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Electric fencing for Nigerian Dwarf goats.

 
Hazel Reagan
Posts: 41
Location: SW Oregon Zone 8b
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I have Nigerian Dwarf goats and have set up some paddocks using 4' stock fencing. I want to put up some electric fencing in some other paddocks. How many strands of wire do I need, and at what spacing?
 
Alder Burns
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Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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You should be able to keep the goats in with only one strand, at nose height, if the goats are trained to respect electric fence. If they aren't , you will hardly be able to keep them in no matter how many wires you use. To train them, run the wire first along the inside of the physically fenced paddock, so that the goats will encounter the hot wire before hitting the physical fence. After a few good shocks, you should see them avoid the perimeter completely, rather than rubbing against the fence or trying to poke their noses through like they would an undefended physical fence. To be extra sure, and train them extra quickly, you can bait the wire. Put little tags of aluminum foil every ten feet or so along the electric wire. Daub peanut butter or jam or something else yummy on the tags. The critters will lick these and get a really good shock. Best be sure the ground is moist and the fencer well grounded for this project. It sounds cruel but it works! Incidentally the same technique will get deer to respect a single wire boundary for months, also....
 
Hazel Reagan
Posts: 41
Location: SW Oregon Zone 8b
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Wow, thanks for the great information. We only have one Doe that wants to be in my zone I garden now matter where her paddock is! She's constantly testing the fence and I think it will be great for. I also want to add pigs later so I'm glad I only need one strand of wire.
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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I have never personally worked with pigs but I hear they are the smartest of the common farm animals. Old-timers in Georgia said that pigs can smell if an electric wire is on or not, and they can learn to push dirt up against low wires to ground them out! So I'd be extra careful with pigs. From my own experience, a dairy cow will go on respecting a turned-off electric fence for two or three weeks, but the average goat will find out that it is off within a few hours.....Though this was before I knew about baiting the wire.....perhaps that would increase the lag time !
 
Hazel Reagan
Posts: 41
Location: SW Oregon Zone 8b
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Thanks again Alder. BTW, I met Isabel at the Frog Farm in Takilma. I grew up on a small family farm in Oregon and we had pigs, however I'm using different breeds. I will definately pay attention to the fence staying on for sure.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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my pigs respect the electric fence, even when it is off. The little ones sometimes go under, but the big ones won't touch it.

For goats, I had the best success with 3 wires. Bottom hot, middle negative, top hot. The top should be at their nose height.

Train them in a pen or closed pasture, and once they learn it, it is the best fence for goats.
 
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