Casaubon's Book

Make Your Own Hurdles

No, not the kind used in track and field (although if you really want to jump over them I won’t stop you), I mean the sort used to keep livestock in without breaking the budget on fencing. They look cool, and now is the perfect time of year to prune out branches and hurdle making materials. We use low ones to keep chickens out of spots we don’t want, and have a few that we use for moving livestock to create chutes – but I’m working on more. As long as it is time to prune trees and cut wood anyway, you might as well make some fence as well!

Two tutorials, first a written one here from the wonderful Alan Shepherd

A nice video using hazel as well:

Pretty cool, eh?



  1. #1 Jennie
    January 18, 2012

    I wonder if you could adapt this method to prairie grasses somehow. We don’t have much wood in my area. I don’t have any small livestock to keep in, (yet) but I do have small children.
    Surely I could bundle some Big Bluestem into strong enough ropes to at least make an attempt.
    If I try it this summer, I’ll let you know how it goes.

  2. #2 Greenpa
    January 18, 2012

    ok, I TOTALLY cannot BELIEVE you found, and posted this video!!!!! I spent like 2 days, 5 months ago, researching traditional hurdle making; and THIS is the best one. In my gustibus. Whaddayou, like, my twin?? 🙂

    I think this guy is brilliantly talented. And he obviously learned this skill from someone trained in the old tradition. Wonderful.

    I was researching it because; we’re about to be drowning in smallwood; and need to be using it- hopefully to generate cashflow. This is an ancient way to do that, which might well have a place today. So how long have you been making hurdles?? And you do realize, the kind you jump over are named for this old kind? I think bored shepherds invented the jumping sport-

  3. #3 Erika
    January 19, 2012

    Thanks for posting, I have always wanted to make hurdles. What kind of wood are you using? Do you coppice?

  4. #4 Claire
    January 19, 2012

    Thanks for posting this! I was mulling over fencing I could purchase to keep peas and bush beans in line. Now that you posted this, I realize I’ve got plenty of hazel shrubs needing pruning as well as bamboo needing to be thinned, no doubt enough to create the fencing I would have otherwise purchased.

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