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1-Strand Sheep Fencing – How We Made It Work For Our Operation

By   /  August 26, 2019  /  13 Comments

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When we bought our first flock of sheep 16 years ago we had 12 leased farms and were being overrun w
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About the author

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Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1400 acres of leased land that includes 11 farms. Their successful custom grazing business is founded on holistic, high-density, planned grazing. They run cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, stockers, a hair sheep flock, a goat herd, and Tamworth pigs. They also direct market grass-fed beef, lamb and pork. Greg's popularity as a speaker and author comes from his willingness to describe how anyone can use his grazing techniques to create lush forage, a sustainable environment and a successful business.

13 Comments

  1. Jessica Spencer says:

    Do you ever strip graze with lambs at side or does this work for only mature animals? I would imagine lambs would just duck under the wire? We currently use electronet to graze but it is very pricey.

    • Greg Judy says:

      We used this single wire rotation in lambing season and moved them forward every day with it. The lambs stayed with their mothers. Now that the lambs are mostly grown, they have grown up with respect for the single wire fence. It really is amazing, they could easily duck under the wire or hop over it if they wanted to. We do not let our sheep get hungry which helps in their behavior of not getting out.

  2. Paul Turner says:

    I ran meat goats with a single hot wire 10 inches high under my 3 and 4 barbed wire cattle fence. The goats were born on a hot pasture. You fry them when they are little and they respect the fence. I brought in some outside goats and they flowed through my fence like water. What a wreck!

  3. Jared Blankenship says:

    What is the approximate height of the single wire?

  4. Jacob says:

    At what height do you run your single strand wire?

  5. Emily Macdonald says:

    Great to see an article about sheep!
    I wasn’t clear from the article how you are handling water and shelter in the strip grazing system. Could you tell us more about that?

    • Greg Judy says:

      We use ponds mostly on the sheep paddocks. We actually start the fence about 1 foot out in the water and run the single polybraid paddock out from the pond. Each pond may have 5-6 paddocks feeding off of that one pond. Our sheep do not use shelters. They are much healthier outside.

      • Kat says:

        About how many head of sheep are you running like this? I have a significantly smaller farm – and smaller flock (only 5 head on 2 heavily wooded acres) and I’m trying to figure out paddock sizes for rotational grazing. My farm is permanently perimeter fenced and they presently roam all of it, so escape isn’t a huge deal, but I’d still like to consider rotating them to put more pressure on my thick brush and keep them off where I seed new pasture behind them.

    • Greg Judy says:

      We constuct temporary paddocks in a wagon wheel design out from our ponds. Our sheep use our woods and cedar thickets for shelter in adverse weather.

  6. OogieM says:

    2 Questions:

    1. Have you ever done that with horned sheep?

    2. How do you handle your rams in a pasture situation?

    • Greg Judy says:

      Yes, some of our sheep have horns, no problems with them staying in behind one wire.

      Our rams are also broke to one single polybraid. The rams are 2 miles from our ewes. I do not think the single wire would hold a ram if he heard or smelled a ewe!

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