I have to manage my paddocks by moving hurdles along each day especially during the winter when we are subject to parts of the paddocks flooding from high groundwater levels being near the river.
This presents some problems. I have two types of hurdles, both are metal. The smaller lighter hurdles don’t have much leeway when it comes to joining them up, you will see from these pictures the problem which was:
- A. The sheep would put their heads under the bottom rail and actually lift up the hurdle and unlatch the top, which made the hurdles unsafe,
- B. the sheep landed up with really scruffy necks from diving under the hurdle, so a solution had to be found, so for the tops which seem to pop out too easily, I simply purchased some garden ties that you use for roses and young trees. I cut this into the right lengths and tied the hurdles together at the top.
Bcause the sheep getting their heads underneath the lowest rail so I bought some feather edged wood and drilled a few holes in it at the top and cable tied it to the bottom rail – no problems at after that, maybe I don’t need the ties at the top now. See the pictures below.
Two different types of hurdle joining systems, the round ones are the best.
The next challenge were the lambs, in fact really just one of them would stick her head through the lower rails in taller hurdles which have completely different bar systems to the smaller hurdles, well she constantly got stuck and my patience was wearing thin. I had to cable tie some chicken wire along the hurdles, but now she is bigger I have taken that off now.
Featherboards attached to the hurdles with cable ties stop sheep from lifting them up which unhooks the links and plastic chickenwire stops the more stupid sheep getting their heads stuck.
In the summer, I simply divide the paddocks up with a row of hurdles, they graze the grass and I move them elsewhere. By the way if you do use some hurdles to divide across some land, don’t forget to zig zag them, then they are more stable then. See picture above.
Just wish I had big fields then I could move them around, but doing it this way my paddocks do get a rest as I rotate the grazing.
Since writing this I have purchased a further small parcel of land behind our cottage which is nearly as large (or small)! As my present paddock. This gives me much more leeway in rotating my sheep around giving the paddocks a rest from grazing.
Author: Marie Clarke