Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fence Etiquette

Somewhere it must be written, the rules of a fence. Like this one- If you go through a gate, close it.
Or- No climbing the fences, it tears them down. What every farmer knows. Rules to live by.
There is nothing I like better, and I mean nothing, than a good fence. I have been known to ask for fence posts for a gift. My hubby knows the way to my heart involves a post hole digger.
Just the other day I about swooned when I went by my neighbor's new fence. 40 acres worth. Notice the beautiful rails and the no-climb fencing on the inside. To die for!
So let it be known I take my fences seriously.
Almost 20 years ago we fenced our property with a fairly nice fence. It was a little like the Red Hen story. None of the neighbors at the time wanted to help or share in the expense. So we did all the work and bought all the materials and worked our you know whats off fencing the property for our animals. But that hasn't stopped all the neighbors over the years from enjoying the fruits of our labor. The neighbors on one side have used the fence as their own. They have tacked their electric fence to it not to mention various fencing and gates, only to run through those gates and tear the fence down. They plant rose bushes to crawl along it even after I explained why that is not a good idea. And do I have to go tell someone not to hang Christmas lights on a fence that keeps horses and goats in?
On the back side of the property I have chose to ignore the rope and buoys that adorn my farm fence. And all the junk that lines it.
That leaves one more side that has a neighbor. This neighbor graded their property so far down and so close to my fence that now my poor fence has a permanent lean. Then said neighbor asked me if we wanted to redo our fence because it wasn't looking so good. They too have tacked on their electric fences and various gates etc......and without even asking. Not to long ago I noticed some plants dying only to discover that they over sprayed their weedkiller into my pasture of weeds. One person's weeds are another person's goat food. But the last straw was when I went down to feed and I could hear the distinct popping of an electric fence grounding on something. I walked over to the fence and saw that they had grounded their fence on the wire of my field fence. Actually taped it to the fence. Electrifying the whole thing for me to innocently come along and touch. So once again do I have to tell reasonably bright people to take their electricity off my fence? Yes I do...and did.
In a nice way.

I think if you put a fence around your property that it's your fence. If the neighbors want a fence to use and not just look at then they need to put up their own and not use mine. Don't tie, lean, paint, hammer or electrify anything on my fence. I am very territorial.

But maybe I'm's been known to happen.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

If I were you, I'd be knocking those tacky buoys off my fence in a heartbeat. How rude!
After they had to pick it up several times maybe they'd get the idea.

When you think about it, it's no different than rsting your stuff on someone's car (it's been done to me before). It's someone else's property.

That being said, our next door neighbor went in together, with the previous owners of our house, on their shared fenceline. It's good quality pipe fencing, good for horses, etc

I'm happy that the agreement was passed onto the next owners(us), but recently the fence needed a repair weld and we offered to pay for it since we were already getting some additional fencing put in and the welder guy was here.

I think that small gesture helps makes us 'real' shared fenceline neighbors now. haha

Anonymous said...

If you went to the cost of putting it all in then I say you have every right to be upset about the decorations etc. I would have been VERY upset about the electricity issue and not being told. What if you had a small child there and they touched the fence? Sad situation but I hope you take care of it:) Hang in there..........

@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

I think you are VERY right!

goatfarmer said...

Just send them a bill if they are going to use your fence -

goatfarmer said...

Woops, url didn't fit.

Try a tiny one:

Danni said...

Aw, Wendy - what an unbelievable list of fence "abuses" you cite. How can people be so clueless? Are these all the same (original) owners that wouldn't help you pay for or put up the fencing? Unbelievable. I loved goatfarmer's link to Washington State legislation...I think you should just casually circulate your latest blog know, pop it into everyone's paper boxes, just as a friendly FYI. :-)

goatgirl said...

OMGosh there is a law! Thanks goatfarmer for pointing that out. I knew I wasn't wrong.
No Danni they aren't the same neighbors in all cases but this new set brings their own problems to my fence. On both sides they have run into it so many times with their heavy equiptment that they have made holes. Then they don't bother to fix it. Just leave it for me to find when a goat squeezes through. And lately my darling Filbert has made it his mission in life to find all those openings to squeeze through and cry pitifully until someone comes and gets him.

I feel much better now that I have vented.

Country Girl said...

Nice neighbors. Buoys and electric fencing, that is quite a story! I cannot wait to get some fencing up around our land. I can only pray that I do not have neighbors like yours, that is just crazy!! Kim

Anonymous said...

We have a goat farm (50 acres) in Tennessee and share property lines with beef cattle farmers. The fences were probably in bad shape during the Civil War ... here, the etiquette is that if the fence needs to be replaced or repaired, both sides (property owners) pay equal amounts -- you just go to his house and ask. Needless to say, if I want the fence fixed and the guy on the other side doesn't care if there's a hole, he doesn't pay -- I do. Luckily, I've only had a few problems, like when I've found a cow pie on my porch. The neighbor did come over quickly those times. We raise So African Boer breeding stock, so I don't have to worry about my girls going to the slaughterhouse. They also don't jump fences.