Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Electric fencing for sheep  (Read 1172 times)

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Electric fencing for sheep
« on: August 16, 2022, 11:02:31 am »

We're keen to make use of as much of our grazing as possible, including some parts where we've some young trees growing and previously have kept the sheep out. So I'm hoping to use electric fencing to cordon off some strips. My previous experience with this is mostly for pigs, a little for sheep with mixed success. I'm keen to make it work as well as possible, but I can also afford to invest a little in upgrading the system to make it work better/require less grunt work to maintain. We're talking quite short stretches (100m max) with no access to mains electricity and I'll want to move it from time to time.

I'm the past I used three strands of wire: is this the best approach with sheep?

Do solar systems work well/minimise the number of times I will have to carry the battery into the house to recharge?

Basically, any tips for making the best use of electric fencing with sheep would be super helpful.


  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2022, 12:04:36 pm »
3 strands of polywire would be fine providing the sheep donít have horns. As powerful an energiser as you can get; we have tried solar fencers but they arenít much cop unfortunately, they arenít powerful enough. The biggest thing is a decent earth, and in this weather it needs watering daily.


  • Joined Mar 2019
  • North Shropshire
  • Dreamer with docile cow and sheep!
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2022, 12:33:12 pm »
I pride myself that I've managed to get my sheep down to 2 strands (used to be 6! I had a determined escape artist who soon learnt manners!)

I have some Wiltshires and use polywire, they seem to know when they are close, but the cretins don't go hungry here.

All 12v fencers, newbies I train on a powerful one, before dropping down to the lower power ones that have good clicks!


I also find it quite humorous when some idiot very slowly touches it with their nose, yelps, then goes back for a 2nd attempt! (A calf did 4 attempts before he got the jist!)
Halter train the cattle to keep them quiet but watch your back when they come a'bulling! Give them all names even those you plan to eat. Always be calm. Most importantly, invest in wellies with steel toe caps and be prepared for the clever cow who knows where the toe caps end!!


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2022, 01:16:29 pm »
I was told to introduce sheep to a poly wire electric fence when they are young. When older and untrained they will just walk through it. We only had a short length to secure and so used a net.

Judging by the number of times our neighbour's cattle have gone through a fence powered by a solar energiser I would say they are next to useless because they can't be relied on. One neighbour switched to mains powered and the other recharges the battery, so has two. Problem is short days with little sunlight runs the batteries down and during the night they are exhausted.

You can get powerful battery energisers, but you will need large leisure batteries to go with it. I think ours are 100Ah and at £140 each were not cheap. The energiser will be around £250. Here the posts, insulators and wire are cheap. In very dry weather the earth will fail so the fence won't work unless you run separate linked earth spikes in parallel to the fence.


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2022, 05:41:47 pm »
My sheep stay behind a two strand wire electric fence, for the last two years it has been powered by a Galagher solar energiser.

Everyone has been home bred and introduced to the fences as lambs.

Nelson International

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2022, 09:53:17 pm »
Thanks all. We have an energiser that worked with the sheep before - it looks like you can get some solar "assist" panels that assignment the battery, rather than replace it. To be honest, last time the batteries I used were rejected old ones, so maybe my first port of call should be a decent battery.


  • Joined Jul 2022
Re: Electric fencing for sheep
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2022, 09:15:01 pm »
mine would never stay inside wire. theyd laugh at me. i use electric livestock fencing. its taken nearly a year to get the set up right
evidently if you train them to ig for young they respect it. my lot were 5 when i got them. they were evidently electric trained.


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