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Opening and Closing Gates


One of the nice things about how my pastures are organized is that all I need to do is close some gates and open others and change where the animals live their lives.  That is not to say that I don't wish for a few more bits of fence but I'm generally happy with how this place works.

Late in the night last Thursday, I was thinking about opening and closing some gates.  One of the problems with having most of the gates open so the animals have access to the arena and the driveway around it in addition to pastures 3, 4 and 5, is that it's difficult for me to get up their and check on things.  Are the water troughs getting cleaned and filled appropriately?  Should we be trying to get that grass mowed?  I can't see very well from the fenceline.  I can go up there and check but it requires walking up there and opening and closing gates as I go.  The goats are pretty darned quick about dashing through open gates and they usually want to climb up into my Kawasaki mule so driving up there by myself is slightly problematic.  It's easy to do with Ron along to open and close the gates as I drive but not so easy to do on my own.

Also there are some things I need to check in the arena.  There is a pile of cement blocks in there that are used for a variety of things.  I go up there and grab them off the pile as needed to block up places the dogs or various varmints have dug under the fences.  And I use them to hold gates opened or closed depending on what's needed.  That pile is now down to a single layer.  At least I think that's right but I need to go check.  Getting in and out of there is a dance with the animals in there.  If the pile is down to a single layer, I need to move what is left over to the barn.

So it seemed to me, in the middle of the night, to be a great idea to close the gates that let the animals into the arena and driveway.  Then I could get up there to check on things, decide what I want to do about the cement blocks as well as check on the grass. 

It still seemed like a good idea on Friday morning when I was feeding so I walked around and made the changes.  Some gates were opened and some were closed.  In the process I needed to move some hog panels around to make sure the gates were all still dog proof.  The changes went well and now everyone is getting used to the new flow of life.