Recycle, Reuse Scrap Metallic Round The Farm Homestead


Our neighbor instructed my spouse and me how she stopped her fourth-grader as she was pulling a bottle cap out of their kitchen trash can, saying, “Honey, put that again. It’s trash.” The little woman, schooled on recycling, smiled and mentioned, “Mama, metallic’s by no means trash.” That’s definitely true. I repeat that story each time my spouse raises an eyebrow at my sprawling piles of trash … I imply, scrap metallic. 

I’m not above selecting up scrap fencing and different metallic off the curb. And I at all times have a look into development web site dumpsters. One builder had tossed a heavy, damaged nail gun that was simply price $15 at a scrap metallic yard. 

Each little bit of metallic from my scavenging journeys and constructing tasks—stripped screws, sheet metallic, damaged instruments, worn noticed blades, extra pipe—will get tossed into black, 10-gallon nursery pots by the again gate. That features family metallic equivalent to jar lids, out-of-date keys and, in fact, bottle caps. As a result of the pot has drainage holes, I don’t have to fret about it filling with rainwater. And since it’s black, it’s not very eye-catching—aside from to my spouse. 

However a few times a yr, I collect sufficient metallic in pots and piles to justify a fast journey to the scrap metallic yard (that occurs to be close to a favourite BBQ lunch place). There, I promote all of it for as little as about $3 one time (the value of metal was down that day) and one other time for greater than $160 after I had a load of scrap copper and aluminum. 

The little woman is true. Metallic isn’t trash anymore. Along with recycling it on the scrap yard, quite a lot of metallic scraps could be repurposed to be used in hen coops and the backyard. Listed here are just a few examples. 

Rack ’em Up

One a part of our vegetable backyard that at all times will get compliments is our trellis system for cucumbers. We use colourful metallic racks that we get low cost from what we name junk-tique shops. These are racks from retail shops which have closed. They’re a 2-dimensional mesh with openings about 2-by-2 inches. We have now them in quite a lot of colours: purple, yellow, black and inexperienced. 

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Within the retailer, the racks stand vertically, and objects on the market can be suspended from them. However when a retailer closes, the whole lot should go, together with show racks. After which we get them for a pair bucks apiece. 

Within the off season, I retailer them exterior within the climate. Within the backyard, I hammer a few 4-foot lengths of rebar into the bottom to help the racks. Then I tie rack and rebar along with brief lengths of tie wire or jute. I’ve even put in a few these racks completely to border a gate in our slim aspect yard. 

Hinge Binge

A few hinges scavenged from a fence and gate elimination for a gardening consumer of mine discovered their calling after I wanted to put in a chicken-sized gate between the hen pen and a chunnel (brief for “hen tunnel,” in fact). This new gate and chunnel would enable the hens entry to a separate fenced space for foraging bugs and seeds, secure from predators. I framed the chunnel gate with scraps of lumber and snipped out the fence wire to make a gap. 

One aspect of the hinge was too lengthy for the house, so I positioned every hinge on a granite block, held one aspect with channel locks and hammered the opposite finish of the hinge till it bent over on itself and was the proper dimension for this spot. 

Maybe I used to be impressed by a shirt my spouse had given me that learn: “The Handyman’s Rule: Reduce to Match. Beat into Place.”

Nation Hinges

I’ve additionally used scraps of copper roofing left over from a mission—however you would possibly discover them on close by job websites—to make hinges. Some would possibly name these “nation” hinges for his or her reuse of one thing that might in any other case be scrap. 

scrap metal recycle farm

As a result of copper is versatile, you’ll be able to minimize a strip about 2-by-4 inches, then predrill 4 holes close to the corners and fasten the strip to perform as a hinge. I did this on our nest field, and it nonetheless works nice 10 years later. 

Display screen Scrap

Hottest breeds of chickens within the United States had been bred in northern climates and are effectively tailored to winter climate. Right here within the South, the place I reside, the massive risk is from warmth build up within the coop. So coops want air flow. Each gable and window in our coop has a gap that’s coated by numerous scraps of metallic display screen. Air can movement via, however vermin and predators can’t. 

On my metallic scrap yard jaunts I at all times try the nicer items of metallic—chains, pipe, fencing—that the scrap seller units apart to resell. There I purchased a small roll of brass display screen—the sort used to make hearth screens. It appears good, has a positive mesh, can stand as much as the climate and was low cost. 

scrap metal recycle farm

That roll lived in my storage for years earlier than I discovered a use for it on our coop. I minimize sq. sections of the brass display screen to cowl the openings. I minimize it with metallic snips and screwed it into place with brass screws from the ironmongery shop. I may use common metal screws, however with sufficient moisture, two sorts of metallic in touch with one another creates corrosion. 

As a result of the openings within the mesh had been smaller than the heads of the screws, I didn’t want to make use of washers. However should you’re utilizing a mesh with wider openings, equivalent to {hardware} fabric—as within the photograph—you’ll wish to purchase some washers to slide over the screws and pin the mesh in place. 

Dangerous-Man Barrier

Over a few years I’ve picked up miles of leftover fence wire from the curbside. Most of it will get reused, bought on the scrap yard or I cross it on to a pal for a mission. At house, I take advantage of quite a lot of scavenged fence wire to maintain critters from digging beneath the fence into our hen run. 

To cease critters from tunneling beneath your fence, some “specialists” mistakenly suggest digging a trench 1 to 2 ft deep into which you bury the underside of your fence. The issue with this “resolution” is that even galvanized fencing within the floor will rust all the way down to nothing in 5 to 10 years (relying on moisture ranges). 

Galvanized fencing is metal wire coated with a grey layer of the metallic zinc. Within the open air, this zinc layer will maintain metal from rusting. However when a galvanized fence is in shut contact with the bottom, the natural acids within the soil oxidize the zinc. This leaves metal fencing to rust away, exposing your hens to tunneling predators. 

scrap metal recycle farm

A greater protection is to put an apron of fence wire on the bottom on the base of the fence. You solely want a couple of 2-foot tall part of fence. Reduce 4- or 5-feet-tall fencing in half with metallic snips, bolt cutter or a hand instrument (referred to as a aspect cutter). 

With the 2-foot part of apron fence laid flat on the bottom and your foot on it, bend the highest 6 or 8 inches of the fence upright.
The upright part goes up towards the skin base of the fence. Use tie wire to connect the apron fence to the run fence. 

The rest of the apron fence laying flat on the bottom extends about 12 to 18 inches out from the fence. It also needs to be pinned to the bottom with panorama staples or by bending a number of the fence wire to enter the bottom. 

Cowl it with mulch or let grass develop up via it. Proceed this all the way in which across the base of your hen run. On the gate lay fencing flat on the bottom or put down a flagstone to frustrate diggers.

When a predator comes as much as the fence, they’ll attempt to dig proper subsequent to it however will likely be foiled by your apron fencing. If the predator was actually sensible, they’d again up a few ft and dig a tunnel beneath your apron fence to get to your hens. As an alternative, they’ll go discover your neighbor’s coop. 

Ultimately, the apron fence will rust away. However it’ll be simpler to switch than fencing buried beneath the bottom which may also corrode to nothing. And should you’ve scavenged some fencing, it received’t price you something. As a result of metallic is rarely trash!  

This text initially appeared within the July/August 2023 problem of Pastime Farms journal.


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