T posts

keepitlow(6)March 19, 2009

When installing T posts, how deep should the plate be set below the soil? Should it just be under or is it better for frost heaving to put it deeper?

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Depends on the type fencing you will attatch to it. If only 1 or 2 electric strands hand stretched just above the anchor plate is ok. if your going to put 3-4 strands or a more permanent type fence with corner braces , etc., then a foot would be better. If you are going to put horses in it then caps are in order to prevent serious injuries.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:14AM
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I put mine just under the ground. Makes it easier to take them out if necessary. Caps are nice, but if money's tight, the normal insulators are fine. If a horse doesn't have any better sense than to get hung on a post that's 5 ft high, chances are it's gonna freak with you in the saddle sometime, so you're better off without it anyway.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 4:01PM
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i was thinking fancifowl meant that the horse could injure itself trying to jump over a 5' fence so you would put caps on it to prevent any scrapes or other such mishaps. Made perfect sense to me.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:57PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Horses are not the brightest animals, so you accept that fact when you get them. Capping T-posts is a very good safety measure. Caps are not that expensive, help in making posts more visible and covering the sharp edges on the top of post.

Letting a young or frightened horse just kill themselves when capping could prevent that injury, is kind of dumb thinking. Fight or flight is their instinct from thousands of years of being prey animals, food for predators. You run first, stop and look back when you are out of reach! Those who don't run, get killed and eaten, don't breed the dumb genes back in! Would you say the same about a buffalo or cow, "You are better off without it anyway", that was ready to calve, if she ran into an uncapped post? Cows and buffalo are not bright either. You lose all your investment, future income from that animal and the unborn baby animal.

Large grazing animals are not designed mentally, for enclosure. So any owner needs to work around the basic nature of cattle, horses or whatever they are trying to keep contained while keeping them safe inside.

T-posts are installed quickly, not as labor intensive as wooden, dug-in posts that are safer. Perhaps pasture is just temporary grazing, doesn't need permanent fencing, so T-posts fill the bill to support the wiring needed to contain those animals.

We put our plates below the surface an inch or so. This keeps plate points covered as fence is grazed or mowed, dirt gets compressed. No points sticking up to stab a foot or wheel. Still not hard to pop out the T-post when you wish to remove it.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 4:05PM
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good way to keep your site participation down and opinions all in the same line I guess. If someone introduces an idea that isn't in line with the local experts, there's better ways to disagree than jump in and try to discredit the person. But if that's your way, so be it.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:43PM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

A cheap way I've seen people cap T-posts is to use empty coke/beer cans. I'm not sure how they get them on, probably just tap them down gently with a 2 by 4 with the open side down. Then use a hammer to mold the can down over the post to make it stay.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:02PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Just by not agreeing, does not mean someone is calling names. We all have poor ideas, and get called on them after posting. You REALLY seem unhappy with your remarks about being discredited. Letting animals kill themselves when it can be easily prevented is a BAD idea!! Did you actually read the rest of the post? My comments go on in explaining WHY capping is a GOOD idea. Your saying that animals should just die, get them gone, because they are too dumb to avoid a post, is pretty useless as helpful advice!! You don't say WHY letting them die would be useful!!

Their money cost of animal is lost, animal is lost for future uses, by not looking at a bigger picture.

Are you an experienced farmer, livestock raiser, or just someone how appears to dislike horses because they are not the brightest creature? Lots of people dislike horses because they can't manage them, as seen on TV movies.

Would you turn loose all your chickens, sheep, cattle, call them stupid when hawks and other predators kill and eat them? Still stupid when those loose animals get hit on the road? Safe fencing should be a given factor, in animal containment and protection of your money invested in them. No birds or animals are smart like people. Even children don't often consider cause and effect when running around or playing.

We are their caretakers, need to outthink them, have the safest possible confinement areas to prevent injury. Capping posts is pretty easy. Pop cans, beer cans, SOUP cans, or purchased plastic post toppers, all cover the sharp edges of a T-post for safety of the animals. Most folks do recommend the capping practice, BECAUSE it prevents injuries. You can't say how many animals were NOT HURT after capping, because you have no wounds to deal with!

Small fields, paddocks, will raise the chance of injury, just by limiting the area animals have to move around in. They are forced to stay closer together, which also raises crowding issues, forcing one into a fence or post. Animal may not be dumb, just could not avoid the post. Better to hurt it, kill it, or cap the post?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Guess there's always a chance...... Not sure how much experience I have. 12 years, 12 horses including babies, and about 8 enclosures that use about 600 T posts about half capped half not. So far, haven't had a problem. Guess I won't be experienced until one gets hurt. I have seen some pretty screwed up horses that would blow through or over a fence because a bird flew too close, that's the ones that you are better off without unless you have a death wish. We teach ours from the time they hit the ground to accept surroundings from tarps to tractors and motorcycles with a cool head. So, if one of them flips out enough that a fence won't get in the way, it better hope it hits a capped post and calmes down real quick or it'll be salami. Depends on what value you put on your or your family's health and well being compared to an animal. One thing I learned about caps, get the black ones. Yellow and white make too good a target for city hunters.

Take Care,


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:50PM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

Dave, sounds like you have a good line of horses, levelheaded. I like those kind myself.

Yes there are always some flighty or really dumb ones, so you try to protect them from possible damage. T-post are not forgiving, so capping or using wood posts if possible, just reduces the chances of injury. Give them NO EXCUSE to hurt themselves!

If they continue to be silly after a bit of time, some work with him, then might be an idea to reconsider the horse you purchased, get a different one. Keeping that silly horse healthy, unscarred, makes them more sellable to a person with better fences!!

Having good amounts of ground in pasture and barnyard areas, less animals together, can prevent crowding, accidents, hurt livestock, cattle or horses. I don't want to think about how many years we have had horses, and how many have come and gone, good and bad. Too many.

You are right about black plastic lasting the longest, but I want the post caps showing for visibility at night. We are not in a hunting area, with houses around the pastures, so my caps are not targets. I always get the black plastic for the other outdoor items, insulators mostly

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:48PM
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I just learned the hard way that you should cap t-posts. I have a small electric paddock done with tape and uncapped t-posts and my yearling nearly impaled herself on one. She was not trying to go through the fence but must have been grazing through or under the tapes and got zapped so she whipped her head up and back pulling the post half down inside the paddock and then drove it into her abdomen while trying to run from the fence. I luckily found the injury in time to have it sutured and thankfully the t-post didn't completely puncture the abdominal wall. The vet told me they have seen quite a few deaths from horses getting impaled on t-posts. It was a hard way to learn a lesson, I will never leave posts uncapped again. With horses, weird things can happen so it is better to be safe than sorry no matter how sensible your horse(s) is/are. My yearling is more sensible than most mature horses I know which is probably why she didn't completely impale herself.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 3:57PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

While it would probably be to the benefit of all horse owners everywhere if all the animals prone to injuries we would consider "stupid" were to die off and not reproduce, it is seldom in the benefit of an individual animal owner to let their animals die off. If the world were full of people who did what was best for all rather than what was best for themselves it would be a fantastic place to live, sadly people who try tend to die off, many refer to them as "stupid", ironic ...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:39AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Three days after we moved into our house up in the mountains, my horse once avoided the whole 'T post' conundrum by simply simply bursting through the barbed wire with her chest, severely gouging her chest and then RUNNING down a state highway, along with my sister's horse.

They were escaping a large bear that had come to check them out. I wholly agree with her reaction, the bear's paw prints were HUGE! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 1:56PM
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When growing up and as a young adult I had many different kinds of animals. Once had a 17 foot tale bull giraffe that we used a chain saw to rescue this poor animal out of 1 stall car garage. Had no place other than the barn to put him in, and would you know it he ran thru the door when it was opened by mistake. Being never in such a large area he became frightened and started running. After about the third woven wire fence he stopped--he was a bloody mess. That 4,000 pound animal pulled up 18 T-posts when he went thru the first fence. He had a few small deep cuts. So if your T-post are in deeper than you can pull out get a 4000 pound giraffe! 'LOL'

P.S. When removing stubborn T-post and no 4000 pound bull giraffes handy, use an old bumper jack and a small log chain.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 2:53PM
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