NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Escaping sheep  (Read 380 times)

Tishtosh

  • Joined Apr 2019
Escaping sheep
« on: August 18, 2019, 09:24:37 am »
Does anyone have any ideas to stop our very own escape artist? We have 10 Dorset ewes who are kept as pets and mowers. We use the orange flexi net to restrict giving them too much grass as they are not put into lamb so gain weight easily. We move the fence twice a day so they have enough to feed on and have a sufficient area to graze. We use a fencer and battery each end which are kept well charged and we also put extra poles in to keep the fence tight. All the ewes are respectful of the fence apart from one who when she feels like it pushes under the fence and comes back under when she has had enough. It’s really frustrating having to arrange the fencing time and time again. If she wasn’t a pet I would get rid of her but I’m afraid we are no farmers!
Voss Electric Fence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 09:47:36 am »
Flexi net isn’t great at conducting electric and it’s difficult to keep it tight. You’d be better with 3 strands of poly wire. It might be that if this ewe has learnt to disrespect electric though that nothing will keep her in now  :yuck:  what fencer have you got?

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 04:01:59 pm »
Used to use lots of net when feeding turnips and lambs getting under was never a problem , so as twizzle says what ever you do now won't stop her except eating her !!! .   I suppose even more poles to make sure all the points where the bottom line rises off the ground and the end poles taught  top ,bottom and middle .   Wool does not transfer the electric charge so if you could make her nose touch the net a few times then she MAY get to fear the net BUT habits are very hard to break

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 05:24:36 pm »
I remember seeing a sheep that had its neck wool clipped off and a piece of chain fastened round it with a length left dangling.  That sheep would go through a stranded electric fence though so I do not know if it would work with yours.

Tishtosh

  • Joined Apr 2019
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 07:46:03 am »
Thank you for your replies, I thought your views would be as I was thinking that she has no respect for the fencing. Although against my normal thoughts on our pets she may have to be re homed to a friend who doesn’t use the flexi net. She’s just getting larger all the time and that’s not good for her health.  I use hotline fencers.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 07:55:41 am »
How many joules output though is the fencer? Hotline do hobby fencers right up to powerful fencers designed to power a long fence with vegetation. We don’t use anything less than 2.2 joules with sheep. Also I’m not sure about using 2 fencers on 1 fence... I think it can ruin the fencer???


I wouldn’t give up yet, try 4 strands of poly wire, if you can attach the fence to the mains it will give her a proper zap and might train her out of it. I had lambs that would duck under flexinet in the garden but stayed behind wire.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2019, 08:35:29 am »
A contributory factor may be the earth circuit Tishtosh? Worth putting a tester on the fence to check you have a good voltage between it and the ground.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 01:30:07 pm »
Great suggestions

I wonder about using a strand or two of wire behind the net, so that she gets zapped as she struggles through, but doesn't know that it's not the mesh zapping her ;).  Might work!

And test the shock yourself.  Use a blade of grass (a flat, wide blade, like you would use to make a whistle noise) to reduce the belt that you get; if you have to hold the grass within an inch of the wire to feel a pulse, it's nothing like enough of a shock to deter an determined sheep!

And having said both of those things, I felt I should also say - make sure the mesh is delivering an appreciable bolt before doing the 'wire behind' trick.  Otherwise, if you do both together, she could get into quite a pickle as she tries to retreat from the wire but is getting significant bolts from the mesh  :o
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Twotwo

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2019, 03:26:52 pm »
We found pegging down the bottom of the net ( it has no power on the bottom line ) and running a strand of wire nose height along helps with lots of extra posts ( the sort for wire not netting) also bring the fence line in a bit so the grass isn’t greener nibbling distance away !

Small family farm

  • Joined Aug 2019
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 12:08:54 am »
We had this same problem as well with our sheep escaping and just the same they are our pets. We kept rebuilding big pens for them higher fencing, boards at the bottom, more posts, different fencing, electric fencing but nothing worked so finally one day we got metal poles and hammered them into the ground and  tied a long rope to the pole and the other in a circle so it could fit around their necks like a collar and still be loose and comfortable but not loose enough to slip over their heads. You just have to be very careful in tieing the knots so that it absoloultly can not tighten on them when they pull or over time and keep checking daily as their wool grows to make sure it doesn't get to tight or anything like that. As well if your going to do that with numerous sheep that they can not reach each other enough to get tangled up with each other. We just give them big bins for water and when they eat the grass where they are we move the pole to a new area in the yard. It's been working great and they're very happy.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 12:12:58 am by Small family farm »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Escaping sheep
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2019, 02:44:30 pm »
We had this same problem as well with our sheep escaping and just the same they are our pets. We kept rebuilding big pens for them higher fencing, boards at the bottom, more posts, different fencing, electric fencing but nothing worked so finally one day we got metal poles and hammered them into the ground and  tied a long rope to the pole and the other in a circle so it could fit around their necks like a collar and still be loose and comfortable but not loose enough to slip over their heads. You just have to be very careful in tieing the knots so that it absoloultly can not tighten on them when they pull or over time and keep checking daily as their wool grows to make sure it doesn't get to tight or anything like that. As well if your going to do that with numerous sheep that they can not reach each other enough to get tangled up with each other. We just give them big bins for water and when they eat the grass where they are we move the pole to a new area in the yard. It's been working great and they're very happy.

Are you saying you tether your sheep?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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