Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: hurdles  (Read 8905 times)


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
« on: August 18, 2014, 06:47:03 pm »
Obviously with my new sheep I will need areas to handle them and I'm guessing hurdles are my best bet!

Firstly where's the best/cheapest place to get them?

Secondly allowing for 10 shetlands how many should I be looking to get?

Hints and tips on hurdles welcome please!!!


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: hurdles
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 06:51:50 pm »
I think the best bet with hurdles is to shop around a little, maybe visit some farm auctions. 


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: hurdles
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 06:56:13 pm »
I can't really help but just wanted to say that hurdles are wonderful. We use them for many things. As already suggested shop around but make sure you get decent ones. We had a couple where the metal loop has become detached.
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits


  • Guest
Re: hurdles
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 07:29:42 pm »
There's a place near me that was doing wooden hurdles super cheap  :thumbsup:
GB Agrispares in Strathaven, ask for Brian, tell him who told you to phone  ;) and see what he says.
I can pick them up for you and meet you halfway (or get them when you're at Lanark)
Not sure how many you'll need though? Enough to make a few individual pens/one larger pen and maybe a race if they aren't super tame?
Maybe 20?


  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: hurdles
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 07:44:56 pm »
Here's my tip:

Build yourself a 'pen/corral' area out of post and rail. Build it around the sheep's shelter. They will be used to coming and going through it and when you need to catch them all you need to do is close the gate to it.

Always ready when you need it, cheaper and less hassle than moving hurdles about.

....and your hurdles are always free for use when you need them elsewhere.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: hurdles
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 08:10:27 pm »
A fixed are will work best if your sheep are in the same field all the time. If you need to be mobile, hurdles are the thing. Our sheep don't have a shelter as they move round the paddocks here and go out to temporary grazing through the season.

We bought ours from McCaskies in Stirling, way back in 2007. We have a mix of 6ft and 4ft. A 6ft and a 4ft in the corner of the barn makes a perfect lambing pen. Our hurdles have weld mesh over the bottom 18" maybe, so that lambs can't get through.

The ones we've got at our rented grazing are much heavier than our own ones plus they are just a couple of inces higher which makes stepping over them just that wee bit more precarious.Two points worth considering, I think.

Also look at how they join together - if you are using one as a gate, you want to be able to close and secure it easily.

Also remember, different makes will probably not link to each other which is a bloody faff.

Just a few of my thoughts.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: hurdles
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 08:27:26 pm »
I would advise AGAINST buying the cheapest hurdles you can get - ours come from IAE (they have dealers nationwide) and even those are showing signs of wear after 5 years now, and we need to find someone with welding gear soon. We also bought some cheap, and they fell apart very quickly. I have seen hurdles being sold at a farm auction at more than new price....

If you are on rented ground it will be almost a waste of time and money building a fixed handling area.

We now have only 6ft ones, they make good size handling areas, fit in our trailer and I can move them around easily. They are not rusty yet either!

For lambing pens we built the ones described by Tim Tyne in his sheep book (and before that in Country Smallholding magazine). We have found that they are not that useful outside, unless the ground is really even.

A dozen 6 ft hurdles will be ample for 10 to 20 Shetlands.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: hurdles
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 10:26:24 pm »
I have bateman ones which are stored outside, they are doing fine after several years and show no signs of rust etc.  Although the bateman ones I saw recently looked cheap and badly made (look out for holes in the welded joints and general misalignments).  IAE would be a better choice, but look to see what your local agri store sell (if u are buying new).

I would say 8-10 hurdles will be plenty.  I only have 8 and I have 14 sheep + lambs.  As your sheep are small I would advise you get a selection of sizes - say 4 6fts and the rest 5fts. A couple of 4fts might come in handy too.  Means you can create smaller pens when needed which is easier for catching sheep.

For lambing, I made myself some wooden ones like Tim Tyne's - I think mine are out of the Cockeral book.  Only use wooden ones if they are to be used indoors, otherwise they won't last.  And don't bother putting a ram in a pen made of wood, unless they are very very strong wooden hurdles!! (I know from experience!)


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: hurdles
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2014, 10:34:27 pm »
I use wooden hurdles, indoors and out. I should have shown you my race and catching pen when you were here  ::) Basically built from knocked in fence-posts, wooden hurdles and baler twine, so removable but on the other hand has stood for three years.
Essentially, a long collecting funnel/pen, two handling pens and a race. I'll photograph it and email.

Daisys Mum

  • Joined May 2009
  • Scottish Borders
Re: hurdles
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 09:45:46 am »
I have some new IAE ones and my one complaint is that they don't turn easily to a 45degree angle like my older ones do, makes it much harder to enclose the pen quickly.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: hurdles
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2014, 09:53:01 am »
Also there are two types - ones with loops on and ones that you have to couple together with rods.   The most handy ones are the looped ones IMHO.  IAE ones have rounded loops (which swing around easier), Batemam ones have squared loops (which sit better at right angles).  Both those firms do the rod-variants too.  The looped ones don't fit with any race system though, so if you ever want to use them with a race setup then get the rod-variants.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: hurdles
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2014, 06:52:47 pm »
I have some new IAE ones and my one complaint is that they don't turn easily to a 45degree angle like my older ones do, makes it much harder to enclose the pen quickly.

They 'wear in', I have found.  Year 2 with my IAE 4-footers and I am finding they swing around much easier now.
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Badger Nadgers

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Derbyshire/North Staffs
  • Teeswater & Hebridean
Re: hurdles
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2014, 10:04:07 pm »
I would advise AGAINST buying the cheapest hurdles you can get

The cheapy ones I had off ebay have now had 3 bars on 12 hurdles go after about two and a half years (at the bottom due to me standing on them to push them into ground that's too hard).


  • Joined May 2013
Re: hurdles
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2014, 10:31:11 pm »
our first lot of hurdles fell aprt pretty quick even though we got them from harbros so consider which weight to buy.
i saw hurdles the other day which had mesh on the bottom half and thought that was very versatile for lambs.


  • Joined Jul 2008
Re: hurdles
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2014, 10:57:51 pm »
We have a motley collection of hurdles bought at different times.  They all vary slightly , which is infuriating when they get stuck together, or won't link together. >:(   
So my tip is to make a choice, then buy as many as you can afford in one go (you can never have too many ;D ).  If they are to be used outside, don't waste money on painted ones that rust in no time.


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