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Author Topic: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)  (Read 3973 times)

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2017, 07:54:27 pm »
Hi sorry - another question...  would the very temporary horse electric fencing with plastic posts and white tape be ok for sheep if I strung it up with 3 lines? I might be able to borrow some of this as a temporary measure.
Voss Electric Fence

mab

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • carmarthenshire
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2017, 08:12:20 pm »
where to start! As for Mr fox - well it depends on how upset yoou may be if your hens get snatched - since I've been here, I've had a vixen that lived under the caravan 10yds from the chicken coop and didn't touch them; then she dies and a while later I had a fox that would wait for the automatic pop-hole opener then grab the chickens; then one that would come in the middle of the day. In other words you may get away without protection for some time, but it's pot-luck as to when a Fox will grab your hens.


back on the subject of electric fencing:- as stated by others, you need to keep it electrified most of the time otherwise the rabbits chew it to pieces and if the sheep learn it's not zapping, they will tangle themselves in it. if your sheep are horned, then electric netting is not an option. Otherwise, I kept my sheep in an electric netting enclosure without incident for three years when I started (shetland sheep without horns). A certain amount of care is neeeded for setting up: run in straight lines and have something to tension the runs at the corners - tying to a branch with bailer twine works - as you need a bit of tension to stop it sagging onto the ground.


energiser: - for wooly sheep I think something of the order of 1.5joules is recommended and has the advantage of being powerful enough to zap the odd grass stem to death - although you will still need to do a bit of maintenance spring -summer when things grow fast. (ps don't try to use an austrian scythe to mow grass away from the fence unless your aim is a lot better than mine - they go through the wires like a hot knife through butter).


battery:- deep-cycle(true deep cycle are expensive and relatively hard to find) is best; leisure is more affordable but less long lasting; I'm actually using an old car battery which no longer has the oomph to crank any of my vehicles but still holds 12.7v at rest and was just sitting on the shelf. If you're on a budget, asking around for an old battery that still holds 12v+ or getting one from the scrappie might be ok. Whatever battery you use try and recharge it before it's terminal voltage falls by more than 0.5v from it's 'rest' voltage (the voltage reading you get a day or two after it has been fully charged) and it will last well; let it run down below 12.0v and it will age quicker; run it right down to 9v or less and you will kill it quickly.


in my experience 3 lines is OK as long as the sheep aren't really wanting to get to the other side - e.g. windfall crab apples on the other side, or just run out of food on their side (but then my shetlands would jump over the netting if they got too hungry. if they're reasonably well fed they don't try to escape to hard.

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2017, 08:36:32 pm »
Thank you thank you! I really do appreciate everyone's advice.

Would this work?
http://shop.electricfencing.co.uk/shop/42/53/63/1780/pig-kit-3-line---battery-operated-160m-max

It would seem most cost effective, I'm not paying to extra lengths I don't need and I could potentially reuse it for pigs in the future.....

@kanisha would ouessants get under a 3 wire system?

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2017, 08:46:03 pm »

This still won't solve short term problem of needing to fence off the bit without a perimeter fence though.... @Dans - it's a good idea, but I have to say I'm a bit intimidated by putting a fence up myself - I wouldn't say I'm much good at DIY and with 2 small children am also short on time for projects..... maybe I need to bite the bullet and have a go, but can see it being rubbish!!  ???

I totally get the nervousness. We were very nervous and our first fence posts were quite wonky but it did the job for keeping the sheep in. We've only got one little one, so a bit easier than two but at 18 months she learnt to hold the spirit level on the posts to check it was level! Might be worth a go. Thankfully my hubby is a lot more gung ho than me and convinces me to keep giving things a go ourselves.

Another alternative could be getting the sheep a little later once the fence is up?

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2017, 08:54:53 pm »
Thanks @Dans - my husband is not gung ho nor practical!! :D Is there an idiots guide to fencing I could look at to find out the basics? i.e. How far apart to space posts, what to use to attach wire to posts, how to keep wire tight etc....? Maybe if I ask my fencer man these questions he will take pity on me and manage to squeeze the whole job in..... ::)

Two of the ewes we are getting are in lamb so I want to get them in asap so they are not stressed too close to lambing. I thought I had the fencing sorted so wasn't too worried about this deadline when we arranged this - best laid plans and all that!

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2017, 09:11:14 pm »
The pig kit looks fine for the job and as you say very reusable if you are going for pigs in the future. Spacing the posts becomes obvious when you try to do it, but as a guide I would go 3 to 5 paces between the posts.  If you secure the end posts by tying them with baling twine to a fence or tree or whatever then you have something solid to provide tension to the wire. It doesn't need to be very tight for a temporary fence, just not droopy.  It is important that you get the earth stake in well as they need to get a good zap when they touch the wire otherwise they may try to push through it.

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2017, 09:34:16 pm »
Thanks @Dans - my husband is not gung ho nor practical!! :D Is there an idiots guide to fencing I could look at to find out the basics? i.e. How far apart to space posts, what to use to attach wire to posts, how to keep wire tight etc....? Maybe if I ask my fencer man these questions he will take pity on me and manage to squeeze the whole job in..... ::)

We had fences up with rotten posts around our 1 acre paddock. So we copied that, with 2.5m between posts, wire held on with fence staples from B&Q, put in with a post knocker and strained with one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-57547-Fence-Wire-Tensioning/dp/B0002GUM6Y/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1485811980&sr=8-5&keywords=fencing+tool

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 10:17:18 pm »
As others have said, I definitely wouldn't use electric poultry netting for sheep.

When we first moved here, we had a batch of hubbard chickens behind poultry netting (not electrified, thankfully) in our smallest field, and let the other fields to our neighbour for his sheep.

Unfortunately our fencing wasn't the best, and I twice had to cut sheep out of the mesh after they broke through the fence and then got tangled up in the netting. These were blackface sheep, and their horns did seem to be the main problem. However, the same thing could easily happen with a button eartag for instance. Also once caught, they tended to twist round and get more and more entangled.


In our case, the sheep were unharmed (I wish I could say the same for the netting). However, it could have been far worse.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2017, 08:37:39 am »
Wannabe I use four strand electric fencing in a paddock for rams. The top strand isn't electrified but is there to prevent dogs and people hopping over. the distance between the strands is quite small and I added an extra to reduce it as the sheep would push through otherwise if there was something tempting on the other side ( winter wheat or maize is usually next door with a winter cover crop also planted) .

The ewes being small will happily stick their heads through a larger gap and graze on the other side if they think there is something tastier there. I'll take a look at my fence today for estimates of distances between the strands.

I don't know what your soil type is but  I do the majority of my fencing have graduated to using a level just so that it doesn't look so heath robinson. for ewes you could get away with out it being tensioned until your man can come. If the sheep have grazing  they are not going to be looking to bulldozer their way into next door.
Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 10:16:47 am »
I've only skimmed the thread but a couple of thoughts -

Won't chickens just hop out of the orchard over the fence? (I wouldn't see this as a problem, they will find themselves more food and help keep the pasture nice by scratching out dung and things)

This gap you need to fence quickly - short enough to do with hurdles? As you'll be needing some hurdles anyway I'd have thought. They're free standing if assembled in a zig zag and tied to supports at either end.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2017, 12:27:00 pm »
If you are going to get hurdles make sure the sheep can't squeeze through the gaps Ouessants are quite small. 
One point re electrified fencing ( of any sort)  I don't use it until the lambs have gained a fair size, I'm not sure how much of a belt they could cope with off the electrics but would rather not risk  killing them.

Adult ewe with two day old lamb.

Ravelry Group: - Ouessants & Company

wannabesmallholder

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2017, 03:11:15 pm »
I've only skimmed the thread but a couple of thoughts -

Won't chickens just hop out of the orchard over the fence? (I wouldn't see this as a problem, they will find themselves more food and help keep the pasture nice by scratching out dung and things)

This gap you need to fence quickly - short enough to do with hurdles? As you'll be needing some hurdles anyway I'd have thought. They're free standing if assembled in a zig zag and tied to supports at either end.

@YorkshireLass it's 53m, so too big for hurdles I think?

I wouldn't mind the chickens getting out into the rest of the paddock if it weren't for the worry about the fox. I don't know if they hop over electric fencing - people seem to suggest it as a good way of keeping foxes out, though don't know how well it contains the hens!

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Advice on poultry electric fencing (for sheep!)
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2017, 03:30:46 pm »
Not very well, in my experience!

We found with turkeys that once they got to a certain size, they hopped out whenever they liked.....
...... so we clipped their wings........ so they started roosting on top of their 7 ft high house, just to show us they still could!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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