How do I 'fix' my fences for adding sheep?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by betty modin, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. betty modin

    betty modin Well-Known Member

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    This place was/is fenced and fixed with horses in mind. That's how I bought it. I have 2 acres, 24x30 2 stall barn and a full perimeter fence that is half done in wire fencing with barbed wire at top and half done in three rail wood fencing-no wire. My plan was/is to add livestock wire to the wood fencing and a strand of barbed wire at top and bottom to keep out the coyotes-which I have heard often at night-not too close but not very far away... I've been here less than a month and have seen NO loose dogs nor heard them at night (mine sleep indoors with me and I already fenced in a yard for them) I plan on using about 3/4 for animals and 1/4 for house, garden and a few fruit trees. I do not plan on large scale farming, nor do I plan a 'profit'-these will be for my own personal use as a handspinner. (any $$ might come from selling my craft or extra fiber) Does the fence seem reasonable to you? What might make it better? For information I plan on keeping a small breed such shetlands- and at this time don't plan on breeding. I feel I have too much to learn to start out with that in mind. thanks, betty
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like it will work.. Having a fence that coyotes can't get over under or through is a major project however.
     

  3. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    With me, for sheep, fences are more for keeping things out than sheep in. Once sheep understand their area, they tend to stay put.

    I agree with Uncle Will about coyotes. They can jump a six foot fence. Only lambs should be at risk.

    I think a barb wire on the top, bottom and middle would be good to keep out dogs that can do the most damage.

    What about a donkey or llama?
     
  4. H A F

    H A F Member

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    Keeping the coyotes out is a huge priority, all year. They are capable of killing full grown sheep, and they have destroyed whole flocks by putting the sheep into an uncontrolled panic, where the sheep run into things and die from injury or heart failure. It wouldn't hurt to take a look at www.premier1supplies.com/. They sell really good fencing, and have great instructions.
     
  5. MTDeb

    MTDeb Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't have any problem keeping the sheep in with that fence except for maybe Suffolks who like to jump fences sometimes.

    We don't have a problem with coyotes but do with stray dogs and have had three of our sheep attacked in the past. We lost one cause his wounds were too bad. We would've lost the other two if my DH wouldn't have found them when he did. They were on their backs and couldn't get up.

    Small dogs do just as much damage as large ones and they can get through the small holes or under the fence. Is there somewhere you can bring the sheep into at night? We have a small backyard area closer to the house with a six foot solid wood fence and a shed for them. So far nothing has gotten in there. We also got a donkey for out in the pasture and haven't had any dogs in there since we got her.

    I'm going the same direction you are. I just want a little flock of pet sheep that I can use for fiber and maybe sell some. We had four Suffolk ewes last year who had 7 lambs between them this spring. We sold all the ewes and lambs and that was really hard, but we didn't have room for all of them. We did really well on them as sheep prices are coming back up here, but I hated giving them up. So, I'm going to keep my 2 targhees and hope to get a couple more good fiber sheep.

    What kind are you going to get?
    Deb
     
  6. betty modin

    betty modin Well-Known Member

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    I don't have room for a guardian as large as a donkey or llama and already have 4 dogs of my own. I do have a good solid barn that just needs solid doors to replace the half doors it has now(built for horses with a cement floor in half and an earthen floor in the other half) that should keep predators out at night. I haven't seen ANY loose dogs around at all so feel that most of my effort should be aimed at keeping the coyotes out. (a hard task I've been assured-though my neighbors say they have more trouble with foxes than coyotes with their chickens.)
    Deb, I'm considering Shetland sheep because of their size and fiber. I spun some fleece last year that I got at the Eugene Black Sheep Gathering and just loved it. It was wonderful to spin, easy to work with and feels so nice in hand and in the projects I used it for. Made several hat and scarf sets for Christmas last year with it. These little guys sound docile and friendly as well as easy keepers with few problems and they are small (as well as cute) I'm going to be working on so many projects over the next few months-including generating a whole new source of income!- that I hope to be ready by fall for my sheep. I want to have a full year of weather here to plan where to put things, how to build shelters and fences and to know how hard it will be to keep everything fed and cleaned all winter. Lots to learn.... thanks for the advice, I'm sure I'll be here with more questions. betty
     
  7. can't log in

    can't log in Guest

    I am confused,...barbed wire will do nothing to stop coys or dogs, it really only works on large stock that rubs along the wire as they try to push through, they get poked and back off the wire, it would take a hot wire at the top and bottom to work as you discribed.
     
  8. can't log in

    can't log in Guest

    Sorry, i forgot to put my handle in that post,
    Thumper/inOkla
     
  9. betty modin

    betty modin Well-Known Member

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    I have hated electric fences since as I child I ran into one. I know that today's are safer, etc. and I know that to really stop predators it may take some doing. However, I do have a very sturdy barn that I plan to make my night time safe spot for all my critters. I just don't like the feeling of anyone or anything out in the cold-even with a coat on it just seems unreasonable to me. I think that all I need to do is keep daytime animals on the right side of the fence if my barn is tight and they are put in each night. If I find it is a problem I may have to do a charged fence. The neighbors behind me tell me that their biggest problem is foxes not the coyotes so I don't know what to think yet. I did see some sheep on a neighboring road the other day (while I was lost-I have a great ability to get that way) and WHEN I find that road again I plan on looking very closely at their fencing. It wasn't far from here-I remember that much anyway-just off the main road on some side street I wanted to explore and then ....well let's just tell you that the only bumper sticker I have on my car says 'directionally dysfunctional'. I'll find it though....I always do. betty