ElectroNet Warning!

vt_mountainman

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I have been an enthusiastic ElectroNet user, ever since purchasing my sheep last fall. Specifically, my sheep are 1 year old Shetlands, and I am using ElectroStop 10/42/12 with a 6 joule charger.

The animals are trained to the netting, and I have never had any problems associated with using it at all. It's easy to move, and very effective at keeping sheep in and predators out. I take them out of the ElectroNet fencing at night, and I never leave them in there when I am not home either. The fence is always powered, and I use fiberglass posts in between the ElectroNet posts to keep the mesh from sagging.

Yesterday evening I went down to to put the sheep in the barn for the night. I was horrified at what I saw as I approached the pasture. One whole 82' roll of ElectroStop was pulled down, and one of my ewes was tangled in the netting. At first I thought she was dead, because she wasn't moving at all. As I got closer, I could see that she was still alive, but was twisted so tightly in the wire, that she couldn't move a bit.

We shut off the power, and two of us spent a long time untangling the twisted mess so that we could free her. In some places it was twisted around her so tightly, that I couldn't get my fingers between the wire and her body. We finally got her out of it, and she stood up, then ran to the safety of the barn with the other sheep. Her ear tag had ripped her ear completely in two, but there were no other visible injuries we could find.

This morning she seems to be eating a little bit, and appears to be acting somewhat normal. We will never know why she got tangled in the ElectroNet, but we are fortunate that she is alive. I am posting this as a warning to others about using net fencing of any type. Even if you install it correctly, and are careful about how you use it, your animals CAN still get tangled up in it and be injured or killed. I know that a lot of people use it, and it does work well, but I will be rethinking my pasture system, and phasing out the ElectroNet fencing as soon as I am reasonably able to do so.
 

Sumi

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Thank you for the warning! If there is a way an animal or chicken can get itself into trouble, they will find it! What concerns me a little is you said she was completely tangled up in the netting, but you had to shut the power off before you could free her? So it didn't trip when she pulled it down and got tangled in it?

How is your sheep doing now?
 

bcnewe2

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I never used it but once long ago when my dog was staying at someone else's farm, he got tangled up in it. It actually burnt a little spot on his foot. Since that day if he sees it he gives a wide birth. Hates the stuff!
 

Roving Jacobs

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I had a ewe get in a similar situation with not as happy of an ending. One of my girls learned she could lift the fence, poles and all, with her horns and scoot under so she wouldn't get shocked on her wooly back. Of course the other ewes had to try too and one ended up strangled and dead in the fence. No more electronet for me as convenient as it was.
 

vt_mountainman

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I really don't know how much power was going to the fence after she was tangled in it Sumi, but I shut it off as a precaution, so I wouldn't get shocked getting her out. It didn't trip off by itself, and I don't really know if it's designed to do that. She seems to be doing much better now. She's eating normally and appears to have recovered from the incident. Her ear will always be split, but I'm fortunate that's the worst thing that happened to her.
 

Sumi

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O.K, I see. She was very lucky to have got off so lightly!
 

purplequeenvt

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We used electro-netting for years and we were lucky if we lost only 1 lamb a year in the fence.

The adults were usually ok in the fence, but the dumb little lambs would stick their heads through to eat the grass on the other side and they'd get stuck.

We retired all of our netting (mainly because it was all about 12 years old and falling apart) a couple years ago and are using polywire for our moveable fencing instead. It takes longer to set up, but we don't have lambs strangling themselves anymore.

I will say though, there is risk with any type of electric fencing. Last year we lost an adult ewe who somehow ended up laying down on the fence in the middle of a big puddle. She was alive when I found her, but she had been electrocuted too much and started having seizures. We also lost a llama who got one wire hooked on her foot. I still can't figure out how that happened.
 

vt_mountainman

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I guess you're right purplequeenvt. There is a risk to any kind of electric fencing, and animals do have a way of getting themselves into some very strange predicaments sometimes! Right now I have a small cattle panel paddock around their barn, but I don't have any perimeter fencing at all. I did think that ElectroNet was the ideal solution, and perhaps it is for some people, but I'm not willing to risk losing even one animal simply to have a fence that's easy to move. I still have to use it, because it's all that I have, but I am definitely going to make some future changes. How many strands of polywire do you use? Do you use it for both a perimeter fence and the moveable fencing? What methods of fencing have others of you used successfully for rotational grazing?
 

bcnewe2

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From what I understand it's not the electric that kills an animal, it's the shock (not electric but the animal goes into shock) from repeated shocking.
Confusing but that's how I understood it.
I have used electric and would again but my goal has always been to get permanent fencing in place. Easier for us.
 

Bossroo

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When one applies a constant electric current to an animal it will stop the heart from beating. Electric fence pulses the current , this will shock but may not stop the heart. Most of the deaths are caused by fluid buildup in the lungs over time if they can't get up ... conjestive heart failure.
 
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