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Pen and Gate Dimensions?


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#1 JaderBug

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:07 PM

Turns out I will be waiting until spring to bring sheep to my acreage, but I'm doing a lot of prep work now so the pasture/yards will be ready for sheep when they come.

I would like to build a handful of wooden drive gates as well as a pen, and I am wondering what people here would recommend for dimensions- how long by how tall? How many boards per panel? How wide to space them once they're done? I am planning on making a 6x6 pen, and I think I'd like to use 1x6 boards.

Thanks!

6173515141_99d8e158f0_z.jpg
Rachel, Rocko, Sasha, Jade, and Pepper
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#2 Debbie Meier

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 02:40 PM

Hi Rachel,


Ideally I like 6 foot long by 4 foot tall. We have picked up some really useful panels at consignment and farms sales in the area, most are from old hog barns or sheep barns. Last week we brought these home for $10.00 a two piece section that is hinged together:

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Five are 6 x 30" and two are 6 x 36", would prefer that they were 48" but as they are they work great for drive panels, y-chutes and maltise crosses and are easy to move and set up.

The next picture of the panels that we made up a few years back, they were salvaged from some 6' privacy fence sections that we picked up for $1 but occassionally I see them on Freecylce, two are 8 foot long and 4 are 6 foot long, all are 4 foot tall. The 8' long are not a sturdy as the 6', that extra 2 foot allows them to twist a bit. We have used these for trials and also demonstrations, have yet to have anything jump them, keep thinking that I'm going to get them painted, so that they don't get so heavy when they get wet.

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For training dogs to exhaust sheep properly from pens I prefer a 16' x 16' pen with a 10 or 12 foot gate on one side, that is what our holding pens are on our alley by the sheep barn, the alley is is 10 foot wide and is also a good size for helping a dog relax during up close work. The larger size also allows the sheep to relax a bit more too.

Deb
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#3 Pam Wolf

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 07:13 PM

I made some nice light weight pannels that are essentially free standing out o 1x4's and made the pannels 8 feet long and about 31/2 feet high. The pen has eye bolts so you can drop a bolt into them to make a quick pen set up. The pannels have bases which detach and allow the pannels to free stand (unless very windy-the a rebar post works well to hold them). They are light weight and easy to move, have 4 boards horizontally and fairly cheap. But if dogs are rough in their work, they will not hold up well.
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#4 Sue R

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 07:26 PM

If you are going to be working with lambs, make sure the gaps between the slats are not big enough to let the little critters slip out the back!
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#5 jomur

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 09:25 PM

Jaderbug

If you are going to build panels and a pen for trial/practise purposes,I would suggest that you make them to the regulation sizes.A regulation pen is 9 ft x 8 ft,the gate and back being 8 ft.It should have a 6 ft rope attached.I used screw eyes and reinforcing rods to join the pieces together..Although there is no regulation size for panels,they are usually 8 ft long.I have built two sets of panels /pen for the 2007 and 2010 national finals.I'll attach the plans for the pen if I can figure out how to do it.I made the pen and panels 4 ft high .This height fit well with the other dimensions.I used 2x4 corners and 1x6 for the horizontals and diagonals.Pine is lighest and cheapest.If you don't want to be continually painting them ,leave them to weather to a grey colour.

I couldn't figure out how to attach the plans.Send me your email address and I will email it.
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#6 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:46 AM

Those dimensions for a pen are from the ISDS which is typically followed by the USBCHA; however, the USBCHA does not specify the dimensions of pens for sanctioned trials. Local trial pens can be of any size. Smaller pens and more solid looking pens (fewer openings to see through) make penning more difficult which can be good for training purposes.

I used stake truck hardware to attach the panels of the pens I have built. I think I've always built pens that are 8' deep and 6' wide. The pen needs to be big enough to accomodate 3-5 sheep of the size being run (bigger area for big wool sheep smaller area for hair sheep).
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Smaller drive gates make it harder for you to see than what you'll find at most trials which is a good way to practice. Pallets make cheap gates for practice.

Mark

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#7 Laura L

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:49 PM

Those dimensions for a pen are from the ISDS which is typically followed by the USBCHA; however, the USBCHA does not specify the dimensions of pens for sanctioned trials. Local trial pens can be of any size. Smaller pens and more solid looking pens (fewer openings to see through) make penning more difficult which can be good for training purposes.
Mark


Thank you for saying that Mark, it irks me that people get so hung up on that 8 x 9 size. Good point about making it more challenging by having the sides be solid.
Laura
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#8 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 02:40 PM

If you search the sheepdog rules you will only find the 6' rope length is specified; pen dimensions are never indicated in our rules.
Then there is the overall question of which rules apply only to the finals and which rules apply to all sanctioned trials (when it its not called out in that specific rule).

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#9 Maja

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 02:26 AM

Mr. Mark,
The hardware pictures are great. I will try to get some. they open a whole new line of possibilities.

A bit off topic, but not entirely: I have habit of planting my feet somewhat apart when working sheep, and yesterday I saw a small (literally) disadvantage of having the smallest sheep breed in the world when half of the blasted flock decided to skedaddle between my legs instead going into the pen. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Maja

#10 Mark Billadeau

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 05:59 AM

Maja,

Try leaning down and with your arms block the "hole" between your legs. Above all, MOVE; penning is a team effort and you need to block your side of the pen gate.

Mark

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#11 Maja

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 06:12 AM

Mark,
Good idea, thank you. I think next time I will be ready for the little rascals :D. And team work it shall be!

Maja

#12 JaderBug

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:14 PM

Thanks for the help... sent this thread to my dad, he had a lot of fun building these, thinks he should go into business ;-)

Just wanted to share the results!

Pen:

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and the drive panels, which are not as big as they look in the picture:

Posted Image

6173515141_99d8e158f0_z.jpg
Rachel, Rocko, Sasha, Jade, and Pepper
Flickr Photostream JaderBug Photography
"All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
"It is from that time that the incurable disease known as 'Sheepdog Trialling' really began to get a hold on me
and it has continued in its acute form ever since." -H. Glyn Jones


#13 Cynthia P

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:30 PM

I just had my father in law make new panels for us. The pallets had finished their useful life! Inlaws are excellent!

#14 NCStarkey

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

What a terrific pen!!! Thanks for the photos!

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#15 juliepoudrier

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 05:36 PM

Wow, maybe he'd like to make me some, seeing as how he had so much fun? :P

J.

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#16 Smalahundur

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

Wow, that is a really beautiful pen!

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#17 Maja

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:31 AM

What a lovely pen!
Maja


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