CAMEO Fencing Blog
Horse fencing information, including installation instructions, product comparisons, horse fencing options
Gary Edward Parrish – 71, died suddenly at home on the farm Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. Gary was a life long cattleman and independent businessman who followed his life's passions. He is preceded in death by his parents Louisa and Horace Parrish. He is survived by his wife and business partner, Nancy; Stepsons, Mark (wife Celeste, granddaughters, Hannah and Emerson) and Matthew (wife Lynn); and Daughters, Trudy (granddaughter Alissa), and Tracy.
Funeral services were held at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, January 11, 2014.
Hello everyone, my name is Mark and I am the older of Gary’s two stepsons. I would like to begin with a heartfelt thanks to each of you for coming here today, to pay your respects to Gary and to support our family in this time of loss. It is a tribute both to Mom and Gary’s ability to make fast friends that you are here today. I would also like to say a special thanks to each of you that dropped by the house this past week. Your offers of support, and food and love have been really overwhelming. So on behalf of my mother Nancy, my brother Matthew and his wife Lynn, myself and my wife Celeste and our girls Hannah and Emerson we thank-you.
I have a friend that always says that ‘a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met’. Although I do not recall hearing those words from Gary, he seemed to embody them naturally – perhaps more than anyone else I have known. Gary had such an easy going, approachable and outgoing personality that allowed him to genuinely connect with people. You could not be out in public to get a meal or the mail or to go for groceries or gas without him striking up a conversation with a new friend. Our lives were always the better for it.
From a young age Gary was strong willed and not afraid to walk his own path. Gary was only 2 years old when he wandered out of his home in Halifax and made his way past Royal Canadian Mounted Police checkpoints all the way down to the Navy docks, in search of his father who had just deployed on a Canadian Navy Corvette during WW II.
Although this resulted in being harnessed and then tied to the clothesline in the backyard – a fate that might have broken the will of many – Gary was always willing to walk his own road and try new things. He and Mom started and succeeded at several small businesses over the past 30 years.
Success or not, Gary had little need or care for material things – and was always very generous with what he did have. He seemed always supportive and never skeptical of the dreams of others. In fact, he went so far as to co-sign on student loans for a struggling friend of mine. That friend now owns 2 companies and employs over 50 people – in part thanks to Gary’s support.
Someone should tell Darren that he is officially on his own with that loan now.
Gary loved all creatures, and hated to see them suffer, he brought home several strays over the years. He returned to cattle farming 15 years ago living out a real passion for him as a cattleman. He always did the right thing, raising the cattle on grass and treating the animals with love and respect. Gary could talk your ear off about cattle or fence or grass (not that kind of grass, Dale). I cherish those conversations just as much as others about hockey, history, politics and youthful indiscretions.
Gary was a great athlete – a natural at both hockey and golf – and he was also a great teacher. Somehow he always managed a funny self-deprecating humor along with great patience whether teaching me how to drive a golf ball or a tractor.
Gary has been a wonderful Grandpa, or Papa, as Hannah and Em called him. Neither his arthritic, hockey embattled knees, or his frozen shoulder could prevent him from climbing atop a ladder that was sitting in the bed of his pick- up truck, in order to loop long lengths of rope over the tall branch of an old oak tree to make the perfect swing for Hannah.
So even though he was a boy that was literally tied up in his own backyard, Gary managed to become a man that played and connected very well with others.
Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the fact that he and Mom both lived AND worked together, very happily, for 30 years!
I would like to close with some words written by Amy, a close family friend…
We are all so blessed to journey through this life and come upon strangers who become friends. As Friends, we come and go. We stay sometimes longer or maybe just a day, or even a moment, nonetheless the interweaving of our crossing paths makes for many interesting and dynamic lives. We weave through relationships creating our life fabric.
Today we honor Gary Parrish.
Gary. A fine thread that has passed through all of our lives, staying longer in some and more impressionable in others, through differing bends, curves and with a changing texture. We are all here physically and in spirit because of one man, one beautiful colorful thread. The truth be known Gary was no thread. If I am to properly make metaphor then Gary is more certainly a rope, strong and sure, giving and bendable. I have many of the same memories as many of you and some unique. There is no need to go on about his generosity, his humor, his defiant defense for the weak, or his gentle spirit with all creatures. He was a man’s man and did not need to prove anything. He just was simply put, a friend to all. I feel perhaps that if Gary were here today and able to speak on his own behalf, (he would like that I am certain) he would borrow these words from a well known author, as he was a humble man with a crowning glory that made him sing and hum and smile every day. Gary would say this, “I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.” We should all be so blessed I send my love to Gary and say, “I hope to see you someday, on the sunny side of the street”
As with any foundation construction if not done correctly the end results suffer. There are generally 2 accepted corner and end brace systems
1. Most familiar the “H” brace
2. And the one we like – the “Knee “ brace
The “H” brace, as its name implies, is shaped like an H. This method requires a diagonal high tensile wire to pull the brace secure. Especially at corners we saw horses get a leg through and cause injury to themselves on the high tensile diagonal brace wire.
The “Knee” brace, our preferred system, does not require the diagonal high tensile tensioning wire when installing our products – “CAMEO” horse fencing and/or Maxi Grunt . Or an all electric system with either Maxi Grunt or Maxi Braids.
Corner & End posts should be the best quality treated wood posts available to you. 5 to 6 inch round or square posts, 7 to 8 ft. long are recommended.
Once you determine the placement of your corner or end post, dig or auger the post hole so the top of post sits at 54 inches above ground. Brace end and corner posts with knee bracing method - wood brace post runs diagonally from above center of end or corner post to line post that is running off at 90 degrees. Brace corner posts in both directions.
Notching or nailing the end and brace posts could be a bit of a challenge but now with the Vicebite brackets this is a snap installation. A 60 to 80lb bag of Ready Mix cement is recommended in post holes. First add some pea run (small size gravel) and tamp well, add ready mix then water. Be sure the ready mix does not come to the top of the hole. Pour in dry, add water and let set 24 hours. Then add soil to top of post hole, tamping as you add.
Remember: When installing CAMEO and/or our electric lines the additional brace wire is not required as these lines do not put excessive stain on ends or corners. Also, please note injury can be caused to horses that get a leg into the brace wire.
Another option for long lasting and easy installation is the MULE Post end or corner system. You can check these out on our website at http://cameofencing.com/fence-products/posts/mule-posts
We are most likely all familiar with the saying “We Are What We Eat”. How I hate to think that as I enjoy a favorite dessert. Oh well, I am not going to lecture you on your eating habits today but rather bring your attention to what you are feeding your horses and livestock.
Often I am surprised that many do not read the ingredients in the feeds they are feeding. What would you think if you found hydrogenated poultry feathers or feather meal listed? What is feather meal?
As defined on Wikipedia ……….
Feather meal is a byproduct of processing poultry; it is made from poultry feathers by partially hydrolyzing them under elevated heat and pressure, and then grinding and drying. Although total nitrogen levels are fairly high (up to 12%), the bioavailability of this nitrogen may be low. Feather meal is used in formulated animal feed and in organic fertilizer.
Worldwide, more than 25 billion chickens are used for human consumption. Feather meal is made through a process called rendering. Steam pressure cookers with temperatures over 140°C are used to "cook" and sterilize the feathers. This partially hydrolyzes the proteins, which denatures them. It is then dried, cooled and ground into a powder for use as a nitrogen source for animal feed (mostly ruminants) or as an organic soil amendment.
Containing up to 12% nitrogen, it is a source of slow-release, organic, high-nitrogen fertilizer for organic gardens. It is not water soluble and does not make a good liquid fertilizer. It can be used to:
• Increase green leaf growth
• Activate compost decomposition
• Improve soil structure
When adding it to a garden as a nitrogen source, it must be blended into the soil to start the decomposition to make the nitrogenous compounds available to the plants. As an organic garden fertilizer, it is not synthetic or petroleum-based.
Sounds OK for my organic garden but do I want to feed that to my horse and livestock. Just doesn’t sound right to me.
So instead of doing the same old, same old – Read the Ingredients list on your feed, ask questions and get educated. Your horse and livestock are also “What They Eat”.
We are hearing a lot about Probiotics and Prebiotics.
The simple answer for me – It teaches your horses and other livestock to respect your fence. Is not the best place for your horse is away from a fence? If you have an existing wood or barb wire fence you definitely want to prevent your horses from chewing, rubbing or getting caught in the fence. A simple line or two of polywire run off the posts will teach your animals to stay away. Our smaller diameter polywires are great for this application.
Time for new fencing, replacing an existing fence or starting fresh, an electrified system is a great option. Easy to install and setup, it will provide you many years of peace of mind, knowing your animals are safely in their paddocks or pastures.
Let’s start with the heart of the system – the Fence Energizer or Charger. Do not scimp on the energizer. They are not all made equal. How do you know what energizer you need? Do you know the difference between output and stored joules – what is a joule? Simply, a joule is a unit of energy. Joules can be rated as stored joules or output joules. About 80% of energizers tell you stored joules but more important are output joules, the energy going out to your fence. A rule of thumb - for every 1 mile of electric fence line have at least 1 joule of output. Then add a joule for fudge factor (growth on line or possible shorts). When deciding on the correct energizer for your needs determine the total length of line. If running multiply lines multiply the footage of the run by the number of lines. Example: you are installing 2,500 ft. of fencing with 2 lines of electric that would = 5,000 ft. of electric line. This is almost a mile (5,280ft. = 1 mile) of fence line. Based on 1 output joule for every mile plus 1 joule for fudge factor you would require a 2 joule unit.
What makes your energizer put out power – the transformer. The transformer takes in the power from source and transmits to the inner electronics, which then is transmitted to the fence line. Inferior transformers do not pass the test of time resulting in much of the frustration with electric fencing.
At our farm we use a 20 joule Cyclops Energizer. This unit has not missed a beat in over 6 years.
You have choices of electric line - what is important here? The wire that carries the charge and the material base it is extruded, twisted or braided with. Stainless steel strands have proven to outlast copper. Though copper is a good conductor it corrodes and develops hot spots when exposed to the elements. Some other products use only metal filaments that more easily rust and break. For polywires and braids a pure poly base material provides the best longevity. Our Maxi Grunt electric line has 9 strands of stainless steel and is woven in a pure polyethylene base approx. ¼” diameter. Made in the USA – Maxi Grunt is our best seller for permanent electric fencing. It provides an excellent site line and is very cost effective at just $ 49.00 for a 660 ft. roll.
Using electric fencing also lets you space your line posts further apart. Our rule of thumb is up to 16 ft. spacing. We do not like to see further spacing (some say up to 50 ft.) because posts give the line a plain to run on. Spaced too far apart the line sags. And posts are a part of the site line for your fence. See our step by step installation instructions at http://cameofencing.com/fence-products/electric-fencing/electric-fence-installation
How do we know “CAMEO” fencing is safe? The short answer is our customers for over 27 years tell us it is so. It is always so gratifying to hear from a customer saying “If it had been any other fence what a horror story it would have been.” And “I am so happy with this fence."
I have not had any injuries from the fencing.” Now we know nothing is perfect but here are some reasons “CAMEO” monofilament fencing is so Safe.
- The line is white and approx. a ¼ inch in diameter. That means your horse can see the line. Our horses are flight animals but even so if they can see the fence there is a better opportunity they will avoid it.
- The line is flexible. If a horse runs into the fence it will give but come back to the original point of tension. This flexibility is also so important if a horse inadvertently gets a leg in the fence. They will pull free as the line gives and rolls off.
- The line will break. If your horse gets into the fence the line will give but if taken beyond the breaking point will break before your horse.
A “CAMEO” installation does not give you the splinters of a wood fence, the cheese cutter effect of a bare wire fence, or the hurt and injury of a barb wire fence.
Use “CAMEO” fencing for your next fencing project to protect your horses.
Are you confused about the best fencing choice for your farm, horses and livestock? I hear you! There are a few old standbys - barbed wire, field fence and wood. All which come with their issues especially when fencing to contain horse. We have been selling horse fencing for 27 years. It seems every few years there is a new solution. Monofilament was one of those. When first introduced to monofilament we took some home and strung a fence run in the backyard of our general store. It was a country store with a barn out back for our horse Cameo, goat - Flopsey and sheep - Marie. All best buddies.
We liked what we saw. As we began to market monofilament the response of our customers confirmed our first impressions. If you are looking for
1) Safe - does not cut like bare or barbed wire
2) Affordable - less than $1.50 per ft. for 5 lines with posts and hardware
3) Neat Appearance - you can see & enjoy your horses and fields
4) Easy Installation - light weight - DIY easy - even for the novice
5) Long Lasting - 10 to 15 years
6) Little to No Maintenance
"CAMEO" monofilament horse fencing may be the answer for you.
But let's look at some of your other choices
We can all be duly impressed with "Entrance Gates" but this is about the function of your corral, paddock or pasture gate. Who doesn't love a gate that swings easily? How can we assure proper function of our gate for years to come?
First - Gate Placement
Some say to place your gate in line with fence. We pefer to put gates at corners, if possible. It is generally easier to corral or lead animals through at a corner. And there is the cost and installation savings to consider as you are already bracing at the corner.
Second - Gate Size
Plan for the widest farm machinery or vehicle you will want to go through the gate. Then add 2 feet.
Third - The Hinge Post (the post you hang the gate on)
This is the foundation for a good gate installation. DO NOT SCRIMP on Size or Quality. The hinge post should be 5 to 6 in. diameter and 8 ft. long.
Questions to ask ...........
1. Will I install the fence myself?
2. What, if any experience do I have with fencing?
3. Will I have help or is this a one person project?
If the answer to #1 is NO. The goal now is to find a reliable and well recommended fence installer. Be sure to confirm references and visit previous installations if and when possible. Then give them our number and website.
If you answered yes to #1 now the answers to #2 and # 3 come into play. Having no experience does not rule out taking on the project when installing "CAMEO" fencing. With or without electric. 95% of our customers put the fence in themselves. Many are first time fence installers. Be sure you have a good understanding of the installation recommendations for the product you choose. As for help - the project will move along more quickly with family and friends that are willing to lend a hand. Keeping them well nourished is a good thing.
After blogging about "How much does "CAMEO" fencing cost?" I got to thinking about " How much can it cost not to install "CAMEO" fencing?"
First came to mind those that think a barb wire fence is the answer to all farm fencing. Well, I went looking for pictures of horses injured on barb wire. Thought I could add them to this blog. But I'll let you do your own web search. Do you agree? The pictures are so horrific as to turn ones stomach. My heart aches for these dear horses.
As a society we have become so safety conscious. Would you drive off without buckling up? Bring your new baby home without a car seat? Do you let your children ride their bike or horse without a helmet? And the list goes on.......
My husband shakes his head and asks " WHY are people still using a product developed in the 1800's designed to cause pain?"
We know barb wire has killed, maimed and scarred too many horses and livestock. It does not have to be. There are aternatives. Is cost the driving force? Consider the death of your horse and/or the the vet bills! Not to mention your time spent doctoring and the agony.
Cost is usually a major factor when making a large purchase and fencing is no exception. Followed up quickly with safety, looks and installation questions. To determine cost you need to know what you need. Today lets focus on the materials needed to install "CAMEO"fencing. Then based on these choices we can provide a ball park idea of cost.
First - Posts
We offer two maintance free choices - vinyl or sunguard fiberglass posts.
Wood or metal t-posts - you would purchase locally. It does not make $ sense for you to have us ship that weight.
Second - How Many Posts ?
When installing 5 to 6 lines of "CAMEO" without electric - posts should be 8 to 10ft. apart. With at least one line of electric the post spacing can increase 12 to 16 ft. apart. Posts give the line a plane to run on and are part of the site line of your fence. Spacing posts further apart is not recommended. The further apart the posts are the more room for movement of the line in the event a horse gets into the fence. To determine line posts - take the total distance and divide by the spacing you have decided on. You will also need to determine the number of corner and end posts. These are generally wood posts with diagional bracing. The Mule End and Corner Post systems offer an alternative to wood.
Third - Do you need insulators for your posts?
Wow – my very first Blog. Here goes…….
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love horses. My first best friend and I played pretend horses when we were 5. That included dreaming up makeshift stalls and fences. Do you think that set my destiny? I started out with my own hobby farm when my children were small. That involved wood fences and electric wire. To varying degrees of success. Then I was introduced to monofilament horse fencing and I have been involved in the promoting and marketing of horse fencing ever since. Oh, so many year ago. Where does the time go? But that is another story.
Today, there are many choices in fencing products. And a wealth of information available, thanks to the internet. But what is important to you when considering fences for your horses and farm? Have you made a list? Are any of the following on your list?
- As safe as possible
- Want it to look good
- What can I afford
- Can I install the fence myself & save money
- How long will it last
- How much maintenance
Can I assume you want an alternative to your local farm store choices? Had enough of barbed wire, high tensile wire, woven wire or polywire that may only last the season?