Denis Lehane: Shock of finding an electric fencer fault

“Get out ye hoors of hell,” I roared at my weanling bulls and heifers this morning.
Denis Lehane: Shock of finding an electric fencer fault

The raggle taggle group of misfits and rejects had once again gained their freedom, and this time had broken onto a heap of silage bales.

They had been stationed there all night by the looks of things and with mouths, horns and hoofs had done indescribable damage.

My bales now had a Swiss cheese look about them, the whole business had me in floods of tears. I was inconsolable with grief.

And worse again, I had been reserving that particular heap of 20 bales for a buyer I had hoped would appear if the bad weather continued.

Well there would be no buyer now, unless he had the eyesight of Stevie Wonder. My hoors had spoiled my potential windfall.

The electric fencer had let me down once again.

I cannot understand in this day and age when a man can be flung to the far reaches of the Galaxy without fear or danger, that we still have to endure outdated technology with regards to electric fencers.

We are still forced to live with a situation where any small item resting on the line can deaden the shock, leaving the farm defenceless to a calamitous animal breakout.

At least with a pallet tossed up against a ditch, or a cut furze bush flung against a damaged area, you know where you stand. If the hole is blocked the animal cannot depart.

But not with the fencer. It can be lined up there, looking as smug as a politician on an election poster, but alas if there isn’t a shock pulsating through the line, it may as well be a length of bale twine.

And worse again, cattle have a knack of sensing a poorly performing fencer and will be out in no time.

This morning after calming down, I eventually managed to hunt my cattle from the bales and then with some degree of normality restored, I went in search of the problem that was causing my fencer to underperform. I must have walked half the farm before I eventually came to where the trouble lay.

T’was nothing more really than the bonnet of an upturned car that had caused all the hassle.

I had strategically parked it up the fields many years ago in an effort to block a gap. Well, wasn’t the fencer wire rubbing off the bonnet of the thing.

“In the name of God,” says I looking at the situation, “can there be anything more pathetic than this?”

An innocent old car parked up the fields doing no harm to anyone and the fencer wire, as bold as brass, just had to rest on it.

Damn it all, surely at this stage fencers should be able to cope with such minor obstructions.

The bonnet of a car, the odd sheet of windblown galvanize, a strip of rusty barbed wire — any one of these innocuous objects coming in contact with the fencer I have found over the years will reduce its effectiveness to zero.

Fencer technology needs to get with the times, progressive farmers, like me, are blue in the face from having to deal with the consequence of underperforming fencers.

Our fencers are letting us down.

There I was this morning with my bales in tatters, my cattle running amok and my fencer shock about as strong as a spider’s fart.

T’was nothing more really than an entirely shocking state of affairs.

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