Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Extracting cattle scratching posts

Cattle like to scratch. And if they don't have anything better, they will find an isolated T-post to scratch their itch.

Over time, they can drive a six-foot long T-post so deeply into the ground that only fifteen inches is sticking out. Then they go find another post because that one will not reach the best parts for scratching.

If you raise grazing animals, you never have enough fence posts. Not only that, but random, steel T-posts sticking 15" into the air makes mowing the pasture an adventure.

This is a good time to pull them up because the ground is soft. The problems are that I have to lean way over to get a grip on the top of the post. That is poor ergonomics. The other issue is that four feet of the post are buried in the ground.

There is a solution.

If you look at the common, ubiquitous fence post driver, you will notice that the rebar handles have a tapering gap between them and the body of the driver.

Either center the fence post beneath the widest part of the gap or turn the driver 90 degrees relative to the T-post. Slide the driver to the ground. Then turn or slide the driver so the handle of the driver engages the lugs on the top of the "T".

Slip another T-post beneath the intersection of the driver and the stubborn post.

Then lift up on the long end of the post you are using as a lever. Depending on how far you choose to insert the lever post, the scratching post might be lifted two-to-six inches.

Disengage the driver. Reset at ground level. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Yeah, I know it is a small thing, but it felt good to rip that sucker out of the ground.


  1. The front end loader on my tractor and a 6 foot chain does that nicely also, In a tractor without a bucket the 3 point works too. I always keep a 6 foot chain on all of my tractors. Very handy. ---ken

    1. Thank-you sir. Great idea. And bodies wrapped with six feet of logging chain don't cause embarrassment by floating to the surface at inopportune times.

    2. My chains have a Grab Hook on one end and a Slip Hook on the other so they fit all applications. And I lay them on the ground in a coil and spray them with Florescent Orange paint so I can find them in the fields and woods.

    3. This in via email:

      Lester Sumrall told the story of an old logger telling a trainee, "the Bible says a man reaps what he sows, aint true. 40 years ago I planted a grain of rice in this lake, aint never seen a harvest."
      Trainee thought what a nut.
      Trainees dad worked for same logging company but was retired.
      Trainee was telling his dad what some of the old timers were up to and told this story.
      Dad turned pale, called Sheriff, they found Mr. Rice's skeleton still wrapped in a log chain from 40 years earlier.
      Everyone had figured Mr Rice had just gotten tired of logging camp and walked off.


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  3. There is a tool for everything. Sold a project house. The yard had fantastic soil. So I built my garden there. Took my T-Posts with me. Bought a T-Post jack. Funny little "S" shaped chunk of metal creeps down the post every time you raise the handle and grabs the next protrusion. Might not go down to 16" though. Great tool.

  4. I extracted a couple of clothesline posts with the help of my 9 year old son and his japanese foreign exchange student.

    I chose to put a fulcrum under the pry bar and push down vs lifting up.

    Boys learned about fulcrums and gravity can be your friend.

  5. And the kid is now a mechanical engineer.

  6. I built a tripod by welding an old bed frame together (once upon a time) and used a comealong. Worked great. The Mrs. and I called it "Bob Crane."


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