• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Tight-wad stick fence

 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just read, "The Real Meaning of Stick Building" in Countryside mag, Vol 95, No 2. The author made an effective fence for his ducks that should last him a few years with willow, alder, and hazel brush, and some free used cordage he got from his hay-baling neighbors. There are 2 lines of string looped around the tops/bottoms of the sticks, which are stuck 6 inches or so into the ground. He thinks to build this kind of fence with wire would have cost him about $100.
 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
awesome idea
my goats would push it down and or eat it, but it would get the chickens moving around sooner as the electric netting is just not in the budget right now
 
Suzy Bean
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
He said he would do the same idea for his goats, except a heavier version with the addition of a hot wire. And he said it would be great for chickens--would just have to be a little taller than the duck fence.
 
Chris Fitt
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read the same article and thought it was a great idea.  I would be interested in the longevity of it all and at what point maintenance would out weigh the $100 saved.  I guess that would be a personal choice.  I really admired the creativity and use of resources and could see myself doing a similar thing.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any links to the article or a picture by chance? I think from the description I already know how to do this but just in case any skill that only takes sticks and cordage is a good one to know. I mean if you take this to it's fullest in a survival situation sticks are easy to come by and cordage, well any of a number of vines and plants with varying degrees of work will give you as much as you need.
 
Chris Fitt
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check it out.  It is a great option if and when the stuff hits the fan.  Or if you are just into natural/low impact building.  Or just a tight wad.

http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues/95/95-2/the_real_meaning_of_stick-building.html
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8977
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
132
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are some very old fences around here built like that from juniper sticks.  Time consuming to make, but cheap.  It is a more effective use of juniper than a wattle style fence, which I tried to make with cedar but the cedar is too heavy and the fence collapsed.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
depending on the type of wood, the bottoms will rot out very quickly..it might be better to make the panels and attach them to posts of a sturdier wood that would withstand rot for a while longer than the stickwood..esp if you don't want to repeat next year.

alder will rot without touching the ground for some reason, not sure why, in the elements..it seems to work ok when made into finish furniture but when left outside it seems to absorb rain or something and will rot, I have a lot of alder here and sometimes it seems to be rotten very fast..

we use it for hugel or mulch, mushrooms love it

if you have access to some stronger materials they will be of much more value to you..also beware that if your "willow" touches the ground it MIGHT ..and likely will..grow..esp if done in late fall to winter....as it doesn't take much to grow a willow.

when my mom was first married dad cut her a willow branche, quite thick, to use to prop up her clothesline..during the winter it got left propped under a clothesline, not buried or stuckinto the ground but just resting on top of the ground, in spring it grew branches..and that tree still stands there 60 years later.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since we are talking fencing built with sticks let me suggest an alternative while similar is a bit stronger. You use sticks for uprights (or pickets) and weave a longer stick along the top and bottom alternating which lies on top as well as add a middle weave or two if you need it stronger. You lash the sticks together where they cross. You can then attach the panels to a post. This will allow you to rotate the animals by simply adding new posts and moving the panels as well so it would be less work than rebuilding the stick fence mentioned above. Here is a link to an image (only one I found) that uses this method. Keep in mind your pickets (or uprights)  can be closer, farther apart, shorter, or taller depending on what you want to contain or keep out. http://riverrest.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/weaving3.jpg
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i read the article when i got the mag. in the mail.  neat idea. but the time consumed to build it. not to mention constantly repairing it. id  just assume to work a  bit longer, be able to purchase and use a material that lasts longer and superior.

if someone was just stuck on using a stick fence.  id suggest getting pressure treated 2X4s rip them down to desired size and build with them.  should last for couple decades.  depending on cordage material of course.
 
Chris Fitt
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are there any concerns with using treated lumber around food crops (whether the ducks themselves or what they eat)?
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
True you could build a longer lasting fence easier but would it be self sustaining? Besides the point the author is making quite simply is saving money by making do with what he has on hand. He could have just as well spent $100 and had a fence in fact he says so in the article. In my opinion knowing how to do something with limited resources is vital to continued human survival because one never knows when the day may come where there is no run to the hardwear store for fencing.

BTW Chris aside from the fact pressure treated lumber is chemically treated and anything treated can leach into the environment let alone the harm done to the environment by the process there is no reason not to use it. In fact even though it sounds like I may be against it's use I have several things built out of pressure treated lumber and even have some marine treated waiting for a project when I get around to doing it. Now creosote treated lumber (scavenged telephone poles) should not be used in or near water as they can cause problems.
 
T. Pierce
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i agree with you gentlemen.  knowledge for the inpending doom that to befall us all eventually is of great importance.  im quite sure i could figure out how to build a stick fence when the need ever arrives.  but for right now.  im trying to play catchup.  time is of an essence.  and id say the fence idea would be a right timely project.

as for treated lumber affecting ducks. id say no worries.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would think coppiced black locust would be a good material to use.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:
I would think coppiced Black Locust would be a good material to use.


I haven't found small diameter black locust to be rot resistant.  the stuff that lasts for 70 or more years in the ground is heartwood, and the little stuff is pretty much all sapwood.

I'm all for coppicing black locust, though.  great species.  just don't want anybody to be disappointed when a locust stick fence doesn't last as long as expected.
 
Michael Grant
Posts: 18
Location: Northwest Missouri
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
also beware that if your "willow" touches the ground it MIGHT ..and likely will..grow..esp if done in late fall to winter....as it doesn't take much to grow a willow.

I am reminded of Robinson Crusoe, where his fence of willows grew into a hedgerow that surrounded his cave and goat pens.  It could make a good permanent fence, as the Norman hedgerows demonstrate.
 
Ran Prieur
Posts: 66
Location: Spokane and near Diamond Lake, WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read a great tip on this kind of fence in the book Last of the Mountain Men. If you're trying to keep deer from jumping over, and you mix a lot of uneven stick heights, deer will see the whole fence as being as high as the highest sticks.
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda Groth wrote:
alder will rot without touching the ground for some reason, not sure why, in the elements..it seems to work ok when made into finish furniture but when left outside it seems to absorb rain or something and will rot, I have a lot of alder here and sometimes it seems to be rotten very fast..


Alder is a kissing cousin to birch which has virtually no resistance to fungal rot.  Any moisture and it goes fast!
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic