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Using Sheep and Goat Netting for Intensive Grazing

By   /  December 7, 2015  /  4 Comments

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Dave Scott's Sheep RanchDave Scott and his wife own and operate Montana Highland Lamb (Home Grown and Happy) in Whitehall, Montana. Dave is also a livestock specialist at ATTRA’s National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, Montana. In this video he puts on both hats at once and shares how he uses sheep and goat netting for management intensive grazing on his ranch.

Dave likes sheep netting because it keeps the sheep (or goats) in and the predators out. But to use netting well, you need a few of the tips that Dave shares here, like how to pick them up and transport them efficiently, how to tramp down the grass as you go to keep it from hitting and shorting the fence, and how to figure out how much area you can fence in with one net.

One of the nice things about watching him set up a fence is you can see how it will try your patience a bit with posts catching on netting or even accidentally looping around the step in part of the post which will ground out your fence. Being prepared can help you relax and go with the flow.

Its just under 6 minutes, and it’s time well spent if you’re going to work with this kind of fencing!

Here’s the link for tablet readers.

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About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

4 Comments

  1. Dave is spending a lot of time and extra steps laying out his net. When setting out the net, I set the first post and tie it off , I then unroll the net, pull it tight and set the last post. I then set the rest of the posts as I walk back to the start. This makes a tighter, straighter fence and requires less walking. A tight straight fence means animals are less likely to get tangled should the power fail. When rolling the net, fold it in half first. This will reduce the time spent rolling and will make a tighter roll which is less likely to get tangled.

    • cowboy Mike says:

      Good tips! I suspect from having watched some of Dave’s videos, he will appreciate the ideas. It seems like he like to be as efficient as possible.
      Happy trails, Mike

    • Dave Scott says:

      Thank you, Janet, for your observation and comment.You are right, it is one more trip back to the beginning of the net to push in the posts on the return trip. The reason that I do make the extra trip is to further beat down the grass path that the fence line will follow along in, thus reducing the grounding of the fence on the green grass. If the grass was not really tall, you would not have to do this.

      Perhaps it’s not clear. I fold the net up like an accordion and it requires only one trip to fold up. Although not perfect, it rolls up tight enough and usually tangling is not a problem. Just do what is easiest for you, I guess!
      Thanks, Dave

  2. Scott Remington says:

    Very good article and information to many. Thanks Kathy

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