Cheapest way to keep sheep out of fields

Joined
14 August 2006
Messages
636
Summary: Does anyone have any suggestions for cheap, horse safe sheep proof fencing?

There is a herd of approx 50 sheep which I believe belong to a local farmer which are regularly breaking into my fields. I’ve left it a year in hopes that I can find out who they belong to or their owners will do something to contain them, but it’s now got ridiculous - out of grass in all my fields despite 2 officially being rested, and my fences and walls are getting increasingly damaged.
I can’t catch the sheep, and defra aren’t interested despite my suspicion that they are untagged.

Im therefore unfortunately in the position of concluding my 3 strand electric rope (which is great for my horses) is not sufficient and I need something to keep the bl**dy sheep out. The border fence i need to upgrade is c.800m long, so before I spend a fortune on sheep wire (which I hate in horse fields for risk of getting a leg stuck) does anyone have any better suggestions for cheap, horse safe sheep proof fencing?
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
44,875
Location
Cambridge
There is horse sized sheep fence that would still work? Though if she’d still a chance of shoes getting stuck.

Otherwise several low lines of electric wire will usually do the job.
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
5,830
Location
suffolk
could you run 3 low lines of electric fence on the other side to the horses, in the farmers own field so your horses wont be able to get caught in it...then if farmer complains you can explain why...is there no grass in the sheeps own field, are they thin? if so report to RSPCA...
 

blitznbobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 June 2010
Messages
3,985
Location
Cheshire
Tell the farmer to keep them off your land... it’s his responsibility not yours and send him an invoice for 100 quid every time they stray to ‘reseed’ the effected area. He will either comply or you end up with enough invoices to revenue the field.
 

twiggy2

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 July 2013
Messages
7,748
Location
essex
could you run 3 low lines of electric fence on the other side to the horses, in the farmers own field so your horses wont be able to get caught in it...then if farmer complains you can explain why...is there no grass in the sheeps own field, are they thin? if so report to RSPCA...
Electric fence is not very effective for sheep due to their thick wool
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
16,513
Cheapest? Shoot them.


Seriously, you either need to fence your own fields with sheep netting topped with barbed wire a metre inside the wall, to stop them climbing the wall to scale the fence, or tell the farmer you are going to leave food with copper in it on free access in the fields.

Showing him the spec of these should do the job, you will see that they sell a copper free sheep version, because copper is very toxic to sheep.

http://www.solsel.com/products/mineral-lick-blocks-with-copper/

Sadly, my experience is that if you keep feeding his sheep for him, he will continue to let you.

My sympathies, I've had to fence sheep out of my land, it's incredibly annoying!
 
Last edited:

pippixox

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 April 2013
Messages
1,709
I feel your pain. I had months of sheep in my field after they temporarily were renting the fields next door. The fencing they added to the horse fields to ‘contain’ them did not work and we spent most days phoning landlord to get them to catch their sheep. Police got involved at one point as they got on the busy road next to my field (as my field is only horse proof!) they haven’t come back this winter thankfully!

The only thing I can say really works is stock fencing. We do have some ‘x-fence’ along one edge of the field that is the right size to be safe for horses (went for it to avoid chewed fence rails) but it isnt cheap.

I agree with invoicing! But I can’t help but feel as they let this happen for so long they will just ignore
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
9,577
It is the owner's responsibility to fence their own livestock in. However, as you have found it can be easier said than done. Maybe the land is rented out to the owner of the sheep.
How about contacting the local NFU branch to ask them for advice, and ask in the local shop or pub who owns the sheep/field. It is a huge nuisance if animals keep breaking out. You can get electric sheep netting, but really it shouldn't be your expense.
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
44,875
Location
Cambridge
Not sure if you've met Swaledales and Herdwicks Ester 😂😭
We had herdwicks here 2 years ago, they were sold on quick, other than the couple who couldn't be sold at that point and they are guaranteed the rabble rowsers! They'd gone to buy a different breed but there weren't any. One old lady in the village was very excited when they turned up though and bagsied a couple of fleeces asap!

The suffolks/mules are much better behaved and three strands of elec is routine round here (though if they do go through that they are likely to find themselves in a ditch :p, a wet sheep is bloody heavy).
 
Joined
26 July 2010
Messages
1,680
Location
Wimborne
We had a problem last winter, the sheep happily walked through any electric fencing we tried, and took it all down in the process. We were in a large field, sheep and cows were supposed to be one side, horses t'other. Had to move the horses somewhere else in the end. Don't know the solution, but save your money for something else, and don't spend any more on leccy fencing!
 

MagicMelon

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 November 2004
Messages
14,672
Location
North East Scotland
I had my next door farmers sheep come into my field, he then stuck up livestock fencing along one particular bit which his cows had damaged last year - its really annoyed me as livestock fencing is so dangerous with horses so now Ive made a point of putting up electric tape across that corner of my field as I cant let my horses near it (hoping he'll notice... but I dont think he will...). I want him to actually fix the fence properly (cows water trough is other side and they'd eaten away at the ground on their side coming onto mine meaning the fence posts are literally now hanging in mid-air...). It's hard though as I want to keep on good terms with him so not sure how to branch it!

I think if I were you, I'd put a low line of electric tape between one of your wires at the height the sheep come in at? Then its not sticking out for your horses to get stuck in it. I'd also stick up a sign for the farmer tellng him to sort it out ASAP! Have you really never seen someone checking on the sheep to approach?

Im another who had a brilliant sheep-eating native (dartmoor), she was fantastic at running at them. Sadly she's now away on loan and my other two (non natives) are useless and they even merrily shared their buckets of hard feed on one occassion with these rogue sheep!
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
21,764
Location
W. Yorks
Please don't encourage the horses to chase the sheep, you could be left with carnage. Some horses have been known to kill sheep. Although that might gradually solve your problem it will be horrible to deal with and tbh, sheep are unlikely to think that because one of their number was harmed by a horse, they ought to stay away.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,769
Location
Ireland
Sheep wire the side you need to, then you can always have a strand of electric tape on the inside to keep horse away from wire?
Then send the invoice to the farmer (not expecting it to get paid though...) and see what happens.

We have sheep wire for fencing in one of the fields and haven’t had any issues with shoes, even when horse decided to go for a walk in nearby field, neatly stepping over the wire which had fallen due to a tree that had fallen. Quite impressive for a big horse!
It needs to be done to correct tense though
 
Top