The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Techniques and skills => Topic started by: vegpatch on November 21, 2020, 04:54:33 pm

Title: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: vegpatch on November 21, 2020, 04:54:33 pm
I'm looking for some advice re dog-proofing a field boundary fence that borders a bridleway and public footpath that is a very popular walking route.  Currently we have wooden post and rail fencing (all replaced within the last 2 years) with stock netting attached to that.  The fence works fine re keeping our sheep and poultry within the field but today we lost a couple of free-ranging chickens to a dog, and have had a few dog incursions a couple of weeks ago.  Fortunately the sheep were in a different field today so they are unscathed.

On the ocasion when I saw a dog entering the field it scrambled in through the gap between the top 2 wooden rails but then exited by going over the top rail (relatively small but very agile dog).  I really don't like barbed wire but I'm wondering if that is my only option here.  Any suggestions very welcome
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: Scarlet.Dragon on November 21, 2020, 06:47:49 pm
 Stand-off electric wire above the top rail "to prevent crib biting by your unicorns"; another stand off electric wire inside and outside the fence "to burn off the weeds/tall grass and stop the sheep climbing on the fence".  You will need to clearly signpost that the fence is electrified and you need to do it at regular intervals along the length.  Make sure the fence has a very strong earth to give a decent kick.

Your other option would be to extend the fence but have the top angled "to prevent foxes climbing in with your hens".
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: doganjo on November 21, 2020, 06:56:20 pm
Please please DO NOT use barbed wire.

A friend of mine lost his Munsterlander some years ago when a top wire dislodged as he was walking past a field - it sprung open and wrapped itself round the dog.  He managed to break it off at the end, and ran two miles with her to his car, still wrapped in barbed wire and screaming all the way. She died just before he got to the vet.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: harmony on November 21, 2020, 07:52:42 pm
Barbed wire will not put off dogs it will just potentially damage them when they jump over. Ripped open bellies and legs isn't worth it.


Make the fence higher if you can.


Sorry about your chickens.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: doganjo on November 21, 2020, 08:36:20 pm
My chickens are restricted to a 6 foot high weldmesh run as my own dog would try to retrieve them.  In my last house I had 4 foot fencing and the  hens hopped over it. It was a nightmare stopping the dogs going after them, although the chooks were very good at mexican stand offs  :innocent:  :excited:   That extra 2 feet has made a big difference
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: vegpatch on November 21, 2020, 10:15:52 pm
Many thanks for the various suggestions.  I'm not very sure what our options are - but I'll talk with the neighbours about how they would feel about having a much higher fence to look out on - unfortunately it will certainly change their view but if they are OK with it, and we can afford it, that might be the best option in the longer term.

In the meantime, would electric fencing inside our boundary keep a dog from entering further into the field?  I can't afford to sacrifice too much of the field - it's half our grazing - and will be needed for the ewes and lambs next spring. I've absolutely no wish to hurt any animal, including the one/s that is/are causing the problem but I do need a short term solution to keep the rest of our livestock and pets safe and unstressed.

Thanks.

Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: harmony on November 22, 2020, 08:57:38 am
Electric fencing works when an animal knows what it is so you introduce them to it and they learn to respect it. I don't think it will put off a passing dog unless they know what it is.


Good idea to talk to your neighbours first. I don't think you need a deer fence but certainly fill that top gap and go a bit higher.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: Steph Hen on November 23, 2020, 07:58:52 am
A line of plain wire between the upper rails might be enough to stop another dog slipping through there, and perhaps just an electric tape 6” above the top may be enough to dissuade dogs thinking they can sail over. Wouldn’t change the vista much nor cost a fortune compared to changing it to a 5/6’ fence. Signs about the recent dog attack, cctv, electric fence in use, please keep your dog under close control, etc, may help awareness (or just upset people, it’s tricky).

Barbed wire makes owners careful. I HATE the stuff and would see it banned, but if there’s barbed strands I notice my friends putting Fido on the lead.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: doganjo on November 23, 2020, 10:42:53 am
@Steph Hen what do you mean by barbed strands? Do you have bits of barbed wire hung around?
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: vegpatch on November 23, 2020, 12:15:23 pm
Thanks again for suggestions.  Unfortunately it looks like making the fence higher might not be an option - for some reason part of the restrictions on the listing for the house (listed building) refer to the style and height of fencing on the adjoining paddock - but we're exploring this further to see if this applies only to the section of fence between the garden and the field or to the full extent of the field boundary.  A strand of plain wire between the top two rails might be a good idea - I realise we have that arrangement in the older sections of the boundary fence - and it hasn't proved hazardous to our cats - so thanks for that @Steph Hen.  The existing single strand doesn't appear to be tensioned (if it was originally, it's not now!) - would it be better to have it tensioned or a bit slack - I don't want to end up garroting something.  I guess I could add in strips of flagging hanging down from a single wire strand that would make it more visible to any dog thinking about trying to jump through?

I think for now we'll try and avoid electric fencing at the boundary - our Jacobs sheep are a big attraction for several of the local families with young kids and I'm keen to make and keep good relations with everyone, since we're the townie outsiders here (people have made us feel very welcome).  I'd prefer not to zap anyone else's kids - my own was quick to learn to negotiate the electrified poultry netting but ... it feels a bit different when it's someone else's child possibly at risk.

Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: Steph Hen on November 23, 2020, 12:17:59 pm
@Steph Hen what do you mean by barbed strands? Do you have bits of barbed wire hung around?

Nothing so sinister. Just horizontal barbed wire in the usual fence line. Dog owners don’t let dogs jump through and over: plain wire, they do.

Tensioned wire is always better than slack.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: sabrina on November 24, 2020, 05:41:42 pm
I have electric fencing everywhere . We also have sheep fencing but my neighbours dog somehow gets through. One of my Shetlands hates dogs and will attack them in the field. Even our dogs know to keep away from him.
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: captainmark on November 30, 2020, 10:24:17 pm
our land is cut in half by a footpath & around some of the perimeter. stock fencing and 2 strands of plain wire to footpath - and made wider than the minimum. then a gap for access and riding before a 2 strand (rope) electric fence. gap could be a lot less but as long as far enough away from straying fingers will be ok. we've had no dog problems we are aware of. (they would probably be stamped on anyway by the shire!).  Create a few poor connections along the electric rope (with some offcuts) so walkers can hear the cracking - they are likely to keep dogs under control for fear of them being electrocuted if they get through/ over. Also add signs, even though out of reach. Some people will think it's dangerous.  We also have electric rope across gaps under gates (not live) but people won't know any different. Barbed wire won't be good for PR, or for that matter anything. (we are slowly removing from perimeter and encouraging brambles etc to grow through fences instead!). We also have a dog - fences off when she is there, but people will often be nervous! good luck
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: SallyintNorth on November 30, 2020, 10:32:19 pm
Create a few poor connections along the electric rope (with some offcuts) so walkers can hear the cracking - they are likely to keep dogs under control for fear of them being electrocuted if they get through/ over.

Genius!  :applause:  ;D

And many thanks for the gratuitous horsey pic  :love: :horse:
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: captainmark on December 01, 2020, 07:44:08 am
 ;D  was meant to show the fences in addition to the stamping power!  but right side of photo has disappeared off screen!  (it will drag across).  Heres another from earlier this morning showing the fences better - and a gratuitous dog!!  ;)
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: captainmark on December 01, 2020, 07:49:48 am
which doesnt open very well - I'll try again.............
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: doganjo on December 01, 2020, 09:57:55 am
The slider needs to be in the middle to see the dog - a cracker - lurcher?  :eyelashes:
Title: Re: advice wanted re making our external field fences dog-proof!
Post by: captainmark on December 01, 2020, 05:44:27 pm
or longdog?  unknown history - from a rescue centre taken in as a stray. visually we think deerhound in the mix with something smaller............. been with us for 6 months - clearly had a rough start in life but happy now, and yes a cracker!! about 2-3 years old we think