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Constructing a round pen? Inexpensively?

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Any suggestions on how to inexpensively construct a round pen? About 50-60 feet in diameter?

 

I am hoping not to have a budget buster, and was thinking that I would prefer to use some sort of panels so that I could take it down if I didn't need it for a while. (although that is not a requirement. I could deal with making one by sinking posts in the ground.)

 

The two I have seen that I liked the best:

One had wood posts in the ground about every 8 feet and used 16' heavy wire grid panels (commonly called cattle panels here) to span between the posts. The grid spacing was about 3 or 4 inches.

 

The other one was constructed of heavy duty metal tubing and might properly be sold as a gate. It was about 12 feet long and a 2" by 4" wire fencing was wired to the tubing to prevent sheep from slipping between the horizontal tubing (spaced about 1 foot apart). These panels were supported and stabilized in the ground by metal posts.

 

I was thinking of the second design because I could remove the metal stabilizing posts and deconstruct the panels if I didn't need the pen for a while. But this design would cost me about $1000. (unless I could find some used panels).

 

Maybe I am 'overbuilding', but I have seen some dog/sheep interactions in the round pen where the sheep or dog quite forcefully met the fencing. It would have to stand up to that. [Hopefully that scenario wouldn't happen too often,]

 

Open to suggestions and discussion. Thanks in advance.

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I made one using cattle panels and t-posts, specifically for a Jack Knox clinic. We put it in a corner where the existing fence also provided stability and used coated wire to attach panels to posts so it could be readily undone. We had posts every 8 feet and made sure that no panel ends were exposed to catch anything. One side of the corner we used already had a gate, and we added another gate partway around. We did sink wood posts for that gate. Four or five of us put the whole thing up in an afternoon.

 

J.

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Thanks Julie. Just to be sure - the cattle panels you used were the ones from TSC that cost about $20 and are about a 4 inch grid, 16 feet long and 4 or 5 feet high?

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I constructed mine out of cattle panels and T-posts. I like cattle panels as I can put them up myself, and its also easy to take down and move. I also purchased T-post caps as an added safety measure.

 

 

Samantha

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Have you seen the wire panel connector hinges that Premier sells? They're great for connecting a couple of cattle panels - much less risk of anyone getting hurt by sharp edges/corners. A snap to install or remove. I've got some that I've used to attach a couple of cattle panels to my woven wire fencing so as to block a stock tank from small lambs that would doubtless otherwise try to drown themselves. (I've also got some that are part of the hauler that fits in the back of my pickup - poor man's livestock trailer, easy to assemble/deconstruct, and always 1001 uses for the panels between trips hauling sheep/lambs).

 

https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/wire-panel-connector-hinge

 

You could fashion a gate out of a cattle panel, one of these, plus a couple of carabiners. I'm with the others - I think T-posts should be fine for support.

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Maybe I am 'overbuilding', but I have seen some dog/sheep interactions in the round pen where the sheep or dog quite forcefully met the fencing. It would have to stand up to that. [Hopefully that scenario wouldn't happen too often,]

 

Actually, there's something to be said for 'underbuilding' a round pen. As you say, sheep can meet the fence forcefully when a young dog is just starting out. I built a pen with wood posts and cattle panels that looks very spiffy, but at a clinic held here a number of years ago one of the entered dogs ran a sheep into the fence, which broke its neck. I have another round pen, made of t-posts with woven wire field fence clipped to them (regular tube gate and wooden posts for the gate). It looks saggy and baggy by comparison, but the fencing has enough "give" to it that the same sheep would probably not have been injured at all. That's the pen I use now for beginner dogs.

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If you do use cattle panels (or anything similar), make sure you construct it to avoid animals getting cut by the sharp ends - they can slice a dog or sheep (or person) like a knife.

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I have started using rolls of weed block fabric (or tall silt fence fabric) on cattle panel pens to make them look solid to the sheep and cover sharp ends.

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Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. I am glad to be put on the correct path (build a more flexible round pen, not a bomb-proof pen) - not only for the safety of the animals, but also it appears to be cheaper than the original direction I was headed.

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Back in the day my round pen was built with T-posts and wooden snow fencing. Dunno how long it would have lasted, but I know Ethel Conrad's training pen was constructed the same way and got a lot of hard use at least twice a year for training clinics and held up for quite a few years. Another inexpensive option.

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Not really inexpensive, but versatile; we just bought a round pen for horse training. Ten panels and a gate, that connect with a simple eye/steel rod system.

It holds sheep (not lambs), I plan to use it when starting Peli. Might tie some netting to the panels.

It is not as big as I would have liked, but I can always buy some extra panels to expand if I deem that necessary. Hopefully I won't have to use it that much with him. This weekend we will be fencing off a 2.3 ha field that will be his training ground.

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