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fence made from pallets

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17405
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Karen Biondo of La biondo Farm and Kitchen, on Vashon Island in Washington state, shows off her fence made of pallets.  After getting this bit of video, she showed me another pallet fence that wasn't doing so well - it used a zigzag design - but apparently could not stand up well to the animals.  And then there were designs with steel fence posts that weren't doing well either.  But this design, the one in the video, help up especially well.

Goats and pigs are both known to be extra hard on fence.  And this fence has held in both goats and pigs.

And she is in the same county as Seattle.  So this fence is tolerating a lot of wet rot!




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Joined: May 12, 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Great Falls
Right on! I was pondering how to fence an area to keep the goats and such OUT of my witch's garden. (ie-Herbs, medicinal plants, of course some pretty flowers!) I was thinking of planting lilacs around as a natural border along with these pallets would be extra pretty and the fact that they are free makes them down right beautiful! Thanks for this video!

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Abe Connally

Joined: Feb 20, 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Chihuahua Desert
the only fence that ever worked for my goats was electric.  They'd get over a pallet fence without it even slowing them down...

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Kim Bozarth

Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Posts: 21
Location: Nevada
This is outstanding.  No posts anywhere?  just the pallets sitting at grade?  I see those spaces as little "bays" and think planting in the bays would be a great addition (on the non-goat side of course).  Well done; I want to try this.
Matt Ferrall

Joined: Dec 26, 2008
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
Whoa!What about all those nails.The last thing I want to be thinking about(esp in the future)is blood poisoning.I work hard to never allow nails to sit around in wood outside.Sure it works for now but when it comes time to dispose of the pallets?Of course Im partial because I stepped on a nail as a child that was in a half rotted peice of wood that wasnt completely burned in a bon fire and sat in the grass for a year or two first.

There is nothing permanent in a culture dependent on such temporaries as civilization.
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6879
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
If you sift your ashes, and crush your charcoal, whatever nails are there can be separated and saved for your next project.  You are more likely to get skin cancer from the sun in a pasture than you are to get blood poisoning from the nails in the pasture.

The biggest problem is finding enough FREE pallets to get the job done.  A good place to look is at a trucking company.  They are often required to remove pallets (in exchange) when they deliver palleted goods.  If they are in good shape, they are worth money to the company.  If they need repairs, they are a liability to the company.  Replacing one cracked board would cost them more than the pallet is worth.  In this case, YOU, the good citizen are saving them the tipping fee at the city dump when you haul them away for them.
Angie Greene

Joined: Mar 07, 2011
Posts: 17
Does anyone know how the in-line pallets are attached to the cross pallets?
John Polk

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6879
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
She said screws, but nails would work also.
Bucks Brandon

Joined: Apr 06, 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania [zone 6]
John Polk wrote:
She said screws, but nails would work also.

bailing wire could probably do the job, too, I'll bet. Frankly because of the free nature of the pallets I might be inclined to drop some dimes on nice painted square head deck screws. Keep a can of bright paint handy and mark where you drive each screw and then when you have to replace a section you can reuse the nice screws.
John Kitsteiner

Joined: May 25, 2011
Posts: 38
Location: East Tennessee
This is great!  Thanks for sharing!

"All the world's problems can be solved in a garden."   - Geoff Lawton

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Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
the goats would likely escape if they had reason to. shes got about 6 acres of paddock with plenty of grassa nd some brushy fodder, the goats are very socialized and have room to wander- and they get treats and feed so they havent a whole lot of reason to get too rangy. not to mention that excpet the back acres, where a different fence is used, her surrounding neighbors DONT have desireable acres for goats.  the fence itself is a neat reuse, and actually aesthetically nice compared to t-posts and wires. that said, shes started her first willow plantings and is looking deeply at multifunctional hedgerows and fodderbelts - used as living fences- which IMHO is alot more more interesting than the pallets on a bajillion levels. Karen is a really neat, powerful and energettically charged woman. all the more joyful for the art space she opens at her farm, walls to paint and art space offered to the community. shes taken that design charge to the planning of her site to become more of a perrenial farm, and its a really neat thing to watch unfold.

as far as nails: after if years aof working old farms with crumbling bldgs and nails everywhere, ive come to the conclusion that they are actually a great source of mg and zn for  soils and let em be when they in wood and out of drive/foot traffic areas.. Ive stepped on one or two, and its never been an issue. last tetnus was in 88. I leave them in hugel wood piles from salvaged buildings. my 8' perrenial kale agrees. I get more problems from paint (dont tell karen, her place is adorable but I could never do that to wood!)...paint on salvage wood, I never feel like Ive done enough to stop the lead and other nasty stuff in that unretreivalable uncycleable detritus.

Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Posts: 2
What about snow rot?  If snow accumulates and sits at the bottom of the fence wouldn't they fall apart much sooner?
Lisa Paulson

Joined: Apr 17, 2010
Posts: 258
Wow, very impressive resourcefulness.    I will not be forgetting this idea.
Ken Peavey

Joined: Dec 21, 2009
Posts: 2523
Location: FL
I needed a gate beside the leaf heap so I did not have to climb through the heap or walk all the way around.  I picked up a couple of  heavy duty galvanized hinges, hung a pallet.  I had to add a pole so I could keep it closed with a piece of rope.  So far, Bull has not figured out how to get through it.

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Walter Jeffries

Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 1026
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
We have a lot of pallet fences. Pallets are free and very solid. Some we simply tie together. Others I stick a log or 2x down between the slats to lock a group of them together to form a wall that is even more solid. Setup in the fall they freeze together for our long winters. Also great for making compost bins.
Brice Moss

Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
Crubin wrote:
What about snow rot?  If snow accumulates and sits at the bottom of the fence wouldn't they fall apart much sooner?

depends, most likely not because in most areas where it snows the wood will spend most of its time either dry, or to cold for rapid rot. I can't imagine a temperate climate where wood would rot faster than here on the NW coast, so the chance is your fence will last longer than hers
Glenn Koenig

Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 18
Just made my first pallet fence! just a small one to keep in some chickens, I have about 4 laying hens and so far they have been very well contained. LOVE IT! So stupid easy! I'll try to get pics up soon
Glenn Koenig

Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Posts: 18
This fence is being used to hold in 4 laying hens in an urban setting. Unfortunately most of the time these birds will be in a "sacrifice zone" so to say, where there will be basically nothing growing due to the small space, over grazing and thick shade. Although I do have plans to let them out and forage around the yard on days when I am out and can supervise, I do think this is a less then ideal system for my chickens, but they are my first attempt, and I am dealing with very limited space. I am also growing sprouts for them on a semi daily basis and have plans to start trays of wheat grass on rotation for them.

OK, anyway... about the fence. You can see in the first photo a couple heavy duty zip ties that I used to help hold two pallets together. I mostly used zip ties to hold the thing together; two for each pallet connection, I also used a couple screws here and there to help too. The only problem I had (which I had a feeling would happen) was that the chickens could just jump up on the pallet and jump to the other side, where my garden is, and where all the goodies are. In the last photo you can see how I used screws to put up some sticks and stapled chicken wire to the fence, it does look a little like a prison, and I feel a little bad, but honestly they have a much better life then most so don't hate.

[Thumbnail for Pallet Fence_01.jpg]

[Thumbnail for Pallet Fence_02.jpg]

[Thumbnail for Pallet Fence_05.jpg]

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17405
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
This building cost nothing to build. Well, nearly nothing. It is built of mostly pallets. Used pallets. Pallets that would have been thrown in the garbage. Karen Biondo of La Biondo Farm and Kitchen tells us the story and shows us around.

It's a sturdy shed that is used for an honor system farm stand in the front and the "No Trash Bash Stash" in the back.

The "No Trash Bash Stash" is where folks in the Vashon Island community can come and borrow plates, forks, cups and all the fixins for a party without having to resort to plastic forks and the like.

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 17405
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
Just a filmstrip style collage of the pics for the video

[Thumbnail for pallet-fence-filmstrip.jpg]

S Carreg

Joined: Mar 29, 2013
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
It's a great idea, but wouldn't work for us. For one thing it's hard to fine that many free pallets in my area, and another thing is transporting them - even with a trailer I can't move more than about 10 at a time, that's a lot of trips! And of course that design would only work on a very flat area, which we also lack. I love making use of pallets, I just wish I could get someone to deliver me about 50 of them!
Bethany Dutch

Joined: Jun 24, 2012
Posts: 144
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
I'm about to build one of these for my soon-to-get nigerian dwarf goats, so I'll post back here to let you all know how they work. Now I just need to find a large source of free pallets! I have a place where I can buy them for $2 apiece (and they will load me up via forklift which is nice) and the $2 each is cheaper per linear foot than traditional field fencing but I'm going to still try and find some freebies.

I like the idea of these because I can build a smaller paddock for my goats and then expand as I am able to acquire more pallets.

Just me and my kids, off griddin' it at Uncle Dutch Farms.
subject: fence made from pallets