Monday, May 28, 2012

The fence claims another lamb

lamb being strangled by premier1 e'net sheep fence
 I am not liking this electric mesh fence at all right now.  Found this lamb with its head tangled in it, and took this picture before I realized that it was still alive. 
 What appears to be happening is that the sheep knock down the fence in one area; I haven't seen them do it yet, and I'm wondering if they're trying to run from a coyote or something -- what's motivating them to crash the fence? Once it's halfway down, the bigger sheep can just hop over.  It's the lambs that seem to be getting caught, and they're getting caught in the top two or three courses of the fence.  
Once freed, the lamb ran back to the flock.  Lucky lamb
 In the picture below, the top of the fence (this is the poultry version) as at the left.  It's the top two rows that seem to provide enough "space" that a lamb thinks that it can put its head through, and then get completely tangled. 
 This could be solved pretty easily the way that it's been solved for no-climb fence.  Just make all the holes smaller so that it isn't possible to get a head through.  
The holes are absolutely big enough for even a full-sized sheep to get its head through.  This is the sort of fencing that is very popular for rotational grazing.

But every producer I've talked to so far has lost sheep to this sort of fence, and usually in this way.  They get tangled and strangled, or tangled and shocked to death.

Really not happy with this product.

9 comments:

becky3086 said...

Wow, I think I would stop using that one. Too bad.

Michael said...

It's important to introduce this type of fence to them in small groups, so that if there is a stampede, the ones in front are not getting pushed into it by the ones in back. Also, good to have a single hot wire in front of the netting until they are used to it. And hopefully they've had experience with electric fence prior to this. If they've only seen field fence and are used to trying to get grass from the other side, this is sometimes the result.

BCxFour said...

My sheep have all been raised with electric fence. We have a variety, 8 strand wire to hot tape and electric netting. We work dogs on the sheep and are careful not to run them into the fence. Even then they all respect it and do not shove their heads through - they wont even get close to the wire fencing. They all seem to think all fence is hot. I like this product a great deal. The only problem I have found is the sagging. So I purchased some plastic hot tape poles and use them in the areas where the fence sags. What I love about it the most is it keeps the coyotes out. I put it over the area of the pasture where they coyotes travel. We have not lost a lamb yet. Interestingly enough I have five range ewes from Oregon who are staying temporarily on the farm, they come from a flock of 7000 where they were grazed on open range. They respect this fence as well.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Is your fence hot enough? Like BCxF, we haven't had any problems, and the sheep definitely know when the fence is off. I build my next paddock and lift the wires and the sheep go under, if the fence is on, they won't go near it, but if there is an interruption in power supply like during a storm or something, they will push the fence.

But if it's not working for you, it's not worth losing sheep. A friends fence would not work on her sheep until she installed a 6' ground rod, the spike type didn't do the trick...

off grid mama said...

I suspect it depends on how hot your fence is. We have a 15J Stafix. None of the animals like to tangle with it. I've had this happen before as well. Usually the lambs not usually adults. I've kept sheep behind 2 strands of aluminum. However, the main key is 'do they have enough to eat?' The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Aha moment, I just went out and measured my Premier Poultry Net and the top holes are about 3" x 5" which would make a huge difference. It's old though, and I am not sure if they current fencing they offer is that small.

Kev Alviti said...

We used to just use three stands of eletric fence but that was normally infront of a hedge which would act as a deterrant. We had some netting like yours but lost a lamb to it and I can't remember ever using it again.
Loving the blog

Carolyn said...

I just lost a 3 month old lamb to the same fence yesterday. It was our fault though -the fence was off (had forgot to turn it on for the day). It does scare me though and I'm wondering what other alternatives there might be for rotational grazing without permanent fence.

Vitality Pastures said...

I just lost a lamb today from the premier net fencing. Wish I would have known that sheep could die from the fence before I bought it. they should have some sort of warning