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what kind of fencing do you use for sheep

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sheep' started by boykin2010, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. Dec 21, 2010
    boykin2010

    boykin2010 Overrun with beasties

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    what type of fencing do you use for your sheep. do you recommend using electric. barbed? woven? high tensile?
  2. Dec 21, 2010
    abooth

    abooth Ridin' The Range

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    Hi, I have a small paddock around my barn made of welded wire and I have electric fence to rotate them thru the grass spring til fall.
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie The Shepherd

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    I've got some chain link, some woven wire, and some welded wire. It all works well because I also have a single strand hot wire on the inside about 6" away from the fence. :)
  4. Dec 21, 2010
    boykin2010

    boykin2010 Overrun with beasties

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    what is hot wire?
  5. Dec 21, 2010
    miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Overrun with beasties

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    electric wire. My sheep are in three strands of electric rope--they are in with my horses, in a typical horse fence set up. no escapes--they know where the food is. :)
  6. Dec 21, 2010
    patandchickens

    patandchickens Overrun with beasties

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    Don't use chainlink without a good zippy electric wire at sheep height, or boards alllllll along at same level. Not even briefly before you get the hotwire or boards *on*. They whomp into it with their heads and it gets all saggy baggy stretched-out and is never really right again. Ask me how I know :)

    Actually, in my very limited experience (five sheep since late April or so), the two best kinds of fence for sheep are either a) some kind of wire mesh with well-charged electric wire added at sheep height, I use 6x6 mixed-stock fencing; or b) any kind of mesh fencing surrounding a paddock so large and lush that the sheep simply never *think* of challenging the fence.

    If they challenge the fence and you do not have hotwire or boards at sheep-noggin height, they will whack the fence mesh til they bend it upwards from the ground and squeeze underneath. (Then, if they are my ram, they will realize 'OMG, I am in the horse pasture being herded around by suddenly-enlivened elderly TBs and I can't find my way back home!' :p) Sheep turn out to be REALLY a lot different to fence than horses are -- horses go over or thru, sheep go *under*.

    Electronet also works good but is a fair nuisance to maintain, although of course it has the valuable tradeoff of being easy to move around to rotate grazing.

    Multi-strand electric tape has not worked real reliably for me but in larger lusher pastures it might be fine (at least to keep sheep confined).

    In fact, the above is all just w/r/t keeping sheep IN. Keeping predators OUT is a whole different kettle of fish. And also quite necessary, especially at night.

    I lock my sheep into their night pen, which is 5' chainlink with sheep-height boards on the inside and electric wire (on standoff insulators) on the outside near the top, and pavers/bricks/rubble around the base to discourage coyotes from digging in. So far so good.

    Pat
  7. Dec 22, 2010
    boykin2010

    boykin2010 Overrun with beasties

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    well i was thinking of fencing about 2 and a half acres. i am planning on getting a guard donkey. i was looking at high tensile. do any of you have any experience with that.
  8. Dec 22, 2010
    big brown horse

    big brown horse Overrun with beasties

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    I just put up 130 ft of electrified chicken wire. Six inches off the ground. The chicken wire is only two feet tall, all in all it stands 2 1/2 ft tall. It works great and it was pretty cheap. I used plastic t-posts (the kind you can push into the ground with your boot) to attach the fencing to with zip ties.

    (My sheep have a much bigger area to roam, this is just one side of their pen.)

    I only have 3 sheep, but it works great, plus it is easy to move around if I need to. The six inches allows me to weed eat etc. and lets the chickens and ducks move in and out freely.

    Don't know if this will help you in your situation, but thought I'd throw it out there. :)
  9. Dec 22, 2010
    goodhors

    goodhors Overrun with beasties

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    We have high tensile, but you have to have it installed CORRECTLY or can be a problem. Ours was professionally installed for horses, using 8 strands. Bottom two are hot, skip two, hot wire, skip two with top wire hot. For lots of sheep, I would probably make that 4th up wire hot as well. Lesser amounts of strands allow heads thru the wires, won't bounce the animals back if they hit it, like a quantity of wires do. Not sure of the recommended strands for sheep. Cattle have 14 strands recommended in heavy use areas like barnyards and sorting areas. Ask the experts, and your local farm store folks ARE NOT experts!! Call a fencing installer to ask questions!!

    All our corners and gates are double braced, because wire is UNDER TENSION, pulling all the time. One brace does not hold up over time and big gates to get machinery thru. Posts are DRIVEN into the ground with a machine, have held well and stayed firm over years. Saves a TON of time and work, that machine just WHACKS them in fast. The quantity of posts installed in a day is amazing, takes longer to put the wire up than the posts.

    I LOVE the high tensile wire fencing, would certainly install it again if we needed to fence something. It holds our lambs in pretty well. We do shear them so they can feel the bite of fencer, get wary of the wire and don't push it. Paddocks are big and open for the horses, you don't overload them so animals are crowded into the wire. Crowding, horses or sheep, is when accidents happen.

    Yearly maintenance involves ME weed whacking under the wires to keep weeds and stuff off the hot wires. Yeah fencer will burn grasses but you waste electricty frying weeds. A clean fence lets you see if there are problems, is more visible to the animals as a restraint. Clean fence allows it to be HOT, animals don't challenge it. Fencer is ALWAYS left on to keep things safe, don't try to "save money" on electric. Vet expenses will use up any "saved money" when animals get hurt in the wire grazing thru or playing in it! Fence will pop some staples as the weather changes, wind blows. I just walk fencelines and put staples back in if needed, check insulators are in place. Easiest care fence I know of!

    You do hear about tensile being a "problem" fence from folks. EVERY story I heard and asked questions about was tensile that was installed wrong or not kept up with fencer, over crowded condtions so animals got pushed into that bad installation of wire. Often hung on T-posts (less strong) not wood, use only 3-4 wires, fencer is not working for various reasons. Then you see 4-6 horses in a paddock the size of a small backyard fighting over food, one gets run into a corner and gets fence injured badly on wire.

    We had a couple injuries on horses over the MANY years of use, stupid things on our part. Allowing horses to have only one line of wire to divide them, got in a fight over the wires. Lightning hits on the fence fried the fencer twice, horse grazing thru. I SHOULD have been checking fencer more often. MY fault. We do things DIFFERENTLY now, walk by the fencer daily, to check it is on! I consider our fences very safe, and the fence accidents are WAY LESS than other fence types among my horse friends. 6 I think in over 25 years, which I would call a good record. No sheep accidents in the fence, but we only do summer lambs for 4-H. Calf and heifer were very respectful of the fence, but she did test it being hot with her whiskers! Having many strands, my tensile is also a physical barrier if power SHOULD go off in a storm. None of the animals are going to walk thru the wire to escape.

    Deer have pulled some wires down when horns got stuck or many deer tried diving thru. Not difficult to repair, mostly just putting staples back in place. I purchases some fence flags, plastic markers, deer seem to now avoid that fence.

    For us, the cattle farm we first saw high tensile wire in action, installed correctly and used properly, tensile is an EXCELLENT FENCE in all regards.

    So paying for a quality job is worth the expense, you don't have to keep fixing fence they get tangles in, boards broken or deal with Vet costs of injured animals. Our fence installed, was less than the cost of materials ALONE, of doing woven wire. All the install would have been our work and time. Of COURSE I went for the high tensile!!
  10. Dec 22, 2010
    boykin2010

    boykin2010 Overrun with beasties

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    thank you for the detailed response! i am really considering doing high tensile. like i said i am fencing in 2 and a half acres but probably only 4 or 5 sheep will be kept in it at a time and at the most 12 with ewes and lambs. so it shouldnt be crowded. do you actually reccomend doing electric because i know that costs extra and these sheep are just gonna be lawnmowers and pets. I will sell excess lambs. I am not sure if i want to do electric or not. My neighbor has polytape electric and i hate it because it always sagging and not working and his horses always escaped. he ended up getting rid of them. For sheep, can you please tell me if you would reccomend using electric or not. And please tell me the price, and the benefits of electric.

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