the container and recycled. The preservative makes pressure-treated wood suitable for long-term outdoor uses where ordinary wood would soon deteriorate. Wood for these uses is now treated with ACQ (alkaline copper quat, a copper oxide–quaternary ammonium compound mixture), copper azole, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT), or other green friendly chemicals.

Subsequently, building codes often mandate the use of responsibly pressure-treated-wood for outdoor purposes.  

What are some other Benefits of Preserved Wood Fence?

Longevity: The life of untreated outdoor wood products can be as short as one or two years. CCA preserved wood has been shown to last over 40 years.

Versatility: Some uses for Pressure Treated Wood Fence Solutions include bridges, guardrails, and docks, while utility poles, crossarms, and indoor pools are a few examples of things made from wood treated with oil-born preservatives.

A Proven Track Record: CCA preserved wood has been around for more than 70 years.  It is EPA approved and has a history of effectiveness.

Affordable & Natural & Beautiful: The raw look is very hot right now. New home buyers and experienced ones alike have really become eco-conscience. We all want more bang for our buck. Aluminum and steel and other man made materials come with a bigger price tag and production costs.

Made in the USA: Man-made fence materials contribute to our reliance for imported materials from other countires. Pressure treated wood and lumber materials offer consumers both efficiency and beauty at a lighter price tag. Most pressure treated wood fence materials are made right here in our own backyard. What a great way to support our local & national economy!

 

Pressure Treated Wood Fence

 
*SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER: If a sub-par local fence installation crew installs fences, these fences will obviously need to be replaced sooner than expected. This is why you MUST  ‘qualify’ your fence installation companyprior to purchasing a fence. Reducing the use of resources is the most effective way to protect our environment and your wallet.

 

What do the experts say about Pressure Treated Wood?

" We have to be careful to preserve forests by using our wood resources to their maximum potential. Using materials such as CCA extends the life of resources at least five years old.

Dr. Stanley Rhodes, President of Scientific Certification Systems

 

“Through the use of preservatives in pressure treated lumber for fences, porches, decks and homes, we have saved a forest of trees two times the size of New England.”

Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, former Governor of Washington State

 

 

 

Topics: Specialty Fence, Residential Fence, Maintenance, wooden fence, pressure treated fence, Green Fence Products

What Are The Virginia Livestock Fence Laws?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Wed, Jun 19, 2013
Virginia Livestock Laws govern fence requirements for horses, cattle, and other large farm animals. 

Livestock fencing is meant to restrict and restrain farm fencethe movement of animals across a particular boundary, but can benefit the landowner by protecting his interest with adherence to the laws and can increase property value. Livestock fence also marks boundary lines. More good news: the state, according to the Code of Virginia: Title 33.1; Chapter 1; Article 15: the Department of Transportation may be able the ones responsible for paying for part of your fence, if the fence line runs along a highway (defined as carrying over 50 vehicles per day): “...On gated roads carrying fifty or more vehicles per day, the Department of Transportation shall, upon the request of the local governing body and upon the recordation of a deed of gift or donation by such landowner of not less than forty-foot right-of-way, reimburse abutting landowners a sum equal to one dollar per foot of fencing which must be installed to keep cattle from entering the right-of-way from such abutting land... For purposes of this section, a 'gated' road is a road on which, prior to July 1, 1986, abutting landowners have maintained a gate or cattleguard.” Title 55; Chapter 18; Article 2: defines a lawful fence. A “lawful fence” must be five feet high; a barbed wire fence must be 42 inches high and consist of eight strands running horizontal and fixed tightly to posts placed, at the most, sixteen feet apart and with a brace (not technically a post) standing halfway between posts. If made from boards, they must be four feet high and must be at least five inches wide; board posts must be placed at eight foot intervals. In some instances, bodies of water such as the James River may be considered legal fenceline. For more information on above specifications, visit this LINK [http://asci.uvm.edu/equine/law/fence/va_fnc.htm].

 horse fence

Dispute may arise between neighbors on the issue of who is responsible for building the dividing fence. Only livestock farmers, not adjoining farmers or landowners who do not keep livestock, are responsible for constructing, maintaining, and preserving farm fencing. This is a relatively new law since the 2005 General Assembly session, which passed a bill that modified a previous law that required home/land owners adjacent to farm land to pay for all or part of a fence which would border farm land. Adjoining livestock farms and farmers will still need to share the cost of fencing with the adjoining livestock farms and farmers equally. For more information on the standing law, visit this site, “Virginia Law for Farmers and Landowners”:

http://www.sites.ext.vt.edu/newsletter-archive/fmu/2005-06/virginialaw.html 

So what kind of fence is best for protecting and enclosing your farm animals? The most popular style is ranch fence, which is a simple structure made of two, three, or four horizontal planks connected by sturdy posts. There is vinyl fence, which is available in ranch-style. Vinyl comes in many colors, but white is the most popular and has a “clean” look. Brown, black, and faux wood grain are also available.

Another form of plastic horse fencing is flexible polyethylene, which will flex or bend up to six inches, instead of breaking on impact. This type can withstand over 4,000 pounds of pressure (per rail). All types of vinyl fencing require little to no maintenance and last a long time. For all of these reasons, vinyl horse fence is clearly going to be more expensive than other options. Wood ranch fence is a more affordable option which is also aesthetically more rustic and authentic-looking. Sometimes wood ranch fence has additional cross-boards between two planks, forming an 'x' shape. Clearly, wood can be painted white, or any other color under the sun. The problem with wood is that is warps in the sun, requires periodic maintenance, and is affected by climate, temperature, weather, and insects.

Virginia Code also permits electric fences, given the fence controller meets certain minimum standards. New electric fence designs such as fixed-knot high tensile woven wire and high tensile electric fences are legal in Virginia and may be more affordable and just as effective than traditional ranch style fencing.

Topics: Specifications, wooden fence

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