Wire pen inside barn for sheep - will this work?

farmerjan

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Normal cattle panels are 47-50 inches tall all according to where you get them. The spacing is the same from top to bottom. The combination panels have smaller spacing at the bottom and the size openings graduates as it goes up. Most places charge the same for either the cattle panels or the combination panels. The combination panels look like the hog panels type of spacing. I would not go the 52" high panel for the babydoll sheep; in the barn they are not going to have a huge amount of space to go running to try to jump over and they are only going to be in there at night. All we use for our calves and the sheep we have are the standard 48 inch combination panels. Our White Texas Dall sheep are expert jumpers and are a more feral breed and unless they are chased or pushed by something, do not go over the standard panel. We pay in the 20-25 range for the combo panels at TSC or our local feed co-op.
 

secuono

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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...
Four 16ft panels should be enough until you befriend them. I've used 3 in a triangle. They'll muddy up the ground quickly, though.
 

Stephine

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Four 16ft panels should be enough until you befriend them. I've used 3 in a triangle. They'll muddy up the ground quickly, though.
Thanks! They’ll go in a corner so I’ll need less building material...
Wait - do you mean 256 sqf for the three of them? According to @misfitmorgan that area could hold 32 full size sheep!? I think I need to find some middle ground here - I don’t have *that* much space in the barn...
If you think they’ll muddy up the ground I’ll put down rubber mats. We have those in the horse stalls...
 

farmerjan

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If they are going to go in a corner, then 2 panels should suffice. Use one to cut a gate in and use the cut piece for the gate.... You can't buy 1/2 panel... and 16x16 is not all that big for 3 sheep to have space to move around, eat, lay down and not be soo crowded as to make the pen messy. Actually, if you are only going to have them in there at night, then 8x8 or 10x10 like a horse stall size would be fine. But you will be cleaning it out more often.
 

Stephine

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Ohh, is it inside a building?
Thought it was like a little outdoor yard or something. :hide
Ha! Yes, it’s inside the barn... I am trying to put a night time shelter together for them (we have cougars) that will be easy to set up and not break the bank. Wood is hard to come by and expensive now, and I thought since we have some space in the barn, I could set up a wire stall for them there and make that part of the barn predator proof - just a matter of securing the sliding barn doors and adding some hardware cloth over the window to the horse stall and up at the rafters... cougars will not try to get in if they can’t see them from afar, so it doesn’t have to be Fort Knox.
 

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Ha! Yes, it’s inside the barn... I am trying to put a night time shelter together for them (we have cougars) that will be easy to set up and not break the bank. Wood is hard to come by and expensive now, and I thought since we have some space in the barn, I could set up a wire stall for them there and make that part of the barn predator proof - just a matter of securing the sliding barn doors and adding some hardware cloth over the window to the horse stall and up at the rafters... cougars will not try to get in if they can’t see them from afar, so it doesn’t have to be Fort Knox.

I cut goat panels, 4×4in holes, to fit in my barn to be dividing walls that I could put up when rotating sheep. I used those instead of cattle panels because of lambs being able to pop through them.
More carabiners, eyehole screws and light chains to attach them inside.
I wanted to buy real sheep tube panels, but I don't have thousands to spend on them.
Point is, it's "ugly", but it works.

Cattle panels are cheap(maybe not now because of covid) vs the goat panels. Get a couple extras in case you decide that it's not enough space later on.

Is it a totally open barn inside?
Could attach pallets to the outside of the panels to keep them upright and test the size before committing and sinking any posts or adding hardware to the structure.
 

misfitmorgan

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For inside shelter just plan for 8sqft each and you should be fine. So min 12x12 space...that will work as they grow. Atm our 8 weaned lambs have a 6'x20' shelter with a creep feeder and our herd of 13 adults sheep and 2 calves share the other 6'x20' half of the shelter. Everyone fits in fine when they want to but honestly in summer they dont spend much time inside as we have trees for shade and they prefer being outside unless it is raining then the sheep want inside but the calves dont care. Normally the herd shares the entire 12'x20' shelter and will again when the lambs go to the auction in a few weeks. Bascially, you should be good with a 12x12 or anything bigger but may need to clean it a bit more often. Since it is panels and t-posts you can always change it in the future.
 

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For inside shelter just plan for 8sqft each and you should be fine. So min 12x12 space...that will work as they grow. Atm our 8 weaned lambs have a 6'x20' shelter with a creep feeder and our herd of 13 adults sheep and 2 calves share the other 6'x20' half of the shelter. Everyone fits in fine when they want to but honestly in summer they dont spend much time inside as we have trees for shade and they prefer being outside unless it is raining then the sheep want inside but the calves dont care. Normally the herd shares the entire 12'x20' shelter and will again when the lambs go to the auction in a few weeks. Bascially, you should be good with a 12x12 or anything bigger but may need to clean it a bit more often. Since it is panels and t-posts you can always change it in the future.

Thanks!

Maybe it’s the math that’s hanging us up here:
3x8sqf is 24sqf - an area of 6’x4’ for example or 3’x8’.
An area 12’x12’ is 144 sqf. At 8sqf per sheep that would be enough for 18 sheep!??

I think what I can reasonably give them is an area of about 8’x12’ , 96sqf, and it sounds like that should work fine. Since we are in Sonoma, CA, we never need to worry about cold and not that often about rain either (unfortunately). It’s really just to keep them safe from cougars, coyotes,... I don’t mind cleaning up a bit more... What bedding is best?
 

misfitmorgan

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Yeah i dont know what math I was doing there lol.

We bed with straw during winter and lambing season, the rest of the year they get bare dirt. We have tried year round straw but ours seem to eat it for some reason even with free choice hay. Also tried wood chips but they dont seem to last long for us before they are just all piled around the edges of the shed and bare dirt in the middle again. We do get a lot of rain though which means they walk the chips into the dirt so you may find woodchips work well for you being you are more dry. I know some other use packing stone then straw on top as well. In our barn with the concrete floor we use straw for our pigs in the cold months.

You just have to experiment and see what works for you.
 
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