How to fix a broken fence post

Broken fence posts are unfortunately something that do happen on farms. Whether it be due to trees or branches falling on them, animals running into and head butting them, or simply age and rot, you will eventually need to remove and replace broken or old fence posts. Depending on where they are in your fence line, this may not be too difficult a task but simply a matter of digging a new hole near the old post. However, when the post is a part of your fence assembly, things get a little more tricky. Even trickier yet is when the post has a gate hanging from it!

In this instance, the little gate that leads out of our goat yard was head-butted by some sheep as they went through the gateway. An existing weakness in the post structure caused it to fail under the pressure of a hard head, and it snapped at the base, just under ground level. As seen in the image, it was leaning quite precariously, and meant the integrity of the connecting fence was compromised. This image was taken after the gate had been removed.

Here is an image of the post once it was removed from the ground. Removing the top part from the fence structure was relatively easy – all wires, switches and monitors were removed, after which the post just lifted out of the ground. The bottom part was far more difficult and required over an hour’s work using a crowbar and shovel to remove as much dirt and rotten concrete from around it as possible before it could be lifted out.

Remember that if you need to replace a post in the exact same place, it is not good practice to dig as big a hole as possible to get the old post out – this will result in reduced structural stability after you replace the post.

Once the old post was removed, it was comparatively easy to put the new one in, tamp it into place, and reconnect all wires. Using a long level will help to ensure that your post is upright. The new post we installed was slightly thicker than the old one, so adjustments needed to be made with the positioning of the gate latch to allow for this. It is important to make sure you have all the correct tools – we have a fencing toolbox that has everything we need when constructing, adjusting or repairing our fences, right down to wire twisters, small spanners and specialised fencing pliers.

And this is the finished product – gate hung, all wires reconnected with live wires fully functional, assembly reinstated and no goats on the wrong side of the fence!

Any aspect of fencing comes with challenges, especially when you are new to farming. It is important to always ensure you have the correct tools, equipment and knowledge to be able to get the job done as quickly as possible – an imperative when trying to keep livestock secure.

Cheers and happy farming!


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