Today we said goodbye at least for a while to our friends dog, Charlie. We were looking after said little yorky for Jen while she was in hospital, thankfully Jen is much better now and back at home and so is Charlie, but he has left a lasting impression on 4 of our chickens by grabbing them warmly by the throat and trying to stangle the life out of them. Charlie has when it comes to chickens and I am told cats, the targeting instincts of an excoset missile and the killing instinct of a trained assasin, but he is fantastic with the kids!
Charlie's one dog attempted extinction program for the chickens prompted me to think yet again about our fencing situation. Our three sheep Mutty, Little Man and his sister Little Girl are at present in their winter grazing which is well fenced. Although and let this be a warning to all if you buy sheep fencing, there is a right and a wrong way up. The little sqaures go at the bottom this stops the sheep sticking there heads through and getting stuck because the horns face backwards. However despite just before erecting the final 50 meters of the stuff a friend saying " I have had a terrible day, had to take all the sheep fence down because it was upsidedown etc." I have now realized that all 100 meters of my new sheep fence is UPSIDEDOWN and spend many a happy time extracting the sheep from the wire.
But back to the point about Charlie, despite the cost of good quality fencing being a never ending problem to us and I guess many a smallholder we will have to bite the bullet this year and properly fence the big field that we used the electric fencing on last year. As the electric stuff has about the same effect on the sheep when they have a good fleece as me shouting stop at them when they are striping all the bark of the neighbours prize trees, absolutly none at all. But good quality fencing properly erected ( yes I will have to redo the existing 100 meters in the summer, sorry Sue) keeps preditors out as well as the livstock in and as such is worth all the money and the effort.