Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Anjou, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Anjou

    Anjou New Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Perry County, PA
    I want to build a perimeter fence around my U-shaped, 5-acre pasture to contain sheep, goats, and my English Springer Spaniel, Maggie (the very-determined escape artist). I also want the fence to deter predators (dogs and coyotes). Will 5-strands of electrified, high tensile wire suffice or do I need more wires? It's very important that Maggie cannot get out (you should see what she did to the 10'x10'x6' chain link kennel with her teeth :eek: ). Also, will a shock sufficient to contain the livestock harm my doggie when she goes flying into it at a full run or repeatedly attempts to slip between the wires? Lastly, does anyone have any experience with solar fence chargers? Thanks for your help. I won't be installing the fence until 2006, but it's best to plan ahead.

    "You cannot promote peace by waging war."
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    The biggest problem with electric fencing is either shorting out (something touching it, like grass from beneath it) or power outage. We, unfortunately, don't get enough sunshine for anything solar...perhaps someone else can answer that question.

    In regards to Maggie, if she's shown the fence and you have her 'bump' into it a time or two, she'll get the message loud and clear that the fence isn't to be messed with. I know what you mean by some dogs chewing through their fencing, she won't want to chomp on electric :haha: My main concern would be the fence shorting out and her figuring it out. But, like livestock, if she thinks it's on, and she's been shown what will happen, she won't be likely to go barreling through it as she'll be too concerned about getting shocked.

    Keeping predators out is another question, as they most likely won't have the training, right? So perhaps some field fencing on the outside and electric on the inside...yeah, money. But, hey, I stake my 'girls' out all night and we've not had any predator troubles. I figure anything determined to get at them will get them...my little fence won't stop them, not if they're really hungry. I've a friend who's got field fencing but a small Eskimo dog got in and killed one of her ewes... None of her dogs could get in because they were too big to fit through the opening, so you just never know!

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 6, 2004
    Michigan's thumb
    We have used solar and now use plug in. As long as you follow directions TO THE LETTER, you shouldn't have trouble. I have noticed that the sheep know when the electricity is off, and if the grass is greener on the other side,... well. They pretty much will not leave their pasture if they have enough to eat and drink, though. If your dog knows she can clear the fence in a single bound, she will. MOST dogs and foxes will place a paw on a wire if they are just stepping over. Since they still have three on the ground, they are really grounded and will feel a shock. Our small pasture has four wires, and our larger pasture (three acres) uses three wires. We've never had dogs get in, but we don't really have a problem with loose dogs.

    I think in order for the bottom wire to be low enough to keep your spaniel from crawling under, it will be close enough to the ground to be shorting out all the time from grass and weeds. My border collie is wise to the fence and will sometimes scoot under the bottom wire. I would consider having a low fence on the ground up about 12" or higher, then el wire above that. If your dog will dig, you will need to lie fencing on the ground, on the inside, to deter her.

    We once had a Brittany mix who liked nothing better than to escape from the yard and hunt rabbits on the outskirts of town. I feel your pain.
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    To this day I blame an electric fence for damaging my 2 yr old springer's heart so baddly she died a 1/2 year later, despite the top vets in Canada trying to save her with a pace maker. Perhaps she was weak to start off with but she showed no signs and was checked out by different vets prior to the problem. I find the only thing detered by electric is me and so am a consumate poor resource for working info on the system! With 36 years boarding dogs, I have seen what dogs can do to chain link so you have my sympathy too. If you've exhausted the training route I'd build a concrete footer and close barred kennel for her and walk her your under control (leash voice, or whatever) rather than trust any large scale fence. I do plan to add some solar electric fencing to deter (and hopefully kill) predators, so thanks for refreshing the topic!
  5. thelowefarm

    thelowefarm Member

    Mar 30, 2005
    We use 48" woven wire field fencing on all our perimeter fencing. It keeps the dogs in as well as the sheep. The bantam chickens can skip through but know they can run back in if something is chasing them (ie. neighbor's dog). If we have predator problems (haven't yet) or have problems keeping the dogs in, we used 8' wooden posts and left the tops high so we have room to add up to two hot lines across the top.

    I've also read that you can string one strand of barb wire along the ground inside to keep dogs from digging out, but we don't use barb wire on our farm. We're trying to avoid electric fence too, if it's not necessary. We've had no problems with dogs jumping the 48" fencing, although I think they could if determined enough.