electric netting questions

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HomesteadNowhere
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electric netting questions

Postby HomesteadNowhere » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:21 am

I think I'm finally going to invest in some... I've put it off and I think if I'd done it 5 years ago I could be at double the flock size and much better margin $ wise. Oh well, hindsight and all that.

So I'm decided on the 2joule energizer (battery) and I'll be fashioning something like a flat wheelbarrow but boxed up. To keep the energizer and battery etc in and easy to move. https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/inte ... cat_id=159

42" high netting, 164' roll. https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/elec ... ccessories

Right now I can only afford to get 2 rolls of netting. That would give me a square area with 41' sides. I was a little worried about area and if it would last them a full day. I measured out along the wire fence of the paddock the ewes are currently in. 41' square seemed a little small. With 2 rolls I could do 41' by 123'. I measured that out in my paddock. That looked good. Plenty in most area's for at least 2 or 3 days grazing, from what I see this year with my permanent fenced paddocks.
I am really thinking about ordering the charger and 2 rolls. In a month or so I could probably hold back some money and be able to order another 2 rolls then.
There is some areas along the outsides of the permanent fence that will be great to put them on. This would also give me the added benefit of having one side be permanent fence and 3 sides netting. One place is overgrown bank that would be 2 sides permanent fence. So I could maximize grazing space with only one net in those places. Or even long narrow sections along the outside of the permanent fence with both rolls of netting.
The more I think of it, the more I see opportunities to use it.

The first worry I have is training the sheep to it. I grew up with dairy goats and they spent more time out of the fence than in it. I can chase and wrangle sheep but I really do my best to plan to avoid it. I'm thinking with the 2joule charger it should be a good zap even for sheep in wool. (I'll be shearing about Feb for March lambing.) And I can use a smaller paddock to train them, using one roll to divide it short. I'll do it on a day I can hang out there and watch them. With one side electric and three sides permanent fence I'm hoping it will work. Give them enough space to run away from it without running *through* it.
I'd appreciate any and all training tips! I have some ewes that will be 2y/o come spring and my oldest are a couple about 9y/o. The young ewes I know haven't seen electric fence. The older ewes I don't believe have seen electric fence from what I know of the farms I got them from. So it will be all new.
Breeding is coming up and I'm going to have 3 groups which will throw a wrench in the rotation of the permanent paddocks. Being able to move the ewes a few places with the netting after groups are over would be great. Not needing to run the ewes through paddocks that already had sheep for a while or ones with only a few days or week rest.

How much of a path needs to be clear of the netting? Right now the permanent paddocks are running about knee high grass going into the next one. I'm sure I'll need to clear it some but I'm wondering if it's just enough that there isn't plants touching the netting, only the very bottom rung that's on the ground anyways? Everything else needs to be no-touchy or else it will be drawing off the zap power. So taller weedy stuff will need more knocking down and lush grass could maybe just be trampled by walking or with a hand weeder?

How do you integrate lambs to netting? I've seen a bit of posts about lambs getting tangled up and was thinking to have ewes and lambs just in permanent fence until the lambs are big enough to get a proper zap and not get tangled? What's a big enough lamb? Size or weight? As lambs grow out I would really really like to be able to (in the future) be able to wean the lambs then move them to areas like through the yard and on odd banks and places that I don't want to worry about putting the ewes and ruining fleeces etc. I had a lot of cocci problems this year and getting lambs on non-permanent fenced areas seems like a big plus. The one I'm looking at is top 3 are 6" spacing and below that is 4" spacing.

How heavy is one roll of netting? I see some posts discussing the 42" being too heavy but it seems like it wouldn't be much heavier than 35". I haven't really had any issues with jumping (knock on wood!) except one ewe that's the tallest which has jumped over twice, both occasions she got in a panic because her 'buddy' ewe was on the other side in the next paddock. And I know she only just barely manages it. I'd rather have the taller fence and not really need to worry about them trying it, rather than have the 35" and constantly worry a taller ewe will try it. I'm no body builder but I'm pretty sturdy build :lol: so I feel like it shouldn't be a big deal but I would like to know the weight of the roll if anyone knows. A search just gave me sales pages and I didn't see it listed.

Silvopasture... I have ALOT of overgrown areas and thick brush wooded areas. One of my biggest goals with using netting is to tackle a couple small areas and document the change. I am worried about timing it so not to ruin fleece with burrs etc. I'm thinking early in the year when the fleece hasn't grown in too much after shearing, then the burrs don't stick as much, the one's that do are easy to pick off as I see them.
Once the sheep have been through I'll be going in and thinning the trees.
Katie
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Hilmar
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Re: electric netting questions

Postby Hilmar » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:56 pm

The first worry I have is training the sheep to it: I wouldn't worry. A zap or two and they train themselves.

How much of a path needs to be clear of the netting? If it's clear a few inches on each side that should be sufficient.

How do you integrate lambs to netting? The only time I have had problems were when I had the net in an "L" shape and the lamb was trying to get to his mother directly, when a dog was chasing the lamb, and when one of the lambs was blind due to polio. It has been very rare to have problems.

How heavy is one roll of netting? I have never been bothered by the weight in the least. I wish my hands were a bit bigger so I could hold it more easily when picking up the fence, but I doubt a 160' roll weighs even fifteen pounds.

i hope this helps.
Mark

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Re: electric netting questions

Postby HomesteadNowhere » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:21 am

Thanks Hilmar! That is very helpful. Tracking says it should arrive today! :shock: So yesterday I walked around measuring some areas right off the permanent fenced paddocks. Got a path mowed so once I set up in the current paddock and train them to it, I can have them in a new area tomorrow evening I hope.
Katie
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Re: electric netting questions

Postby OogieM » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:13 am

Oogie McGuire
Black Sheep Shepherdess

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Re: electric netting questions

Postby HomesteadNowhere » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:13 pm

Thanks! Yeah I'm planning to have the permanent fenced paddocks for breeding groups. I'm using the netting to graze outside the permanent fence and be able to leave 2 of the 3 permanent paddocks to grow longer before breeding groups go in for 21 days. I don't plan to use the netting to ever keep ewes from rams or anything. Hormones are not to be trusted :lol:

The order came in yesterday. Family is visiting from out of state so I got wrangled out of the evening time. Tomorrow is supposed to rain all day, of course it's my day off. So I'm hoping the weather changes and miss us. We've had a lot of rain this year so I don't feel bad wishing this misses us.

The fence rolls are a little heavier than I expected (not really sure what I expected though) but it's still easier than putting in permanent fence so I hope to make it work.
Katie
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HomesteadNowhere
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Re: electric netting questions

Postby HomesteadNowhere » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:01 pm

I've been using the netting since it came. I can't believe I waited so long to get it! :roll: Two nets worked fine for the areas along the permanent fence. Open a gate and there they are, then move them back into the permanent fence area. But I ran into issues in the yard when I had to use both sections. Some head scratching and I managed to lure them into a pen of panels. With them closed up in the small pen I took down the nets and moved it to the next area. There was overlap with the fence length so I could still surround the pen at the edge of the new section and just let the ewes out.

Well I realized I needed to eek out three more days before breeding groups. I have three groups and three paddocks ready to graze. I had to find another section to use the netting. And I had to lure the ewes into the pen again to tear down and setup. More head scratching, and possibly a bit of bangin against a wall :oops: , and I got the ok to graze my neighbors (my grandparents) driveway bank. It's quite long and steep and a big hassle to cut. A while back they hired someone's kid to trim it and now it's knee high. Papa had planted some vetch a while ago and there is plenty of it still going. Perfect place to graze and they would want it done anyhow ......except I had to get them from my yard, a little valley bottom, across some mowed yard and a driveway to this bank. And then make a plan to get them back through the yard, past the house, and to the permanent paddocks to sort breeding groups.
By some miracle I got the ewes lured into the pen. I came up with the idea that if I could place the netting just right, I could make a section of the bank with just 1 net! Then I could set up the second net and hopscotch them, like you usually do with the net :shock: Huzzah! I set up the first net starting at the top of the driveway bank. A little finagling and worked it out. I wrangled dad into helping me and we scooted the pen across the mowed yard and the driveway. Set the netting open just enough to get a sheep through and hold the pen open just enough, right at the open in the net. Another miracle, all the sheep into the netting.. Even if they wanted to charge four across through the gap instead of single file.. Of course, how dare I.. :roll:

I'll check them in the morning. Move them mid day or evening. I setup the second net and it's all ready to move them. I'll be able to set up one more section down the driveway after that. Should last until Sunday when I'll be sorting them into breeding groups. This will also put them at the bottom of our joined Y shape driveway. I have to walk it and check but I think from there I will be able to take them up our driveway and pen them near a gate. In the pen I can take the ewes individually to the paddock with their appointed baby daddy 8)

The breeding groups will be 20 days in the permanent fence paddocks. So I'm ordering 4 more nets, this time the 35" height. After breeding groups are done I will hopscotch the ewes across the yard to a hay field. Dad's going to plant into it next year and just topped it a few times to keep weeds from seeding more. So I'm going to graze it as long as I can before I need to put the ewes back in the permanent fence paddocks and be on hay and grain. I have an idea for a mobile shelter to protect them from sun and rain.
Katie
Homestead Nowhere


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