Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue  (Read 3281 times)

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« on: September 11, 2012, 09:28:24 pm »
Hello, as the title suggests, I am new on here although I've been lurking for a year or so.

Earlier this year we bought a small flock of Zwarbles lambs - 4 boys for the freezer and 4 girls to eventually breed from. Our field has been split into two, to allow the boys to be separated from the girls (for obvious reasons!) and both paddocks have been completely sheep-proofed in terms of new stock fencing and gates. The fencing is the right way up (smaller holes at the bottom) but one of our boys - Timmy (yes, I know I shouldn't name them!) - is daily having to be rescued from the fence as he's put his head through it yet again.

Any suggestions? I'm loathe to put electric fencing up because of the children being so young but I am having to rescue this stupid sheep every day at the moment. It's not like he can't even get himself out - he pulls himself out as soon as I get near! He was there for hours, bleating loudly, the other day, so my neighbour informed me, but pulled himself out when I got home and went to rescue him. How dense can one sheep be?

I am checking the flock twice a day but it makes no difference! Arggghhhhh!

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 09:50:53 pm »
Is he big enough to go to the butchers? Other than that i'd use a strand of electric fence

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 12:24:18 am »
How long has this been going on?  If not very long, maybe he's a twin to one of the ewe lambs and he's trying to get to her?  If so, hopefully he'll get fed up of it in a few more days.

From your description, it would seem the boys are entire?  Which could be another reason one of them is trying to get to the girls.. and he won't get fed up of that, at all!  ;) :D
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

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 07:31:36 am »
If he pulls his head out when you go near then I would be tempted to do your twice daily checks and let him carry on - since he isnt actually stuck.....:-))
Alternatively you could put the electric up just temporarily, until he either learns not to do it or his head gets too big to fit through.

Brucklay

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 08:12:21 am »
We've had a few sheep that went through a 'head in fence' phase but they grew out of it - although sometimes they do push you patience doing it 4 times a day at the height of their addiction - nothing on the other side of the fence either!!
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 09:28:08 am »
At least Zwartbles don't have horns  :thumbsup:   We had a Soay line (so the tendency ran in the family) where the ewe lambs were forever getting their heads through the fence - then once their horns grew big enough they would get stuck and have to be disentangled - several times a day.  A few Hebs do it too but not for so long as their horns are bigger.  We also had a Gotland ewe (polled) who would do this and get caught by her wool wrapping round the wire.  We also have some polled sheep which stick their heads through the fence with no problems at all.  In our case it's to get to the hedges which they love browsing.
 
You do need to continue checking for your stuck sheep as the other males may start butting him while he's stuck - perfect target  :D 8)    Also if this is happening every day then he is missing out on grazing time.
 
We have used a couple of lines of electric wire held about 8-9 inches out from the fence, but I think it's less bother just to haul the idiot back out.   If possible, go the other side of the fence when you approach and make some noise, so he learns that there's something he doesn't like on the other side.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 09:35:12 am »
What is it that is making him stick his head through the fence?  The girls on the other side or some tasty plant?

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 01:43:33 pm »
Could you put something scary on the other side of the fence? Plastic-bag-onna-stick style? Out of reach of course. Shiny, rustling "scarecrow"?

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 09:51:59 pm »
How long has this been going on?  If not very long, maybe he's a twin to one of the ewe lambs and he's trying to get to her?  If so, hopefully he'll get fed up of it in a few more days.

From your description, it would seem the boys are entire?  Which could be another reason one of them is trying to get to the girls.. and he won't get fed up of that, at all!  ;) :D

It's been going on for over a week now. He is a twin but has a brother, who is in the field with him. Our ewe lambs are a set of triplets and a singleton half-sister. He isn't trying to get into their field, it's one of the two side fences - one borders a recently harvested rape crop field and the other borders a hedge. All of the sheep were enjoying the rape crop whilst it lasted and they do enjoy munching on the hedge too, but most of them (except stupid Timmy) stand on the fence and eat over the top, rather than through it!

He is one sheep I certainly shan't mind sending to the butcher in a couple of months!

Thanks for the replies everyone, as I said, I don't want to use electric fencing yet because of the children - these are pets (well, the girls are) as well as grass keeper-downers/breeders/freezer fodder and so the children do spend time each day in the field with them.

I guess I'll just have to hope that the woolly-headed numpty gets bored with it soon!  ::)

YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Newbie help request! Sheep/fencing issue
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »
Is he always putting his head through at the same height? Might be worth running another strand of wire to "cut" that set of squares in half, iyswim?

 

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