Electric fencing for sheep

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7 years 8 months ago #526392 by whinny
HI all, newbie here needing some guidance please. We've had our fences set up for horses with 3 strands of 40mm tape. We're now planning to add extra strands of wire or polywire to contain sheep. Bottom edge of first strand is 330mm off the ground, next strand bottom edge is 710mm off the ground. Last strand is 1100mm. Do you think we'd get away with two strands of wire at say 150mm and 540mm?
Article on here suggests closer wire spacing but can we get away with these spacings if all electric?
Any sheep breeds who are slightly less houdini prone?

I'm hesitant to put two wires between ground and first 40mm tape as lost my first horse in a fencing accident. Got caught in the bottom two wires :(

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7 years 8 months ago #526394 by Farmersden
our sheep just don't respect any electric fencing and will push through - the more wool on them the less likely it will work.

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7 years 8 months ago #526396 by Stikkibeek
Only thing you can do to stop sheep pushing through fences is either
1. post, battens and wire appropriately spaces, or posts netting and wire appropriately spaced,
2. Don't have sheep, they compete with horses for grazing. better to have some weaner cattle to cross-graze and clean up the pasture.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 8 months ago #526397 by Rokker
Replied by Rokker on topic Electric fencing for sheep
Horses and cattle will respect an electric fence with as little as 2.5Kv, whereas with sheep you need at least 5Kv to be effective because of their heavier wool coat. Also fence energisers won't perform to their maximum potential unless they are connected to a decent earth system. I use 3 steel Y-posts, 1 meter apart, and driven down so that about 100mm is above ground, then connect the earth from the energiser to the 1st one, then to the 2nd, and then to the 3rd.

Do NOT cross this paddock! ... Unless you can do it in 9 seconds, 'cos the bull can do it in 10!

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7 years 8 months ago #526401 by whinny
Replied by whinny on topic Electric fencing for sheep
We did consider cattle awhile ago but we don't have suitable yards or any experience with them.

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7 years 8 months ago #526407 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Electric fencing for sheep
Dont get Gotlands, they can get through any fence, 7 bar, sheep netting, you name it

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7 years 8 months ago #526410 by LongRidge
Sheep and horses love playing together. Sheep make really good footballs, and horses chase them around and actually score far too often. Horses that "never" do this only never do it when the owner is watching :(

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7 years 8 months ago #526449 by Baroque
Replied by Baroque on topic Electric fencing for sheep
Post and batten fences work really well with sheep, and putting a hot outrigger on the posts keeps the horses nicely away from the fences, all ours have been converted to a 1m wide hot outrigger and our horses respect the fences a lot as our energizer pumps out about 6kV.

Your other option is to use full post and rail fences which will generally keep most sheep and horses in the paddocks,but I would also include a hot outrigger on each side to keep horses back from the fences so they last longer and the horses will be unable to chew on the top rails.

I keep our Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep separate from the horses [so that no-one gets chased around and injured], they are a breeding, fibre and meat flock and they do a super job of keeping the paddocks nice and clean and weed free, they eat far more weeds than other sheep breeds so we find them fantastic for rotational grazing and they help to keep the grass down so my Spanish horses don't get too fat. :lol:

Breeding & training quality Spanish horses - THE horse of Kings! Also breeding Arapawa & Pitt Island sheep.

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7 years 8 months ago #526451 by LongRidge
I learnt to fence 50 years ago near Thames, where sheep are about as common as hens teeth. We used 7 wires and battens and electricity to keep bull yearlings in. So when I came down here I put up 7 wire and dropper (they are called droppers, not battens down here) fences to keep the sheep in. And they did not work. Sheep down here are cunning baas, and know that fences are put up for the sheep to play games getting underneath or through :( . So I put another lower wire on my nice new fences .... which only worked on those few sheep that wanted to stay in. So over the years, all my important fences have had a layer of sheep netting put over them. I would have saved hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars if I had known that at the start :(
We also have donkeys, three when we started but 25 now (so who's an ass, then ....?), so to protect the fences from being rubbed and chewed I put hot wires on the fences. I've found that if the wires are kept as close to the fence then the likelihood of a leg being caught between the hotwire and the fence is reduced.
As Baroque says, keep the sheep and the horses away from each other, especially lambs.
Some sheep learn about electric fences, but others know that if they move quickly enough they can get through the fence in the 1.2 seconds between zaps. Others know that if they jump so that nothing is touching an earth wire or the ground, they too won't get a zap in the 1.2 seconds between pulses. These sheep should be culled immediately, or they will teach the others very quickly. This is probably best done by getting the sheep that have not escaped into the yards, on the same day as the escape happened. Put them in a pen then get the escapers in, mark them well, and put them into a sheepproof paddock to be killed very urgently.

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7 years 8 months ago #526461 by Farmersden
We bought steers as weaners and our knowledge grew as they did, great advice on here and from the farmer we bought them off. Less work than sheep. Yards don't have to be fancy and you would need some anyway for sheep shearing, docking, drenching etc.. We only do a couple every two years now as our paddocks more suited to sheep. They respect the electric fences too.

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7 years 8 months ago #526484 by MurrayR
Replied by MurrayR on topic Electric fencing for sheep
Sheep usually only have two things on their minds (correction Rams have three)
1/. learning new ways to die.
2/. Learning new ways to escape.

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7 years 8 months ago #526597 by tonybaker
netting is the only way, preferably with a barb at the bottom!

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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7 years 8 months ago #526602 by LongRidge
I no longer ever use barbed these days. Most animals are not clever enough to work out what has hurt them as they are escaping. The pain sets in minutes later, rather than instantly.

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7 years 8 months ago #526604 by Wren
Replied by Wren on topic Electric fencing for sheep

muri wrote: Dont get Gotlands, they can get through any fence, 7 bar, sheep netting, you name it

I'd second this - after persistent escapes and an event with a broken ligament after getting stuck in the sheep netting when jumping over, our Gotlands are now safely in deer fencing, and always will be!

Muddling our way through 1Ha on the Christchurch Port Hills, with flocks of heritage chickens, Silver Appleyard ducks, Gotland sheep, and Arapawa goats.

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