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kelpiegirl
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Okay, I will feel EXTREMELY better if I put my sheep up at night. I worry about Coyotes and dogs. How big an area do I need for 5-7 Dorper/St. Croix/Kathadin mixed ewes? I am putting this together TODAY, so I really need to know. Folks at Agway are NOT sheep folks, so they don't know. Basically, too, I want them in this for the first few hours when they get here, so they can settle in a bit.

 

Thanks

Julie

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The guy at my Southern States has been right on with sheep advice. He's a real nice guy.

 

You could ring him. It's exactly the kind of question I've been asking him for the last two months and he's been happy to oblige.

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By the way, from a non-expert's perspective, if I was in a hurry and worried, I'd buy 4 hog panels and o ring them together. If you have to drive some t posts half down each side for support, it's pretty easy and you know you can get it done before they show. I think it would be fine for 7 if you are only using it temporarily.

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I was going to say four cattle panels--taller than hog panels. It will be basically a dry lot for your sheep, so I'd be inclined to throw them some hay when they're in there at night. I would put a t-post at each corner and perhaps in the middle of three sides and then leave the fourth side without to use as a gate. Or cut the 4th panel in half, use a t-post halfway down as your "gate post" and use the second half as the gate. Around here cattle panels are about $15 each and t-posts are just under $4 each, so total cost for supplies would be around $100 (you'll need something to connect cattle panels to t-posts--field fence clips *might* work).

 

J.

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Sheep can squeeze through cattle panels, so I would wrap the bottm in some kinf of wire, too. For tying/attaching, I just keep a roll of decent-guage wire in my truck and wire pliers, and can tie anything to anything!

Anna

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For a drylot-night pen for seven sheep, I'd do 20 by 20 feet at a minimum. For indoor housing, we look for 17 to 22 square feet per ewe. Dry lotting would usually be larger -- say 50 to 100 square feet -- but if it's just to hold them overnight, I would say you could squeeze them in a little more.

 

When it starts to get hotter you will need to feed them in the night pen, as they will not want to graze during the heat of the day. That may require more space. Make the night pen movable so you don't destroy the pasture.

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Thanks everyone

 

They were fine in the smallish pen I put them in last night. They hung out under the tarp. This morning I opened the panel, and out into the e-net they went. Don't GET me started on getting the e-net set up. Would be nice if the directions for unrolling it were in the box that they netting came in. Getting the charger/solar panel set up took me a while before I gave up and brought the thing home to have Premier folks walk me through it. It was not something I would have figured out. The LARGE booklet in GERMAN was certainly NO help. ARGH. Well, that is a distant memory now. Only thing I dont' know is what to do with say extra netting- you want to stop HERE, but you have another 20 feet? Do I roll it up? I moved the tarp today, but the sheep were not interested in using it, and it was warm. So, I went BACK and moved it back to where it was- they all went under. It wasn't as warm as it has been, but clearly they appreciate their shade. They are not being fed- are weaned moms, and they need to dry up. So far they seem fat, dumb and happy. I am leaving their pen open tonight. Will have to see how it goes. I don't want them penned if I don't have to because as Bill mentioned, they will destroy that grass. Oh, as I was working on the fence this morning a woman stopped by and asked if she could show her son the sheep. I would much rather have had an offer of help :rolleyes:

Julie

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Extra netting has to be set up somewhere or you will short it out and it will do no good. If you've got two or more nets to make a subdivision across a perimeter fenced paddock, just start with at both ends and let it overlap in the middle. Same if it's an enclosure of electronet. If you're only using one net, double it back and either set it up along itself or just run it off into the area where the sheep aren't. Make any sense or do I need more caffeine?

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Just a small note. Enclosing the sheep only helps with coyotes and dogs if you enclose them in something dog proof. This is NOT an easy task. You might be better off leaving them loose so they at least have some chance of protecting themselves. Of course dogs will often kill just for the fun of it or may content themselves with chasing the sheep until they collapse from stress and exhaustion.

 

Unfortunately I am speaking from experience.

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The electro net stops my dogs. I let Sweetpea get zapped but good! one time and that's all it took.

 

Now, would it stop something tall from going over.....probably not.

 

 

I have done what Bill said, either let the extra run right next to it, in effect creating a double fence, or just let it run off to nowhere, now that I've moved it around half a dozen times my eye is pretty good and I don't end up with much extra.

 

 

 

Rolling it back up is what I hate. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

 

Btw, Bill, thank you for the tip on the loose mineral. I spent most of yesterday topping them off every few hours and by 5 pm there was some left over. Yay! Thank you kindly. It goes against my grain ...(bad pun, sorry)....to toss MORE feed stuff at them.

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Julie and Celia,

One way we found easy to roll up/move electronet--and I hope I can explain this in writing sufficiently to make sense--is to start by pulling all posts out of the ground and dropping them flat with the tops/bottoms of the posts all facing the same direction, and then take an end post and fold it back to the next post so that the section of electronet between the two posts is folded in half and dragging behind the two posts. Then take those two posts and go to the next post, allowing the e-net in between to fold in half and drag behind. In the end, you will have all the posts in your hands (in order and all facing the same direction) and a bunch of folded over sections of e-net looking like an accordian hanging from the posts. It's very easy to carry that way because you're basically just carrying the posts and letting the netting hang behind, and it's easy to re-lay out, because you can walk along and drop and end post, let that section of net unfold up to the next post and drop that and so on. When you are done, it will all be laying on the ground in the configuration you desire. This allows you to adjust if, say, you have leftover, before you actually push any posts into the ground. When folding the e-net like this, the only thing you need to be careful about is that the metal ends of the posts don't get tangled in the sections of net hanging behind (for example, if you're holding all the posts in your hand with the net hanging behind and you don't hold the posts so that the net hangs free of them, you could allow the metal ends to tangle in the net, which could be a pain). Anyway, Joy and I have used this method to move and place e-net with ease! It's certainly way easier than trying to roll it up in one big roll. Hope that helps some.

 

J.

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Bill

I figured that was what I would have to do- so I ran the extra length along the woven wire- but not touching it.

 

 

Julie

Thanks for the information on rolling it up- the did warn me at the company that how you roll it up is important, so thanks for teaching me that!

 

Bexie

I am working on gettiing the fence more tight to the ground. I have some stock panels for an enclosure should I decide to be safe at night.

 

Will keep everyone posted.

 

 

Julie

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You can save a lot of time by not dropping the net on the ground before picking it up. Just pull the stakes up and hold them in a bundle as you move along the fenceline. If you need to move it more than a few yards or need to store it, make sure the folds are as neat and even as you can manage, the lay the net down on the ground. Sqauare up the posts, and then fold the pleats in half toward the posts. Start rolling from the fold towards the posts. You can make very neat rolls this way, and they also deploy with less muss and fuss, and tangle less when you are transporting them.

 

I should host an electronet seminar someday. After 17 years of using the stuff, I've picked up a few tricks. I suspect it's like shearing sheep, though. The first 10,000 are hard. After that you get used to.

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An electronet seminar would be useful for the beginner!!!

 

:rolleyes: I remember my first time picking it back up, it took me 2 1/2 hours to untangle it again. But I learned fast how to do it correctly. I agree with Bill, no need to lay it on the ground, just make sure you can hold all the posts in one hand (little hands are challenging) and don't get the wires between your fingers (because it'll make it harder to hold all of the posts); Moving electronets gets easier....I'm not proficient yet, only about 6000 more repetitions!

 

the only other problems I've had are one of my dogs got caught in the netting while it was on and it took us about a year to get her back near the netting to get the sheep. She of course doesn't challenge it.

 

The pigs I have are very curious and managed to grab a whole roll and pull it into their winter housing...that was another 2 hour untangle job plus repairs.

 

Thanks for the tips all!

 

Cytnhia

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Every now and then someone will decide to help me out and take up a roll of electronet. Invariably, they lay it out on the ground and roll it up like a sleeping bag. ARGH! As I undo the mistake, I have to chant over and over like a mantra, "They were only trying to help. They were only trying to help. They were only trying to help."

 

Every spring I have to refresh my muscle memory, and it takes a while to really get the hang of electronet. Now that I've been grazing for six weeks, I'm just starting to get it back. Yesterday it took me just shy of two hours to set up six nets, move the ewes and lambs, and remove seven nets. When I'm in peak form sometime in late July, I'll be able to trim 30 minutes off that time.

 

Having biggish hands (mine aren't remarkably big for a man, but they are bigger than most womens') certainly helps, as does being at least 5' 10" tall. But mostly it's just a matter of doing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and figuring out how to handle all the problems. Knowing your fields also helps. I like to drop nets near where they'll be needed before I start setting any up. After I've fenced a field a few times, I don't even have to pace it out anymore -- I know where the rolls start. If field conditions allow it, I can drive around with the full supply of electronet and drop rolls where they'll be needed, as opposed to walking back to the supply a few times and pacing out where to drop them. I can only carry four rolls at a time these days -- back when I was a young buck I could carry six.

 

I very seldom lay a fence out and then go back to set the posts up. I usually put the posts in as I go. Saves walking the length of the fence two extra times, and a lot of bending over to pick up the posts.

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First Bill, you are not that old!!!! Second, all this information is invaluable to me!!!! I have some net I want to move around, and now I know not to lay it down first- you are so right. I did lay it down when I first set it up and then went back and stood it up (and untangled it). What a pain. Now I know better :rolleyes: I want to move it but I need to string trim as the field has high grass- that will happen not today- going to be over 90. I also check that fence with some regularity with my tester... Some day this won't all be so new....

 

Thanks again for all the information!!!!!!!!!!

 

Julie

 

Every now and then someone will decide to help me out and take up a roll of electronet. Invariably, they lay it out on the ground and roll it up like a sleeping bag. ARGH! As I undo the mistake, I have to chant over and over like a mantra, "They were only trying to help. They were only trying to help. They were only trying to help."

 

Every spring I have to refresh my muscle memory, and it takes a while to really get the hang of electronet. Now that I've been grazing for six weeks, I'm just starting to get it back. Yesterday it took me just shy of two hours to set up six nets, move the ewes and lambs, and remove seven nets. When I'm in peak form sometime in late July, I'll be able to trim 30 minutes off that time.

 

Having biggish hands (mine aren't remarkably big for a man, but they are bigger than most womens') certainly helps, as does being at least 5' 10" tall. But mostly it's just a matter of doing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over, and figuring out how to handle all the problems. Knowing your fields also helps. I like to drop nets near where they'll be needed before I start setting any up. After I've fenced a field a few times, I don't even have to pace it out anymore -- I know where the rolls start. If field conditions allow it, I can drive around with the full supply of electronet and drop rolls where they'll be needed, as opposed to walking back to the supply a few times and pacing out where to drop them. I can only carry four rolls at a time these days -- back when I was a young buck I could carry six.

 

I very seldom lay a fence out and then go back to set the posts up. I usually put the posts in as I go. Saves walking the length of the fence two extra times, and a lot of bending over to pick up the posts.

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First Bill, you are not that old!!!!

 

Old enough to need to start paying attention to pains in my back, knees, and hands. Perhaps if I had started thinking about ergonomics when I was your age I wouldn't feel so ancient today. But I could always overcome adversity with brute force, and that seemed expedient at the time.

 

My early sheep days were like a pastoral version of The Handyman's Corner on the Red Green Show, often with similar results.

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Having biggish hands (mine aren't remarkably big for a man, but they are bigger than most womens') certainly helps, as does being at least 5' 10" tall.

 

That helps a LOT I'm sure. That's the thing I whine about the most when I handle electronet. I have very small hands and I'm a scant five six. In case you'd never measured, that's just about how long electronet is from post to the midway point when you are attempting to carry it without rolling it. And my hands only reach around all the post because m thumb is double jointed - but that gets really tiring about five minutes into a walk up the hill!

 

I don't put the posts on the ground either - I learned my lesson the first time I did it - besides being a time saver, the net picks up crap on the ground the more it contacts it. We have really icky pasture in some places so I even pop the posts in the ground when I'm setting it out initially - it's a little more wear on the posts, unfortunately, but less on the net.

 

We do double runs of the electronet when we have extra. But we rarely have more than a few feet of extra because we are milking all we can out of the grazes. :rolleyes:

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Aww come on Bill- you ain't old until you say you are! Unfortunately, they don't make our bodies like they used to. But, maybe you are right that thinking smart when working on stuff- to save you body, saves that and time! In my previous employ I worked doing things like taking care of dozens of horses, unloading tractor trailers full of shavings/hay, carrying 5 gallon buckets as long and as far as I have to. Now, I have a more ergonomic job, and am thankful. I have certainly done my time with that. Now, like you, I prefer to think things out, and make it so I have the energy to do other things, and no be blown for the day on something that if I took a minute, would be done in short order... Unlike my e-net fiasco.

Julie

ps: if you want to feel young- just go out one day and lay in the grass and blow bubbles :rolleyes: Trust me, it works- just make sure you can get up afteward.

 

Old enough to need to start paying attention to pains in my back, knees, and hands. Perhaps if I had started thinking about ergonomics when I was your age I wouldn't feel so ancient today. But I could always overcome adversity with brute force, and that seemed expedient at the time.

 

My early sheep days were like a pastoral version of The Handyman's Corner on the Red Green Show, often with similar results.

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