July 26, 2014

Before There Was Duct Tape There Was Baling Twine

I love baling twine. It's always been a favorite of mine for holding things together in an emergency. When Splash kept slipping through the fence and getting into the blueberry bush ...

Splash looking longingly at the blueberry bush, now off limits.

The first thing I thought of was rabbit fence and baling twine.

Old baling twine easily ties rabbit fencing to the
rail blueberry fence. It is made out of sisal fiber. 

I could have used staples, but that would have meant going to buy them and dragging out tools (I was in the instant gratification mode, you see). I could have used wire, but I don't like working with wire if I can help it. (BTW, a roll of wire is cheaper in the electric fence department than the same gauge in the hardware department). Wire is more permanent than the twine, but it gets caught on everything making it a nuisance to work with. Besides, baling twine has worked well for patching fence in the past.

This was a hole that Elvis tore in the fence. It's
new baling twine, made from a synthetic fiber. 

I know folks love their duct tape, but I couldn't have done that with it.

There are some things baling twine isn't so good for, such as deterring chickens from fence hopping.

My baling twine chicken barricade was a fail.

Maybe I should have tried duct tape for that.

Then there are the times when only duct tape will do.

Not to hold it in, LOL, for leaking.

I reckon if I keep both handy, I'll be prepared for just about anything.


Renee Nefe said...

I'm pretty sure that I've read before that if you have duct tape and bailing twine you'll be ready for anything. ;)

Leigh said...

Renee, I believe it!

cumbrian said...

Yeah, baling twine, "farmers weld" as we used to call it, amazing what uses it has.

Farmer Barb said...

Baling twine is a precious commodity here, too. I wove it through the next most useful item on my farm: deer netting. It comes in 100' x7'. I use it for all manner of barricade. It is stretched currently around my posts to keep the doelings from jumping out. The baling twine is woven through the joint between the hardware cloth and the net. It is also used to tie the netting to the tall post. Baling twine is also what I used to put together my temporary hay feeder that never got taken down! I have made rope to tie up a tarp over the whole shebang to keep the sun and the rain off. I use the delightful blue color to indicate the mountain bike course we set up in my newly cleared field! As I see it, there is no end in sight for the uses of these miracle items.

As for Duct Tape: it is the single most important item used in Odyssey of the Mind--a mind stretching kids' competition. It is the deity of materials.

Leigh said...

Cumbrian, "farmers weld". I like that! Between that and duct tape we can conquer the world, LOL

Barb, I can see my personal toolbox in my mind: hammer, screwdrivers (common and philips head), pliers, duct tape, and baling twine. :)

Meredith said...

I am personally in love with zip ties for small farm fixes - they are easy to use, stay in place, and easy to remove later. The twine also looks great!

helenabelle said...

Our farm is an old cattle farm and we find baling twine everywhere! My husband saves it and has a big box full. I used it yesterday to secure fence sections together to help keep my chickens in their mobile little pen. I love it! I wonder about the colors...different colors represent different types of hay and straw? Or is it just whatever was available at the store? We have all colors, yesterday I used lime green, which I'm partial to!

Unknown said...

I watched a Myth Busters show the other- stranded on a desert island with unlimited duct tape. They made everything!!!

Harry Flashman said...

I sometimes use a spool of electric fence wire I have for such issues. The fence got torn up too often, though I struggled to maintain it for several years. I still have some of the wire and it's good for impromptu repairs.

Woolly Bits said...

haha, there's a saying that ireland survives on strings and (fertilizer) bags:) there's not much you can't do with those two - our old neighbour ran around for years with leaking wellies - he put a bag around his foot and wore them anyway:) might not last forever, but often it's good enough for a while at least!

Leigh said...

Meredith, I'd forgotten about zip ties, thanks for mentioning them! Dan uses them often but I never think of them. I'll add zip ties to my tool kit. :)

Helenabelle, good question about the colors. We once bought straw and hay from the same place and these had different colors of baling twine. It does seem to have good purpose.

Nancy, how funny! I would have like to have seen that.

Harry, I do too! Another handy item to have on hand.

Bettina, that's making do! But why not? :)

Anonymous said...

I have a few fences that seem more baling twine than wire, lol. I braid it to make leads and gate ties, as well as handles for the recycled feed sack bags I sew.

I was thrilled to get a ton of hay last month that was actually bound with baling wire. Especially with the goats, it seems to hold up longer to the abuse.

Anonymous said...

Hah! I knew there was a reason I'd been saving the twine round the bales of straw we get for the pigs. I couldn't bear to throw it away. I just felt it might be useful and you have reassured me that it probably will be :)

Sandies' Patch said...

I guess an enterprising goat may well chew through the baler twine eventually but, hopefully you would have harvested the blueberries by then!
Love blueberries too!

Bill said...

I'm a big fan of baling twine too. I also use it for tying cattle panels and making temporary fences. I use a lot of it in the summer for staking tomatoes. I've also made some temporary deer fences with it, stringing it along t-posts, tying strips of cloth to it and spraying deer repellent on the cloth. Here's to baling twine!

Leigh said...

Sue, great idea about braiding! I've seen a few patterns for those feed sack bags and thought about making some for Christmas. Braided baling twine handles would be the perfect touch. :)

Westwickdreaming, you were absolutely spot on! The only trouble with saving things for possible future use is where to keep the ever-growing pile of treasures. LOL

Sandies' Patch, you know, considering goats, I'm surprised none of my goats has tried that. What they do zero in on, is gate chains. If a gate is chained shut, I'll always have a goat or two trying to figure out how to open it. Fortunately I'm getting most of the blueberries. The songbirds, goats, chickens, and pig get some too, but we get the best share. :)

Leigh said...

Bill, it appears I was writing my last comment while you were posting yours. Great idea about the temporary deer fence! I may borrow that idea.

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

Just be careful that the goats don't eat it. When I was a kid we lost a couple of goats mysteriously and when we cut open their stomachs it was full of baling twine!

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

All good smallholdings are constructed with baling twine and pallets.
We use duct tape to hold the beehives together when we move them.

Sandy Livesay said...


Duct tape and twine come in handy for many projects on the homestead. Silicone will help with that leaking window :-)

Quinn said...

And before there was baling twine, there was baling WIRE, and I still miss it! When I lived in CO, I could put together a very effective goat or pig or dog fence with nothing but free pallets and the pieces of baling wire I hung on a peg in the barn every time I opened a bale.
I've got baling twine holding things together all over the place, but compared to baling wire, to my eyes it looks like trash - and is definitely more of a nuisance to work with. But yep, I use it anyway!

Leigh said...

Cecilia, that's a good warning. it would be a tragic way to lose kids.

Gill, all I need is a good free source for those pallets!

Sandy, I have no idea why Dan didn't use silicone, LOL. Probably because none was handy at his moment of inspiration. :)

Quinn, I can definitely see how baling wire would be handy! More so than twine.