Quick shelter question

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Shygal, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Hi all,

    What size shelter would be adequate for 3 sheep? Either Icelandic sheep or Shetlands. I realize that the Icelandics are bigger and would need more room than the Shetlands would.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Hi Shygal... our first shelter for 3 sheep was built out of scrap lumber (thought for the day: do not use thin plywood for a roof and nothing else, even if you're caught short of time... it doesn't hold up well!) and is 10' x 6'. And I can't stand up in it. I built it as a lean to and in our first major storm discovered "lean to" is not adequate. Worse, I didn't build the walls up to the roof because figuring out the angles (using old plywood) was hard. So I just squared them off and left the sides open in a triangle and the back "vented."

    I justified this by telling myself that Icelandic sheep (and Shetlands too probably) do NOT do well if they're not in vented spaces.

    Well, there's vented... and then there is snow filling up the shelter! So I was out there in howling winds screwing tarps all over the place. The tarps are still there... eyah...

    But the USDA sent me this handy guide for calculating space for sheep (and they assume larger than an Icelandic) which called for 24 sq' per ewe and lamb... so 6x10=60, plenty for 3 ewes (actually I had 4 animals using the shelter all winter) and when they start lambing, enough for 2 jugs...plenty.

    Ok, so I've built this thing. Killed myself in a storm to shovel it out and button it down. Got a nice little feeder in it.. salt.. kelp..

    Do you think they used it?

    No.

    They ate in it and made "potholes" around it to get out of the wind, and slept outside.

    The farm that sold me the sheep uses arches made out of hog panels bent, 2 of them, in an arch, covered with a tarp and a back panel to keep it all rigid. And their sheep hang out on a bed of hay in there. Really cheap, really portable, really flexible... and really not taxable!

    T
     

  3. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    lol.... I'll keep that in mind when I build my sheep shelter
     
  4. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    MorrisonCorner, I could picture that exactly, and had to laugh :)
    Animals will do that to you, wont they! :haha:
     
  5. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    Shygal: This winter I plan on using a couple of metal hog huts for the sheep. I may space them apart and put an old door over the top to ensure more roof space. When it comes to lambing in Feb or March I will make pens in the nearest building. My sheep were sheared in April and they have a really nice coat of wool. Other years I would head out in the mornings for chores and they will be covered with snow from laying outside. I usually brush it off cause they stand near me and shake it on me. But I was always cautious of them heading into a warmer building and the snow would melt through to their skin. But that is what the lanolin is for, a built in raincoat.

    Also someone may have some old hog A-houses which work great too.

    For a door of any size, in the winter I will use old carpeting for a wind break. Tack it to the door with lumber and keeps the wind back.
     
  6. Mouse

    Mouse Well-Known Member

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    Have you had any troubles with the rams destroying your buildings? I ask because we have a section we used for lambing that had plywood walls and a tarp roof. We have been woken up in the middle of the night several times with this huge racket. Upon investigating we've found our rams ramming into these plywood walls. They destroyed them and pushed the plywood off the trees we had it nailed to. I know, talk about the cheap way to go. I'm really liking the idea of these hog panel houses.
     
  7. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Yeah, the hog panel houses sound good, but will they hold up a bunch of snow on them?
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    NO kidding! We built a second housing section into the back of our garage, door, natch, faces north, the direction of every prevailing storm. We had plans for an elaborate "doghouse" structure which would force the sheep to make 2 right angle turns to block the wind.

    Sheep can learn to nose the carpeting aside?

    Or do you have particularly bright sheep?

    T
     
  9. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    I think the sheep would most readily do this if there was a small open area so that they could see right through. They certainly learn to push through hedges and such like.
     
  10. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    :rolleyes: Good point. And 4" gaps between two lengths of electric mesh...
     
  11. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    Shelter or enclosure? I think the size quoted above is for the assumption the sheep cant get out. I've seen 15 Soay Sheep, 20 potbellied pigs, a pyranese dog, two chickens and a burro pile out of an 8x8 shed at treat time. It was very funny to watch. They all have their own places, but for that night that was very cold they got together on their own. A quick thing that will last about 1 maybe 2 seasons is a hoop house, made from cattle panels and tarps