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Author Topic: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!  (Read 12286 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« on: May 15, 2014, 09:32:52 pm »
Hi Folks,

I'm going to have to re-do a knackered section of fencing where the sheep keep jumping through, so I'm thinking of making a wee pen and race out of gates and strainer posts.

This would be in the middle between two fields (at the top of the picture and at the bottom), replacing the existing fence.

The idea is that we could gather the sheep into the pen from either field, do whatever with them in the race, then 'sort' them back into either field using the gate.



I'm hoping that if I feed the sheep inside the pen each day, then close them in, leaving the race gates open so they can find their way out, they'll soon get used to the routine ( :roflanim: ).

Any comments folks?  Anything you'd do differently?

Thanks!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

smee2012

  • Joined Sep 2012
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 09:39:13 pm »
Such a disappointing post to read  ::)

I opened it up eagerly, fully expecting to see a plan for a cross country course (possibly show jumping) built for sheep!  :roflanim:

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 09:41:14 pm »
why do you need such big gates (smaller are easier to manoeuvre and line up correctly)


do you need a hand building it?[size=78%] [/size]

smallflockshearing

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Devon
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 09:41:38 pm »
Womble, I admire your drawing skills!

Two minor comments - a 12' drafting gate may be a touch heavy if you're segregating rather than just sending them all one way or the other.  Looks like a 12' race - I'd extend that and have a sheeted drafting gate.

Other thing is to ask if you're doing this on grass or making it a hard standing - the former will become weedy in the summer and unpleasantly muddy in the winter.
Carefully shearing small flocks throughout the South-West.

Treud na Mara

  • Joined Mar 2014
  • East Clyh, Caithness
  • Living the dream in Caithness
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 10:41:11 pm »
Comment on the actual nuts and bolts of construction is above my pay grade   :-J  Strictly OH's territory, I only supply the unskilled labour on occasion. However your ideas of methods of use are spot on. We created a similar area that provides access to three separate fields and it has proved invaluable when dealing with our motley crew of sheep. Saves lots of running around and definitely minimises stress to people and beasts. When we needed to load some early in the morning to go to the abattoir we reversed the trailer entirely into the space and let down the ramp overnight with the six animals to go penned in the race area. Loading was swiftly and smoothly accomplished in the morning.  :)
With 1 Angora and now 6 pygmy goats, Jacob & Icelandic sheep, chooks, a cat and my very own Duracell bunny aka BH !

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 12:39:34 am »
Looks grand.

I agree that it'd be better hardstanding, and if not then think about how you will cope when it's muddy and mucky. 

Actually, it looks so great, I may copy it ;)
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

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 08:03:03 am »
It looks grand, the only thing I would do differently is have a much smaller drafting gate, I think 12' would be a bit hard to handle, especially if you get a 'misfire' and one gets the wrong way.  You could either make the race longer to facilitate a smaller gate at the end, or have an additional small drafting gate within the race, so they are either drafted out, or carry on up the race, through the 12' gate set in the correct direction at the end.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 09:37:41 am »
You can buy separate components for sheep handling here. It's good quality stuff. We've got some.

http://www.iae.co.uk/agricultural/sheephandling/components.htm

We're just sorting out some sheep handling area just now. Will post some photos at the weekend. If you can, try it with a temporary set up with hurdles to see how it works.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 10:09:19 am »
this is an interesting thread as i was thinking about building a similar thing for cattle. incorporating a crush.

bocky

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Sheep Shearer
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 05:05:09 pm »
I'd definitely use a smaller drafting gate, a 12 ft gate is too heavy and slow.

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2014, 05:08:08 pm »
don't tell womble its slow, he's an engineer, instead of making it smaller he'll motorise it!!!  :roflanim: :roflanim:

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 05:55:25 pm »
Agree with everything said , hard standing eg gravel  ,  short drafting gate eg 1mt , longer  race ? , I would want more of a funnel at the start of the race  and    a small pen either side of the the race to draft into  .   Maybe in the future you may want to put a weigh scale or turning crate in the race so a removable section ??

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 06:36:17 pm »
Yeh definately needs small pens either side to hold as the sheep will be less willig to go back in second time - its also handy if something needs a little TLC or kept separate for what ever reason or to hold till taking to market / show the next morning

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 07:54:32 pm »
I nearly said something about a funnel and then I read the comment that there'd be another 10' gate 'floating' inside the pen - so that can be used to funnel and also to extend the race.
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

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Sheep Race Plans - Your Comments Please!
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2014, 08:12:08 pm »
Well, thankyou for all your comments!  I took everything on board and after long hard look at the budget, we ended up building this version:



The first thing is that after totting up the price of sheeted hurdles and guillotine gates, the race has gone completely, and we now just have two small pens and one larger one. This wasn't cheap either of course, but since the only costs were gates, posts and gravel, it wasn't actually as much as you might think!


The sheep are herded in uphill through either of the 16' gates, and from there the internal 10' gate can be used to direct them into one of the smaller pens. The idea is that I can then treat sheep in small batches in the smallest pen before letting them go individually either back into one of the other pens or out into the field as appropriate (let's face it, how often do you need to shed such a small flock anyway!). My logic is that if we need to 'sort' them further, it should be easy to add another temporary pen or two around the periphery using hurdles.



The gates of the wee square pen open both ways, and if you open them inwards, you can use them to let a single sheep out quite easily, and if the wrong one tries to escape without permission, the gate will just bang shut away from them.



Of course some sheep are more trusting.....



........ than others
(Don't go in Alice - it's a trap!  ;D )



But I hope they'll come round to the idea eventually!  ;D

So thankyou all for your comments - I'm pretty pleased with what we've ended up with. The suggestion of putting hardcore down was also great (these stones are maybe a bit big, but were half the price for some reason), and should stop everything from becoming a muddy mess.

Thanks again all!  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 10:45:38 am by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

 

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