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Fencing for mob stock grazing question

 
Aaron Blackmor
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Deborah,

I'm ecstatic to see an experienced goat-hand featured! I'm relatively new to goats (~2 years) and we have four dairy does. My big question is how to mob-stock grace them most efficiently. I've tried using a Kencove 4' high fence that was sold as "goat fence" specifically, but mine can regularly jump clear over it. They were escaping our permanent paddocks too until I put a top "hot" wire at 5' and finally another one at 6' high! I never realized how nimble they are. What have you found works best for rotational grazing? And what about in forested areas? I have an area I would love to have them graze because of how much poison ivy, nettles, and privet grows there. And I know they're all great plants in their own respects; they're just not climax species by any stretch of the imagination! Thanks, and welcome to permies.com!

Aaron
 
Deborah Niemann
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Hi Aaron!

Goats are closely related to deer, which need an 8-foot fence to be kept in or out of an area! Luckily, most goats don't have that much desire to jump. We do rotate our goats through brushy areas, and we use the Premier ElectroNet, which isn't that tall. Your goats sound like my la manchas! They were jumpers! However, they loved their browse, so we were usually lucky that whenever we moved them to a really brushy area, they got so busy eating that they didn't think about jumping out. However, as soon as they were done eating, they'd jump. So, we just had to make sure they didn't run out of food in there. I'm sorry I don't have a better solution to your problem!

There do seem to be some goats that don't jump as much though. Only one of my ND doe lines seems to produce jumpers. A friend with Nubians was at my farm one day and saw one of my la mancha kids jumping up outside the Dutch door to my barn, and she was shocked because her goats don't jump at all. Good luck!
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 88
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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Hi I am looking at having a small number of male castrated goats, not for food but to continually clear weeds etc on 48 acres of woodland scrub, the property is 74 acres in total, next to a national park. I saw one comment on this site that said "Fencing: Goats must be trained to use electric fences - this takes a great deal of time and isn't always successful. " I realise I am going to have to be careful on the type of goats I get.. Not jumpers.. Even though I think they all do it. My question is .. Considering the vast area to fence.. And the cost!! What type of fencing should I put up? And how do you train a goat not to use electric fences? Thanks Giselle
 
Deborah Niemann
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Hi Giselle!

Most people use something like ElectroNet, which is temporary electric netting for moving goats around to clear brush. Most goats are not jumpers, and wethers would be more mellow than most because they don't have hormones. I also would recommend that you get ones that were dam-raised. As I mentioned in another post, kids that are bottle raised will view YOU as their herd and will be much harder to fence in than those that were raised by a goat mama and have a good herd instinct.

Training them to electric fencing just means hanging out with them to be sure they don't go through it or get tangled in it. So, grab a lawn chair and a glass of your favorite beverage and hang out with them for the first hour or so after you put them in there. If they look like they want to get out, walk over to where they are standing to discourage them from trying. Usually if they just touch their nose to the fence to check it out, they get shocked, and that's the end of that adventure.
 
Giselle Burningham
Posts: 88
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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Thank you for this... The training sounds fun.. For me. Not for the goats though. 😊 I will check out the net. Much appreciated.
 
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