Monday, October 21, 2013

~ Light at the End of the "Fencing" Tunnel ~

When you have livestock you always have the task of keeping them in. I recently read Joel Salatin's book You Can Farm. They use a sturdy perimeter fence and portable electric fence. He also says that cattle and sheep work very well together and that if you can keep sheep in you can keep cattle in. Keeping sheep in... not such an easy task.

Our lambs this year have been challenging to say the least. Any little spot they could sneak through they would. We have been slowly replacing the old woven wire fence [five strand] with new woven wire [8 strand]. It has been a slow process. The fence and posts add up and in reality, there are only two of us. The kids are really great helpers but to expect them to spend the whole day fencing is unrealistic [and they like to be fed = interruptions].

We have a section of portable electric netting that we have used to fence in the yard for the sheep. It works great but rather expensive and grounds out easily.  We have found that we really like working with the polyrope that has wires running through it. It doesn't kink like wire and is a heck of a lot lighter. We have also found the fiberglass posts with four insulators built in are nicer than the small metal fence post. They are incredibly light and much easier to push into the ground.

Today, while expanding the small electrified area for the cattle, it dawned on me how close we really are to having the perimeter fenced and with the way the fiberglass post insulators are positioned we would be able to keep the sheep in the pasture. If we take down the two fences between our three main pastures [replacing with electric] it will give us the posts we need to increase the perimeter area the way we want. All we would have to do is pinch the pennies to pay for the woven wire. Plus, I think that instead of three pasture, we could get at least 8 smaller spaces to rotationally graze. We have another pasture that could be divided into three as well, so in total, we could end up with 15 paddock size spaces to graze and one very large, back pasture that are Highlanders are brushing for us.

Do you have livestock? What are your favorite fencing solutions?

Shared at The Prairie Homestead Barn Hop


  1. What a timely post for me, as I am trying to plan for next year and having sheep and maybe a llama. I was thinking about using the poly rope fencing. Do you know if it can be used with a solar fence charger? Also, I love that you have highlanders, how do you like them? I am so glad you stopped by my blog so that I found yours.

    1. Hi ~

      It should work fine with a solar charger. Just keep in mind how many miles your fencer covers. We can keep the sheep in with four strands of the polyrope.

      We love our highlanders! They are so incredibly gentle and loving, we even milk our herd cow. Up to 10% butterfat, the milk is so creamy and good.

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