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Help with specing some electric fencing for sheep - total noob to it!

Posts: 2627
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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In the next two weeks the sheep will be coming back to our pasture. I need to have an electric fencing system setup before then so that we can establish a proper rotational grazing system.

The field is approximately 400m long by 100m wide and we anticipate weekly rotations between blocks around 50m by 50m. At most we will need to energise 200m of fencing at any one time. Cost is a big issue - this is a proof of concept for both my parents and the grazier and if all goes well we will have the option to upgrade (eg more expensive solar) later on. In the meantime it needs to

  • Hold the sheep! Escapees won't do much for convincing anyone.
  • Be easy to manage - if it takes two hours to change from one bay to the next it won't get done.
  • Maintain charge for a reasonable amount of time. - perhaps 2 weeks between change over of batteries?

  • The pattern I have in mind is something like bays of around 50m by 50m strung off the existing wooden fence posts toward the centre of the field then back in a horseshoe shape to close off a bay. The next bay can be rigged up ready and waiting beside it so the sheep change through to fresh grass, the new fence is closed in behind them. The old fence gets pulled down and setup again ahead of the flock for the following week. Fence moves only needed every two weeks or so.

    I've been shopping online and have this kit list in mind... I'd appreciate it if someone would take a look over it.


    250m + 3 reel system + energiser Kit
    "Fit one - charge one" pair of batteries
    Corner pulleys - for connecting electric wire to wooden posts
    A second three reel system - without an energiser.

    The final figure is around £717 - quite a heft sum!

    I'd really rather not by two sets of the reels, but I can't see a way to make it work with just one set of reels.
    Posts: 3738
    Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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    Lots of people like Premier but horned sheep don't do well with electronetting. I did just hear Geoff Lawton say several times that sheep don't work well with electric fence.
    Posts: 76
    Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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    Nonsense. Electric fences work for sheep. I use Premier polynet.

    Sometimes I use poly twine and fiberglass posts. I don't use reels, just the spool it comes on or a stick. I don't buy fancy clips. I make a clove hitch that prevents it from slipping on the post, and its easy to walk down the line tightening as you go and move slack to one end as needed. Making a clove hitch with poly-twine does not cause permanent kinking. I do the same with wire, but the kinking is more permanent.

    You can make your own insulators to attach to wood or steel posts using old hose (plastic or rubber), 6" pieces or whatever. Run the poly-twine through the hose like beads and use wire around the outside of the bead to attach to the post. In a corner with adequate tension you can just use nylon rope for an insulator.

    The charging system is worth it.
    10 W solar panel = $40
    Charge controller = $10
    Posts: 174
    Location: Berea, Kentucky
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    I got 6 strands of high tensile with 6 joules on it and I have never had an escape. Do not use those ceramic screw in insulators. They break all the time, and the plastic ones are cheaper.
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