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Author Topic: How much space per sheep?  (Read 8450 times)


  • Joined Nov 2013
How much space per sheep?
« on: March 18, 2015, 10:52:07 pm »
Hi, we are plaaning on acquiring 3 Hampshire weaned lambs at the start of May.  We have several acres of pasture but the plan is to use an electrified fence and move them around every week or so.  I know not everyone is keen on electric fencing but my question is "how much space do 3 sheep need?"  For example, a 50m fence gives about 150 sq.m. - 100m is x 4
Kind regards

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: How much space per sheep?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 11:19:31 am »
Right Bill,

    with acres per sheep it depends on,

 Size of the breed ( you could accommodate more Rryelands per acre (3)than you could Suffolks or Texels)

Whether they are expected to sustain themselves on the pasture or not ( so bottle fed lambs or heavily pregnant ewes eating hay and hard feed will tend to hang about the feed source and not take advantage of large areas of bald pasture.)

The quality of the pasture in relation to their needs ( if this is their only source )

So, if you using  rolls of 50mtr netting then I would suggest using 4 to create a square paddock as a starting point with access to fresh water. Assuming that you have lots of lovely sweet grass flushing through from mid April them they are going to have plenty of pasture to meet their needs to meet their needs and as young lambs they will tend to graze close to each other so will have enough personal space too.

 See how they get on for a few weeks then adjust accordingly. Under-stocking is always better than overstocking though. However, people who strip graze often confine their stock to areas much smaller than recommended but move the fencing a few feet further each day to offer fresh grass and encourage the sheep to graze the pasture more intensively. This method can also be effective.

Hope that helps,


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: How much space per sheep?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 12:03:24 pm »
I will let the experts respond re stocking rate but I find electric fencing and lambs doesn't work too well. My lambs just go straight through it. Luckily we only use it for dividing up fields so it doesn't really matter. If you are going to use it make sure you have good lamb proof external fencing.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: How much space per sheep?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 02:43:53 pm »
Absolutely.  You'd be surprised how small a space a sheep can get through when it sets its' mind to it.  By early summer you may find your grass gets away and then it will start to die out at the bottom and become rotten.  This is why excess grass can so usefully be made into hay.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: How much space per sheep?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 03:03:58 pm »
With regards to the electric fence. I use it to partition fields but dont always have it turned on. The sheep respect it and observe it as a boundary even if it's off ( other breeds might not)

When I use it around ewes and little lambs I never turn it on. The lambs experiment with it and mouth it and can occasionally get caught up in it so I dont activate it. They learn from their mums to see it as a boundary and only discover what it can do when they are a few months old and decide that they don't respect it. Then one shock is enough to reinforce its role.

Your lambs may be used to it. I would ask the breeder before they arrive. Once my sheep have had one shock, they are never silly enough to fall for it again. They hear it click and sense the current, so they are not repeatedly getting electric shocks. Hope your lambs will be the same.


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