Friday, 27 April 2012

Feral Control Netting and Sheep at times Don't Mix

We've been creating a house yard progressively which has included replacing some of the old original fence. We are not sure who told us about it but we liked and decided to buy and install 'Stocksafe-T' as the hinged-joint netting around the yard. It is specifically designed to keep out feral animals including "wild dogs, pigs and wallabies" however for us we just liked the way it looked. The product falls within the Waratah brand range and is manufactured by One Steel. There are 3 different heights and configurations but the one we chose is referred to in the trade as '11/90/15' which basically means it has:

  • 11 horizontal/line wires with the gap between each being (from the bottom up) 5 cm between the first and second wires, 7.5 cm for the next 5 gaps, 10 cm for the next gap, and 12.5 cm for the top 3 gaps.
  • 90 cm total height from top to bottom
  • 15 cm picket spacings (gap) between the vertical wires
Here is a link to the brochure on the OneSteel website:

In 2008 when we were planning the construction of 7.5 km of fencing our fencing contractor went to particular trouble to tell us that the way he constructs fences was better than other contractors because he has the Star posts align with the vertical wires in the fence. When the Star posts are not aligned with the vertical wires it creates variable widths in the individual panel sections which can be of a size where sheep can get their heads stuck when trying to graze vegetation through the fence. To be truthful at the time we did not take a lot of notice as we'd never seen or heard of sheep getting their heads stuck in fencing.

Last month we had several instances where our pet lambs got their heads stuck in the panels of the '11/90/15' house yard fence. This is evident in the following photograph:
Fortunately for us and our pet lambs we were able to get the lambs out of their predicaments. From a behavioural perspective it was amazing how the lambs 'called out' when they saw us; alerting us to what was happening to them. We have subsequently made adjustments making it impossible for the lambs to get their heads through the fence in the locations where they were in trouble. We'll shortly replace all of the 'Stocksafe T' with standard sheep proof fencing.

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