We've tried 6 strand electrical with step in posts, but:

a) it was incredibly cumbersome to move every other day (wires tangle/step ins break/etc)

b) our two Nigerian Dwarf wethers respected it for about a week and then learned to hop over or wiggle under

Currently we have them in a 5 ft welded fence paddock with t-post supports and an electric strand to keep them from leaning and breaking the clips, but that's not a long term solution since we can't rotational graze.

We have a test flock of 2 katahdin ewes and 2 goat wethers, so it's not a huge issue yet. But we're adding to the flock in about a month, and really want to come up with a fencing solution.

Looking at the Gallagher Electronet (would have bought this to start, but none of our local shops carried electric netting), but worried the goats will still hop over. And fencing is so expensive, especially when it doesn't fix the issue!

Suggestions?

Tags: electric, electronet, fencing, gallagher, goats, sheep

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Do you have any other livestock (cows) or just sheep and goats?  Do you have any guardian dogs? Do you have a perimeter fence?

Currently we have Nigerian dwarfs, katahdins and poultry. We're considering adding alpacas and a Jersey next year, but at the moment we just have the sheep/goats/chickens.

LGD Great Pyr puppy is coming at the end of the month...we're planning on training him on the poultry since there are a large number of hawks in the area, and possibly using a llama with the sheep/goats if we see problems with them.

No perimeter fence at the moment, unfortunately. We managed to get a property with no outbuildings or fencing... :(

There are two ways to go about keeping in the sheep. Either have fencing that contains them or teach them to bond with other animals, such as cows, that you can easily contain.  If you had a perimeter fence then it wouldn't be such a big deal if they escaped, but that's not the case. 

I'd simply use netting if you can and move it around.  It's more of a psychological barrier than anything as the charge won't do anything, so don't even charge it. Just keep it tight which you can do by using step-in posts to support it at the corners.

Thanks! We haven't had any issue with the sheep, they've been great. It's the goats that are the issue. That whole "a fence that won't hold water, won't hold goats" has proved pretty true for our guys. They aren't even full size! But boy, can they jump.

I think Dusty's suggestion about bonding is a great one. I also want to give you a few ideas of my own.

What voltage are you getting from your electric fence? I'd recommend AT LEAST 8,000 volts, 10,000 is a lot better. Consistency is also key here. If the fence is always hot (at 10,000V) then I think you'd have better success with keeping them in. As far as perimeter fence, I'd suggest 6-8 strand of high tensile smooth electric wire with fiberglass posts. This type of fencing is physically strong, fast to put up, cheaper than many other types of perimeter fencing and most importantly, can be electrified. If you get a good New Zealand style fence charger (Stafix) the electricity consumption required to keep the fence hot will be low.

Back to temporary fencing, I have had success using a 3 Joule fence charger and a marine grade car battery. If you can hook up directly to the "grid" this will provide better reliability and voltage, but the marine grade battery can work. When a cow/sheep touches the fence you should hear a nice pop =D. Not that I'm cruel, but it gives me piece of mind to know that it's working correctly. Also, get a voltmeter that is designed for electric fence, one that goes up to 15,000 or 20,000 volts is ideal. I'd start with the Volt Meter and if your voltage is low (5,000V) I'd work on correcting that. Could be insufficient grounding or a line of poly wire that has grass or something on it. Expirment with driving the ground rods to different depths too.

Whew,

Hope that helps!

-Chris

Thanks Chris! I'll have to check the voltage, but we were getting a really good charge. Heard the POP with accompanying little spark several times on the goats, but they just seemed to weigh it against greener pastures. Don't think you're cruel at all -- we definitely enjoyed the zap, right up until it stopped working.

But I'll see if maybe it just wasn't a high enough voltage...once we get our sick sheep back on the mend. Always something right?

We have 5 sheep,  4 cows, geese, 2 goats and a donkey for predator protection.  We are building our sheep flock.  The  doe, a Nubian,  is a barn-pet and her offspring , crossed with Boer,are for the freezer. Once she dies, of old age I won't keep goats. My sheep, string trimmer and pick ax are easier methods of weed and bramble control.

We have 2 fields fenced with hi-tensile wire, 6 -8 strands (depending on the slope of the land, and 5 strands on the unelectrified field.

The electrified fence field is the only permanent fence that can hold the goats.  During the rotated pastureing seasons I manage them with electronet  fencing at the edges of the woods and field perimeters.  I also use hog/cattle panels for the side of the road without electric. We  fold the panels to 90' corner sections and clip together for a paddock for small section rotational grazing.  Really have to move this alot to keep them in.

After barnyard training to the electric fence the cows and sheep stay inside the hitensile fields-electricity or not electrified.

In the orchard and unfenced field I pound (shaley ground) in temparary posts and run 2 lines of electrified twine  as a perimeter fence .  On the interior  of these semi-permanent pastures I manage daily rotations with a strand of electric line.  Once bonded, the sheep stay inside the daily rotation with the cows and donkey. The new calves do range outside of the single strand and I herd them in as needed.

 

Thanks Lilac Hill! Goats really are a pain, aren't they? Our sheep would never try half the things they do if it weren't for the goats. I do think the key is moving them frequently, but the electric strand/step in post combo we were using is just such a pain to move. I think the next big purchase will be electronet, and then following that, a really good perimeter for their pastures.

Lilac Hill Farm said:

We have 5 sheep,  4 cows, geese, 2 goats and a donkey for predator protection.  We are building our sheep flock.  The  doe, a Nubian,  is a barn-pet and her offspring , crossed with Boer,are for the freezer. Once she dies, of old age I won't keep goats. My sheep, string trimmer and pick ax are easier methods of weed and bramble control.

We have 2 fields fenced with hi-tensile wire, 6 -8 strands (depending on the slope of the land, and 5 strands on the unelectrified field.

The electrified fence field is the only permanent fence that can hold the goats.  During the rotated pastureing seasons I manage them with electronet  fencing at the edges of the woods and field perimeters.  I also use hog/cattle panels for the side of the road without electric. We  fold the panels to 90' corner sections and clip together for a paddock for small section rotational grazing.  Really have to move this alot to keep them in.

After barnyard training to the electric fence the cows and sheep stay inside the hitensile fields-electricity or not electrified.

In the orchard and unfenced field I pound (shaley ground) in temparary posts and run 2 lines of electrified twine  as a perimeter fence .  On the interior  of these semi-permanent pastures I manage daily rotations with a strand of electric line.  Once bonded, the sheep stay inside the daily rotation with the cows and donkey. The new calves do range outside of the single strand and I herd them in as needed.

 

Hey From City to Farm,

I'd like to caution you about the electronet. I've used it and it works fine. However, In my opinion, it's much more difficult to move around and more labor intensive than the poly wire and set in posts. The electronet also comes in contact with the ground, and I've had the experience of it not working very well because any type of debris/grass can come in contact with the netting and weaken its voltage. This will also reduce your battery life(if your using one to power your fence charger) and put more of a strain on your fence charger. What step in posts are you using? What Joule of a fence charger do you have? What is the fence charger hooked up to, a battery or directly to an electrical system? Are you using a reel with the poly wire? I've found the reels from PowerFlex works well for me. Your fence also needs to be somewhat tight, not drooping. I hope I can help!

From City to Farm said:

Thanks Lilac Hill! Goats really are a pain, aren't they? Our sheep would never try half the things they do if it weren't for the goats. I do think the key is moving them frequently, but the electric strand/step in post combo we were using is just such a pain to move. I think the next big purchase will be electronet, and then following that, a really good perimeter for their pastures.

Lilac Hill Farm said:

We have 5 sheep,  4 cows, geese, 2 goats and a donkey for predator protection.  We are building our sheep flock.  The  doe, a Nubian,  is a barn-pet and her offspring , crossed with Boer,are for the freezer. Once she dies, of old age I won't keep goats. My sheep, string trimmer and pick ax are easier methods of weed and bramble control.

We have 2 fields fenced with hi-tensile wire, 6 -8 strands (depending on the slope of the land, and 5 strands on the unelectrified field.

The electrified fence field is the only permanent fence that can hold the goats.  During the rotated pastureing seasons I manage them with electronet  fencing at the edges of the woods and field perimeters.  I also use hog/cattle panels for the side of the road without electric. We  fold the panels to 90' corner sections and clip together for a paddock for small section rotational grazing.  Really have to move this alot to keep them in.

After barnyard training to the electric fence the cows and sheep stay inside the hitensile fields-electricity or not electrified.

In the orchard and unfenced field I pound (shaley ground) in temparary posts and run 2 lines of electrified twine  as a perimeter fence .  On the interior  of these semi-permanent pastures I manage daily rotations with a strand of electric line.  Once bonded, the sheep stay inside the daily rotation with the cows and donkey. The new calves do range outside of the single strand and I herd them in as needed.

 

I would spend the money on a good perimeter fence. Good and strong - horse high and hog tight! Goats to like to jump your buck will need to be kept with hog panels with electric wire if you want to keep him up. I would use electric fencing for the interior pastures. You will need a livestock guardian for the sheep & goats. If you get a breed of chicken who pays attention your chickens will be good. I have only lost 6 baby chicks over the past 5 years and we have red tail hawks that nest on our property. Chickens need a good place to run and duck into. Good luck with your fencing. Just remember a buck in rut is a real pain to keep up! :)

Thanks Laura! We have Red Comet hens and they've done really well thus far. The LGD will be in place at the end of the month, but he's a puppy...so it's going to take him some time to get up to par. :)

No intact male animals on our farm for now, well, except for the accidental rooster and he's been really good so far. He is only nasty when he needs to be, and he's a silkie mutt so it's more like a puffball hitting you than a rooster.

Definitely planning on a really nice woven perimeter, but one step at a time! If only, if only our place had come with good outbuildings and fencing - our life would be ever so much easier!

I'm rather surprised that goats have such a bad reputation for keeping fenced because we had just as much trouble with our sheep, although electric fencing did keep the sheep contained for about one month after shearing. After they got a little wool on them though, that insulated them from the fence, and they'd run through it just like the goats did. Woven wire keeps in our sheep and our Nigerian dwarf goats, but not all of the la mancha goats because some of them can jump the woven wire. Electronet by Premier keeps the sheep and the NDs contained, but again, a couple of the la mancha goats can jump it. And you absolutely MUST keep it hot at all times, otherwise the ND kids will just walk right though it. It also doesn't work for poultry because their feathers insulate them. But if you get the Poultry netting from Premier, that will work for them because the strands are close enough together. Don't use Poultry netting with goats though, because it has vertical strings instead of plastic struts like the Electronet, and I've heard of kids getting tangled up in it and dieing.

If you only have a couple of ND goats (four or less), you can put together four livestock panels (like pig panels but taller) and move it to fresh grass daily.

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