Question: Should an LGD be in the portable electric netting with the animals or outside of it roaming? What if you have 2 nets set up?
I am setting up a paddock shifting program with goats (only 4 at the moment) in one net (~160ft long or a 40'x40' space) and chickens (~40) and pigs (ranging from 1-3 at the moment) in another space the same size. The chicken/pigs follow the goats moving 1 or 2 times per week. Originally I wanted them all in the same multi-species grazing (MSG) paddock, but I had a "haves and have not" problem with goats spending all their time trying to eat the chicken and pig food instead of grazing the brush like they were supposed to. As for predators, I have not had any issues yet, but neighbors have lost animals to mountain lions and I've seen coyotes. As I got more animals I would double the paddock size to 80'x80'.
Although I would prefer the LGD's not to roam (or bark) too much, would they be happy inside the netting or would the by upset if they were out of it and not able to get the animals they were protecting? Which paddock would I put them in or would I need a dog for each paddock and anothr for the perimeter? And if the 2 dogs are trapped in the the fencing they would not be able to help the outside dog in an attack.
They're consensus seemed to be in the end that most dogs figure out how to jump the electric net at some point. I don't have personal experience with this but this is what I had assumed would be the case. Hope that helps, someone on there mentions liking having the dog inside unless the space was very small I thought that was a good response. I still think most dogs could jump some pretty high netting though, anyhow good luck and hopefully someone with more experience has a more solid answer.
What kind of LGD do you have? Do you have a perimeter fence?
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posted 4 years ago
@ Daniel - Thanks for the link. Some people had luck with the dogs jumping the fence and others did not - I wonder if it was the size of the dog, the height of the electric netting, or a combination there of. I have a 48" netting. I was debating some sort of platform they could use to jump over, but the goats could not? - it starts to sound complicated and goes against my laziness principles.
@ CJ - I have no dogs yet - I have been doing this for about 6 months and still getting set up. I was eyeing some Maremma's - I have heard they wander less and (along with Pyrenees) are better with poultry than some other LGDs. There seems to be cross breed working LGDs pups for sale on the local craigslist (SF bay area), but few with poultry and none are cheap. I don't see it mentioned much, but I assume the dogs will also watch the pigs. I do not have a perimeter fence yet - and it may be a year or more before I plant a living fence and a few more years before it is effective. (I just did the math 20 acres = ~4,000 LF @ 2 rows of trees at 9" spacing = > 10,000 trees! - this is rough terrain, too, but I think a discussion for a different thread).