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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to come up with a reasonably-priced solution for housing and thought somebody here would have some ideas. I have to keep up to 10 holstein calves from about 150 pounds up to 600 pounds. I have about 3 acres of level pasture to keep them on, but I don't want to fence it in. I want to rotate them around the 3 acres with a movable shelter and fence. I'm thinking about getting a round pen of about 12 panels and building a 3-sided shelter on runners that I can move around with a truck or a tractor. With the shelter inside the round pen, I can shift the round pen and then drag the shelter as needed to keep them out of the mud/manure. Anybody use a setup like this? Is this going to be a big pain to move the round pen panels around? I know it's more work than just fencing the 3 acres, but because of a couple reasons, I'd like to stay un-attached.
 

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with 10 head and only 12 panels you would be moving them around atleast once every day. that is a lot of work. 2 strands of electric probably 1 strand would hold them in fine as long you keep feed in front of them. i go about 100' in between wooden stakes and put push in stakes every 33' for temporary fencing in some of our hay fields
 

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I haven't tried your idea, but I can say fencing three acres can sometimes be very easy. With T-posts and an electric fencer, you can do it in a day. I did a similar amount in a day on level ground, not many rocks. Hills, rocks, other factors may make it harder.

Even easier, use trees or T-posts for your corners and push in posts for the straight stretches. Poly wire is easier to work with for some people, I don't mind galvanized steel.

Wire can be wound up, posts can be pulled, fencers can be unplugged. Nothing needs to be left behind if you move.
 

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I agree with bja...your plan sounds like a lot of work. I have a 12x20' shed on skids that I use in my winter paddocks for a shelter. Two strands of polyrope keeps them corralled.
 

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Yes i agree,easier to put up fence with t posts and stakes.12 panels is very small,and your shelter would take up most of it .
U can do rotanional grazing with one strand inside the t post fence.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How easy are cattle to keep in with electric? I use it for pigs and it works great once they're trained. If I started with a simple 3-strand polytape fence with t-post corners and step-in line posts, could I just let them out into it and feel safe or will they be blasting through it? I've not seen them be real hard on fences; they seem to be pretty timid and I'm guessing the first thing they would do is sneak up and lick the tape and get nailed. But will they then back off it or plow through it? Pigs would plow through it.

I'm kind of doing a beef experiment with our dairy neighbors, but they haven't had an animal outdoors in a fence for years, so we're all a little ignorant of fencing for cattle.

I appreciate the input.
 

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We have 5 strand high tensile perimeter but use single strand poly-twine paddocks inside for both cattle and pigs. We keep moving their grazing area with the poly-twine using T posts for the corners and pigtails in between. They know and respect it. I have to run two lines when unweaned calves are around cause they go under. Pigs are much easier to train and respect it within a week of first being trained with hard fence behind the hot wire - then removing the hog panels and they won't cross the line even with the poly twine down for a bit. For the cattle - We made a trail to take the cattle out of the high tensile area with poly twine to graze. We found out one of our cows can jump like a gazelle and led the others for a little run. I would never do that again. They don't test it while inside but they were too spooky doing something new.
 

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I have moved bottle calves outside in electric bf and i give them a small area with more strands first to get used to and have an almost physical barrier. I only do 2 strands but its inside 5strand HT.
I would do 4 or5 to get them used to it,its easy one u have the posts in .
Id use t posts with lots of those plastic posts from tsc,$2,with 3built in clips for more of a physical and visual barrier.
I wouldn't turn out 10 into this at one time....do 1or2 at a time to avoid a stampede 🐮
 

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If theres a pen where calves are now put them in it with a electric wire and let them see what it does when they touch it. I always let mine out in barnyard with 2x6 plank fence with electric inside for them to touch but cant go through and learn to back up not go through. Usually by end of day they know its bad. I always put out on rainy day so they well grounded. Make the first lesson rememberable! I only have single strand high tention on all my pasture for cows and calves never have a problem as long as fence well juiced ( atleast 6000 volts )
 
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