Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fencing goats

I am sure somewhere in the archives of this blog there are posts about our fencing situation with our goats. When we got our first two goats, Coffee and Tea, we had put up brand spanking new field fence attached to T posts. It worked quite well for them and only took a minor beating. So we thought we had done a good job of creating a contained space for the goats even though the cost was not cheap. Then our next 3 goats entered the scene and again the fence held well as the goats really didn't beat on it too much. About a year after the aquisition of Coffee and Tea we purchased Dolly, Izzy and Strawberry. We found out real quick that Dolly was a fence climber and climb she did. Dolly could climb field fence better than a cat can climb a tree and probably faster too! That poor fence really began to take a beating under her climbing tactics. The T-posts offered no resistance to the fence as it slid to the ground and crumpled more and more. We tried inserting wood posts with staples to give the fence more support and strength, but that didn't help much. The fence looked like one of those expensive swag curtains in between each post. So after spending all that money and all that time here we were off to the store to buy electric fencing materials and spend some more time. We wound up having to take the fence down, straighten it out, put it back up and then run 3 strands of electric wire around the inside. Now, the fence is safe from the goats. They don't touch it at all and it even cured Dolly the climbing queen. So from now on every fence that we redo around here will be hot wire. We just replaced the pallet fence at the bottom of the garden with 6 strand electric fence and I anticipate it working well. The goats now have a healthy respect for electric fencing. I think field fencing is great for goats until you get a climber and then all your money and all your hard work goes down the drain. It is bad enough that they will stand on the fence to reach the tree branches along the fenceline, but when they start climbing all the way over it doesn't last long before it is a 2 foot crumpled line of wire around what once was your goat pasture. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to re-fence the same areas over and over each and every year. So my recommendation for goats is electric fence. Get a charger that is stronger than you think you will need because goats have a tough hide and small chargers don't work with them. Run 6 strands of wire and set your fence up like it is supposed to be set up. Then with the exception of general maintenance and checking to make sure there are no shorts you should be fencing worry free for the most part. Blessings, Kat


J D Collins said...

I worked with a friend who kept hogs. I have seen a sow walking toward a charged fence and she was screaming, because she had hit it before. She walked right through that charged fence. Charged fencing works on some animals sometimes, other times not so much. Glad it worked with the goats.

Kat said...

Oh don't tell me that! That is the pasture that pigs will be going in this summer. HMMM! Time to think about beefing up that fence before the pigs get here. Thanks for the tip, Kat