Wire pen inside barn for sheep - will this work?

Stephine

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I am FINALLY getting sheep to help with mowing this year. 2 weathers, 1 ewe, weaned babydoll lambs. We are on a wildlife corridor (our creek at the bottom of our little farm; fenced off with 8’ deer fencing) and have cougars, bobcats, coyotes walking through, plus likely some resident foxes. Sheep need to be locked up at night. I am trying to figure out a good solution while minimizing extra expenses, and delays, since wood is so hard to come by these days. We have a barn which is half full of stickered wood. The wood is definitely dry now so we could remove the stickers and make a single compact pile and have enough - hopefully - to build a wire pen in the corner for the sheep. Sooo - how much room should I give them? Could I just put t-posts in the ground and attach hog panels? What is a good way to make a door/gate? I will close the opening in the wall to the horse stall with hardware cloth - but what is a good way to make the sliding barn doors secure?
Is there a sliding barn door lock? I will probably also need to install some guides on the bottom?
Would rubber mats be good for the floor?
Finally - It’s a pretty big barn, not air tight by any means, but the only window (to the always open horse stall) is only about 3’x4’ - is that enough ventilation for overnight - considering that it’s an open pen in a big space?
Hoping we can make this work to avoid building a whole new sheep pen, at least for now, while we are just trying out how this will all work...
 

misfitmorgan

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Assuming they are recently weaned lambs, hog panel holes are likely to big for babydoll lambs. You should be able to either do hog panels lined on the sheep side with 2x4 welded wire or just use 2x4 welded wire and forget the hog panels. Yes you will need/can use t-posts to hold the panels or wire. If you use hog panel covered in 2x4 wire, just cut the panel and wire it back together so it has a hinge...easy fast gate. With all the predators around a bigger breed probly would have been better but can't deny babydolls are so stinking cute. Depending how much land you are trying to mow you probly will need more sheep at some point.

For size....babydolls are little, conventional lamb space for larger size sheep is 4 sqft per lamb when they are young, 6sqft per lamb when they are weaned, 8 sqft for adults, and 12sqft for ewes with lambs. This is all non-confinement sizes and as mentioned full size sheep, so could probly safely go a bit smaller for babydolls, if you just need something for them for a few months a 12sqft pen inside should be fine but bigger will buy you more time until you need to re-do the inside pen. Do not forget they will need access to water, hay and grain if you plan to grain them...even with pasture offering a small amount of hay is a good idea esp if they did not come from pasture. If they came from confinement you will need to feed hay and limit their pasture time for a couple weeks so they dont bloat.

When we had a barn with sliding doors we just installed really big hook and eye latches, the door on the door and the eye on the beam next to the door, one on each side of the sliding door so you latch both and the door doesnt slide either way. Depending on the side of the door, you will need a ground guide to stop the door from swinging outwards and leaving a gap near the ground.

Dirt or concrete floors with some bedding is fine, you dont need mats. Your air flow should be fine as long as it stays cool in the summer and they are only being locked in at night.

A bit of advice from me, make sure you give or the lambs got CDT shots..they need 2 and give them Corid or some other coccidiosis treatment as soon as you get them home. Coccidia bloom when lambs are weaned or stressed, a new home is stress.
 

farmerjan

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Yes, you could use T-posts with hog (or cattle) panels if they are the babydoll sheep. You might have to use an extra T-post or 2 if they rub or push on them.
Yes there is a sliding barn door lock . It is used to hold the door tight on each side where it closes against the door frame of the building. And many people use a drop in "pin" on one or both doors where they meet to keep them from moving in and out. I cannot think of the proper name. I will have to ask my son; but if you are anywhere near a farm supply, go in and ask them and if they don't know, then if there is anyplace that builds the metal barns or buildings, go in and ask them. We have this lock and it keeps the sliding doors tight against the building .... used to keep wind from getting behind the doors and lifting them off the tracks or otherwise having the wind damage them by them slamming back and forth against the building.

Just did a little searching.... what we use is called a "Zinc Gate Latch" made by National Hardware and sold at Lowe's and I am sure other places. Read the description... It is adjustable so that if you do not get the hole in the exact place, the part that goes down into the hole to tighten can be extended or shortened... and it allows for different amounts of tension for the person closing it. You could look it up on line
 

misfitmorgan

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Yes, you could use T-posts with hog (or cattle) panels if they are the babydoll sheep. You might have to use an extra T-post or 2 if they rub or push on them.
Yes there is a sliding barn door lock . It is used to hold the door tight on each side where it closes against the door frame of the building. And many people use a drop in "pin" on one or both doors where they meet to keep them from moving in and out. I cannot think of the proper name. I will have to ask my son; but if you are anywhere near a farm supply, go in and ask them and if they don't know, then if there is anyplace that builds the metal barns or buildings, go in and ask them. We have this lock and it keeps the sliding doors tight against the building .... used to keep wind from getting behind the doors and lifting them off the tracks or otherwise having the wind damage them by them slamming back and forth against the building.

Just did a little searching.... what we use is called a "Zinc Gate Latch" made by National Hardware and sold at Lowe's and I am sure other places. Read the description... It is adjustable so that if you do not get the hole in the exact place, the part that goes down into the hole to tighten can be extended or shortened... and it allows for different amounts of tension for the person closing it. You could look it up on line
I think thats a pretty similar idea to the latches we had....but with adjustment lol.
We just used big daddies of these, like 7" long and thicker.
latch.PNG
 

secuono

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Real hog panels, the short ones, they will jump out.
Cattle panels will work, tposts at each end of panel.
Freshly weaned, 8+ weeks, they may pop out of, if they're small. You'd have to test and find out.
Carabiners can be used to attach a cut panel to another panel to make a gate.
 

Stephine

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Perfect, this is all so helpful!

@secuono The lambs will be 4 months old, so hopefully a little bigger. How high should the panels or any fencing be? I didn’t really imagine them “hopping out”! There are so many different types of panels, I am not sure what is a “real” one and what isn’t.

Thanks for all the door latch ideas! Our barn doors have a metal frame and corrugated steel panels - I guess I can just use bolts instead of screws to make this work. @farmerjan - I am not certain I looked at the right latch. Does the one you are talking about include a post/pin that goes into the ground? I guess that would keep the bottom from swinging out? And that goes in the middle? Do you use one for each side? I’ll have to have another look at where the latch parts go... Maybe I can google some more pictures.
Anyway, thanks a heap!!
 

secuono

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Perfect, this is all so helpful!

@secuono The lambs will be 4 months old, so hopefully a little bigger. How high should the panels or any fencing be? I didn’t really imagine them “hopping out”! There are so many different types of panels, I am not sure what is a “real” one and what isn’t.

Thanks for all the door latch ideas! Our barn doors have a metal frame and corrugated steel panels - I guess I can just use bolts instead of screws to make this work. @farmerjan - I am not certain I looked at the right latch. Does the one you are talking about include a post/pin that goes into the ground? I guess that would keep the bottom from swinging out? And that goes in the middle? Do you use one for each side? I’ll have to have another look at where the latch parts go... Maybe I can google some more pictures.
Anyway, thanks a heap!!

They should be fine at 4mo. These are all 10-11 weeks old. Cattle panel on the left.
20210530_142300.jpg

This is what I call a hog panel, 34" tall. 100% my lambs would jump this. My adults would jump it if spooked.
Lambs and yearlings are most athletic & likely to leap out, they tend to stay grounded at 2+ years old.
Screenshot_20210530-162713_Chrome.jpg

I have a row of fencing that is 36", but it's cross fencing, so no huge problem if they did manage to get out. I'd do at least 4ft for perimeter fencing.
 

misfitmorgan

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They should be fine at 4mo. These are all 10-11 weeks old. Cattle panel on the left.
View attachment 85544

This is what I call a hog panel, 34" tall. 100% my lambs would jump this. My adults would jump it if spooked.
Lambs and yearlings are most athletic & likely to leap out, they tend to stay grounded at 2+ years old.
View attachment 85545

I have a row of fencing that is 36", but it's cross fencing, so no huge problem if they did manage to get out. I'd do at least 4ft for perimeter fencing.

Oh your right we normally get combo panels or cattle panels....we just call all panels hog panels which I guess isnt good lol
1622411619196.png
1622411645501.png
 

Stephine

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Wow! I am impressed!! Our Arabian *horse* is contained by a 4’ fence!
Ok, 52” panels it is then - I like the feedlot ones @misfitmorgan.
How much space should I give them for overnight @secuono? It does get hot in the summer so I want them to have a little extra room to spread out...

They should be fine at 4mo. These are all 10-11 weeks old. Cattle panel on the left.
View attachment 85544

This is what I call a hog panel, 34" tall. 100% my lambs would jump this. My adults would jump it if spooked.
Lambs and yearlings are most athletic & likely to leap out, they tend to stay grounded at 2+ years old.
View attachment 85545

I have a row of fencing that is 36", but it's cross fencing, so no huge problem if they did manage to get out. I'd do at least 4ft for perimeter fencing.

Oh your right we normally get combo panels or cattle panels....we just call all panels hog panels which I guess isnt good lol
View attachment 85554View attachment 85555
 

misfitmorgan

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They should work out well for you I think. We are currently using some of ours the divide our sheep shed in half with a creep feeder and lambs on one side....so far no escapees. Sheep and goats have springs for legs...like how deer can jump anything less then 10' our goats have cleared 5' pipefences on the regular. Our drylot fence is only 48" tall and even in winter with up to a foot of packed snow they do not usually go over the fence...once in awhile the biggest sheep will but truthfully they get over it if they wanted. Even in dry lot with grass all around the fence they stay in, there is nothing here to spook them though as our dogs and poultry alert to everything.
 
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