Electric fencing is ideal for containing Sheep:
Electric fencing is a cost effective and good way to contain sheep. Although sheep can be relatively difficult to contain with electric fencing due to their thick wool coats. Wool does not conduct electricity so you will require more power than when fencing shorthaired animals. An added problem is keeping predators out such as foxes preying on Lambs in the spring time.
Electric fencing can be used to contain them in whole fields or parts of fields for strip grazing. For permanent fencing wooden posts and screw in insulators with poly wire and ideally a mains electric fence energiser can be used. For temporary fencing 3ft poly posts, poly wire and a portable 12v energiser should be used.
Sheep are always looking for a route to escape seeing the grass is always greener on the other side. It can be very costly investing labour and time into driving them back to the fields and repairing conventional fencing that has been damaged and isn't that effective.
Wire and post spacing is important when installing a sheep fence. For normal strip grazing and permanent fencing 3 wires equally spaced with a total height of 90cm are fine. If you are looking to exclude predators more wires with closer spacing at the bottom is needed. Please ensure that the ends of the fence well strained and anchored. Please find below a diagram of the different vertical spacing of wire fencing:
The fence lines recommended for use with sheep is poly wire and galvanised wire. Three strands of wire provide good visibility and coverage with one at above head height at 90cm, the middle one at nose level at 45cm and the bottom line at above knee level 20cm from the ground. For goat fencing its recommended to use 7 wires fairly equally spaced out in a permanent high tensile system.
Reel systems are generally used with sheep as the fencing is commonly moved around alot and this enable quick unwinding and winding of the fence. Reel mounting posts are used to hold the reels. Usually a mix of metal mounting posts, corner posts and poly post are used in a sheep electric fence system.
Sheep Netting is easy to install and very lightweight. When compared to other methods of temporary fencing, electric netting provides a higher level of protection from predators whilst containing the sheep. Electric netting is great for lambing pens as lambs are a target for predators as it is much better at containing lambs and excluding predators such as foxes.
Electrifying an Existing Fence
You can easily adapt or convert an existing conventional fence into an electric fence. This is a cost effective method if you already have a permanent fence in place. You can either use the wooden posts already installed and put in insulators on the posts with wire. There are also many types of offset screw in and post top insulators for mounting on an existing fence.
Sheep require a minimum of 3,000v-4,000v on the fence with an electric fence energiser that has 1.5 Joules in stored energy. For fences that are permanent or if a mains supply is available using a mains energiser is the best option. A mains system works by plugging the energiser into the supply inside and running lead out cable to a 2m earth stake and to the fence to power it. For permanent fences mains energiser should not have less than 0.5 Joule stored energy. For remote areas or places you cannot get a mains supply to, 12v, 9v or solar energisers should be used. 12v battery energiser are usually used and we would recommend using these as they are more reliable and cost effective. If you are likely to use the energiser just for strip grazing or will be moving it around alot than 9v energiser are better as they are lighter and easier to move. If you are fencing goats you must look for any energiser with at least 1.5 Joules stored energy to give a voltage reading on the fence line of around 4,000v-5,000v.
Fence Line Conductor
We would recommend only using poly wire, stranded wire, galvanised wire and high tensile wire for use with sheep. Electric poly wire gives great visibility and can be easily unwound and wound up for re-use. Also stranded wire can also be re-used for temporary fencing. It is important that the line is thinner wire at 2-3mm as it will be able to penetrate the wool. If you are installing a permanent fence its better to use either high tensile wire and or galvanised wire as this is longer lasting. There is different quality of conductors lines available. A quality of a line is dependent on the number of conductors, diameter of conductors, level of resitance and breaking strain. Stranded, galvanised and high tensile are all conductor so you are usually looking at the level of resitance and breaking strain for quality. A poly wire with alot of large conductor wires with low resistance and a high breaking strain has the best quality. For longer electric fences you will need a better quality line such as galvanised wire but if it is just a short fence the cheapest lowest quality will be fine.
When dealing with lambs sheep netting is a quick and easy to used method of fencing. Electric sheep netting will generally be 90cm in height in 50m rolls. This is a better solution for protecting lambs from predator such as foxes as it is difficult to get through. Electric netting takes more power pure metre so you would need a decent sized 12v battery or mains energiser for it to work effectively.
Sheep Fencing Kits
We have sheep fencing kits listed. Normally large lengths of fencing can be needed are sheep need a substantial grazing area. Systems will normally contain an electric fence energiser, earth stake, reel mounting posts, reels, electric fence poly posts and wire. If you need a system different to the ones listed please contact us with the length of the fence needed and we can quote you for all you need.