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Author Topic: Rotating sheep in paddocks  (Read 1680 times)


  • Joined May 2016
Rotating sheep in paddocks
« on: February 22, 2017, 04:10:57 pm »
Hi, I have 5, 1 year old sheep which are rotated through 3 paddocks of an acre each, they have been moved once, how long do i leave the paddock before they can go back on it again? and how long do you leave them in a paddock?

Thank you
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 07:54:15 pm »
Well, I expect folks will have different ideas.... but the longer you can let a paddock rest the better.... a six week break would be lovely so if they could spend three weeks on each field, then each would have six weeks off before being used again... I've read (on here) that the wormy beasts can actually stay alive for many many many months (if not years) so resting a paddock for a few weeks doesn't guarantee much - but certainly when we had fewer sheep and were able to give fields a long (5-6 week) break between grazing we never had a worm issue....


  • Joined May 2016
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 08:52:56 pm »
Thank you :)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 10:28:04 pm »
OK, I've been thinking about the best way to manage this myself and having done a bit of research on the topic.........I'm now totally confused!  ::)

Here's a typical roundworm lifecycle:

From this diagram, and the SCOPS equivalent, let's say that it takes between four days (ideal conditions) and twelve weeks for the eggs your sheep dropped to then turn into the infective L3 larvae stage (another source says approximately 3 weeks). Then, those L3 larvae are themselves infective for 3 months in the summer, and substantially longer in winter.

If I have three equal paddocks and rotate three weeks in each, that puts the sheep back into paddock one after nine weeks, whereupon they will be exposed to worms that are six to nine weeks old....... i.e. right at peak 'infectiveness'.

Help!!  Anybody!?  ???
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 10:31:15 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 08:35:39 am »
The viability of the worms is affected by things like dessication in a dry summer and freezing temperatures in a cold Winter, haymaking, etc., so it can sometimes be a bit of a "How long is a piece of string?" questions.


  • Joined May 2016
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 01:18:44 pm »
yes it is confusing!  ???


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Rotating sheep in paddocks
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 01:27:51 pm »
Focus on getting the best from your grazing, i.e grazing it when it's reached the optimum height and graze it down to the appropriate level, then move on to the next paddock.  Better to have lots of smaller paddocks grazed for shorter times that large ones.  That way your sheep are getting the maximum nutrition and therefore can fight off worms better.

For your 5 sheep 1/4 acre paddock size would be ideal!  So think about electric fencing.  12 x 1/4 acre paddocks, you will make much better use of your grass.  Okay so that might be a bit extreme for your needs but you get the idea :).


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