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which fence is better

Discussion in 'Fencing, Housing, Manure Management' started by Moses Starr, Dec 20, 2018.

?

which one?

  1. Eletric

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. regular fence

    5 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Dec 27, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    How many sheep and what kind? What part of Washington - east, west, north, south? The state has really different climate and topography depending on where in the state you are.

    Sheep can't always feel the electric charge through thick wool. They will have to be trained to respect the electric fencing. Also, high grass and weeds can ground out the electric fence. Do you plan to use a solar charger, plug in or straight battery? If you have no electric source within plug reach,, then solar charger and battery is the necessary choice for an electric fence. Remember you will have to check the electric fence frequently to make sure it is working properly and has not grounded out or the wire been knocked down and the circuit interrupted. Therefore, I would not trust an electric fence for a perimeter fence for sheep.

    You say that your large dogs keep predators away from your poultry, However, have they been around sheep? You probably will not be able to let your current dogs run with the sheep. The combination of breeds you listed are not good guardian choices. Bloodhound and husky are natural hunters, while the Aussie/border collie mix will want to herd the sheep - this makes for a genetic combo that will want to chase and possibly kill the sheep. They may be the greatest family dogs and great home guardians, but the temptation of chasing sheep could be too much. I speak from experience. And a sheep killer gets shot.

    I would start with a good woven wire perimeter fence at least 5' tall. That is to confine the dogs. Coyotes can easily jump a 6' fence from a standing position. Then I would fence the sheep pastures with more woven wire fencing to keep your current dogs out of the sheep pasture. Considering the mix of breeds, they not good candidates for LGDs so you don't want them running with your sheep. Eventually, you might have to get LGDs. Donkeys are also good coyote guardians and have the added advantage that they graze like sheep. By fencing the sheep pasture within the perimeter fencing, your current dogs can guard the perimeter while the sheep will be safe from them. If you decide to divide the sheep pasture into smaller rotational grazing pastures, use electric fencing. Always put in more gates than you think will be necessary. There is nothing like hiking across a 2 acre pasture to move the sheep only to find that they have broken back behind you and are now bunched at the opposite side where you decided to save money by not installing a gate!

    Don't try to save money by using welded wire for livestock. The welds pop and the fence is useless. Use woven field fencing. If you can't afford to do it all now, do what you can afford but do not skimp on materials. Better to do the fencing bit by bit and use quality materials than to do it all now and continually have to repair and replace it. Start with just a few sheep and add more fencing as you add more sheep.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Senile_Texas_Aggie and Baymule like this.
  2. Dec 29, 2018
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master

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    This! X2.

    I've ripped welded wire with my electric string trimmer, not exactly a powerhouse. The gas trimmer will take out several welds before you know you've gotten too close. And the wires will get all bent up. If you try to stretch welded wire to get it tight - snap snap snap go the welds. Just pass right by those rolls.

    I haven't used my post hole digger yet but I know I REALLY wouldn't want to take out any fencing I had already spent time to install. Once is enough for ANY job!
     
  3. Dec 30, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    Or for any other livestock... IF the electric fence is the sole barrier to the outside world. As a supplement in front of other type fence, it's fine.
     
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  4. Jan 1, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    Electric wire is great for keeping livestock from rubbing on the perimeter fence. You have to train the animals to it and make sure it is always charged.

    The first electric were fences we used were for a front pasture and our horses. We had to use battery powered chargers. If we didn't remember to switch and recharge the batteries every day, the horses - actually the pony - could tell when the charge went down far enough. Alfie would knock over the wire and we would hear the horses, led by Alfie, casually stroll past the bedroom window on their way to the hay shed. This usually occurred around 2:00 am!
     
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  5. Jan 5, 2019
    Moses Starr

    Moses Starr Chillin' with the herd

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    I live in Western WA, I don't know what breeds yet I may just get them a the action house near me so what ever sheep they have I will get. I was thinking of 3 or 4 sheep. I was thinking of a solar charger I don't want the batteries to die while I'm at school. My dogs are hunting dogs for sure the bloodhound is the killer and the mix is her partner in crime. They haven't killed a chicken in 2 years, I will slowly show my dogs the sheep and teach them the sheep are not to be killed. Our chicken pen area is 9 ft tall to keep the hens in and it goes 2ft into the ground so the raccoons won't dig under. The only time we had a predator attack is when we didn't finish building the pen and the coyote or dog came under the fence. We use chicken wire/woven fencing for the chicken coop. so I was thinking of just using a woven fence for the perminate fence.
     
  6. Jan 5, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    Chicken wire will not hold any dogs, or for that matter livestock of any kind. For sheep you will need a sturdy woven wire (not chicken wire) fence at least 4' tall. But to keep out your dogs, you will need the fence to be 5-6' tall, with buried wire to prevent your dogs (or other dogs) from digging into the pen. A solar charger will work to run a couple strands of hot wire on the outside of the pen to keep the dogs or other predators from trying to climb, dig, or otherwise get in the pen. I would recommend one strand at the bottom of the pen, then another about 12" up from that, and another couple of strands higher at 12" intervals. The idea is that your dogs will investigate the pen and you want the hot wire to discourage them from investigating too closely and deciding that they can tear open the wire or go either over or under. It sounds as though you have made your chicken yard dog proof. This is what you will have to do with your sheep pen.

    What type of fencing or kenneling are you currently using to keep the dogs in your yard? Do you have any kind of perimeter fencing? Do your neighbors have any livestock? If so you will need to make sure your fencing keeps your dogs from your neighbors' animals too.

    Sadly, just showing your dogs the sheep and hoping to teach them not to chase the sheep will only work while you are around. When you leave they will probably amuse themselves chasing your sheep if they can get into the pen. Sheep are the favorite prey of dogs since they run from their chasers. What starts innocently enough as a game of tag soon becomes a blood sport with the dogs nipping and biting at the fleeing sheep. You see this behavior when two or more dogs play together. The dogs nip and bite at each other as they chase each other. With this behavior in the sheep flock, eventually the playing dogs kill the sheep, or the survivors are so badly injured and crippled they have to be destroyed.

    I want to be clear, your bloodhound will not be a bad dog for doing this, but only following her nature to run down prey. It is what she was bred for. Hounds have been bred and used to chase and run down animals for centuries so you will have to physically keep the dogs away from your sheep. Once she has chased the sheep and enjoyed it, she will want to continue doing it. I repeat, that is her genetic coding telling her to do this. She is driven to do it by her instincts to hunt. Her "partner in crime" will look at it as a happy game and be thrilled to assist her. Since it is an instinctual genetic behavior, it will be almost impossible to train her not to do it when you are not around. Your only hope of keeping the sheep safe is to securely fence them off from her. Constant training will also have to take place where you discourage her from being interested in the sheep. Hopefully, using hot wires on the outside of a substantial pen will keep her from trying to get in. Since you say you will be gone most of the time, this is probably your only option.

    It sounds like you have just moved to a new location in a country area. A kind warning here - It is your responsibility to keep your dog from being able to chase neighboring livestock as well. Most ranchers have guns and are within their rights to shoot dogs chasing livestock. You will also be liable for damages to any livestock injured or killed by your dogs. In some areas, the law requires dogs that chase or kill livestock to be impounded by the sheriff and destroyed. Keep your dogs safe by keeping them contained.

    I don't want to discourage you from keeping sheep or other livestock. As you already know with your chickens, keeping animals is very rewarding. I just hope to help you to avoid any problems in your new location.
     
  7. Jan 7, 2019
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    Imho, livestock fencing to keep sheep in and electric fencing to deter preditors.
     
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  8. Jan 9, 2019
    Moses Starr

    Moses Starr Chillin' with the herd

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    We have an invisible fence to keep the dogs in, I don't live in an area that has a lot of pasture land by me we have the most grass space than the other property's. wouldn't my dogs already have killed my chickens seance there fight or flight instinct the same bit chickens are much smaller
     
  9. Jan 12, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    You said your chicken yard had 9' high fencing with buried wire perimeter. Your invisible fence might keep your dogs on your property, but will not keep other dogs out. I don't know whether you free range your chickens with your dogs, so don't know if they will kill them or not. It is up to you what fencing to use. The posters on this site can only advise you as to what we have tried, what works for us, and what does not. Good luck.
     
  10. Jan 12, 2019
    SonRise Acres

    SonRise Acres Loving the herd life

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    On the comment about the dogs and chickens ... we free range our chickens. My dogs ignore them and always have. My chickens have napped with my largest dog who honestly would eat my cats if given the chance. Chickens don’t entice his natural instincts. BUT!! If he got a chance at my sheep or my goats, he wouldn’t stop until he had dinner. Just because they don’t bother chickens doesn’t mean they won’t bother sheep.