Lambing season is upon us, which if you’re a sheep farmer means that keeping your animals in – and unwanted guests out – is more important than ever. In addition to this, the need to deter criminals as livestock thefts become increasingly common in the UK, and it’s definitely time to take control of your security.
When did you last update your field infrastructure? Take a look at your hedging, fencing, and field gates. Be honest - are they in good enough condition to successfully withstand another season of lambing, pasturing and the extremely unpredictable UK weather? Are they robust and secure enough to deter thieves? Perhaps your livestock keeps getting out, or uninvited dogs frequently stray off the footpath into your fields causing sheep scaring?
These considerations might sound like common sense, but they are too often overlooked. Sturdy and effective field security is not only vital for livestock welfare, it is the ultimate way to prevent losses on your farm, reduce costs and increase profitability. Your animals are your livelihood, after all.
And with various grants available to help offset the cost of new fencing and gates, now is a smart time to invest in your farm’s security.
Where to start
Fencing needs to be stable and fully in-tact. Following the stormy weather of winter, now is a good time to take thorough stock of all of your fencing, and get repairing or replacing if required, ready for the season.
Where you can, keep access options restricted with just one entrance to each field, and install a heavy duty, pressure treated wooden field gate such as this one. Or, for increased protection for young stock when lambing, install a meshed galvanized metal gate.
Has your woven wire stock fencing stretched or sagged?
We supply high tensile stock fencing, which is stronger, more durable, easier to erect and will not sag like the mild steel fence it replaces. It can be strained much tighter, requiring half the number of intermediate posts- saving both time and money. Also, whereas mild steel wire stretches with weathering, High Tensile wire has greater strength and elasticity to withstand weather conditions and animal impact without losing its shape or tension. In the long-term, this means reduced maintenance and further saving.
Is your old post and rail fencing in desperate need of updating?
This form of fencing is inexpensive yet sturdy, and straightforward to install. Make sure you buy pressure treated timber posts and rails to ensure longer life. Post and rail fencing won’t keep the lambs in (unless you install the rails close together), but it will help to deter intruders and criminals from accessing your fields with a vehicle.
Don’t forget to add a couple of rows of high tensile barbed wire along the top to help prevent your animals from weakening fences by leaning on them.
Lock the gates
Always keep your field gates bolted shut and secure them with inexpensive chains and padlocks. While criminals may well cut through them, it will help make access more difficult and take them longer to gain entry, which means there is more chance of someone seeing them. Also check chains and padlocks regularly for tampering.
Livestock theft requires a vehicle, so in fields that are especially vulnerable, you could consider adding timber bollards, hedges, mounds & ditches, or removable cattle grids to help hinder vehicle access. Also consider putting up high fencing or tall hedges and trees along busy roads.
So, now’s the time to take control – protect your animals from harm and your livelihood from losses; Replace that broken field gate, repair your fencing, renew your gateway ironmongery, and bolster a weak hedgerow perimeter with fences. And make sure you always keep your fences, gates and security measures maintained and in good repair.
Ultimately, your field security is a long-term investment – to help prevent losses and last long enough to pay for itself several times over – so it’s worth choosing a supplier with a good reputation.
Here at the Ruby Group, our reviews speak for themselves. We offer a range of fencing materials for your needs, from Timber Fence Rails, Fence & Gate Posts, to Wire Fencing, plus gate ironmongery, accessories and all the tools & materials you need to secure your fencing together. Our excellent customer care team are only a phone call away should you have any queries on your fencing needs.
If you have any questions about the construction or maintenance of your gates and fencing, give us a call on: 01409 231 763 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org