escape proof your goat fence
If you want to be sure your goats stay in your pasture, you will need to do a bit of maintenance. And the most important is, trimming the fence line. Another tip to use in your goat fencing setup.
When researching goat fence ideas, doing what you can to ensure your setup holds up is important.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting a phone call from a neighbor letting you know your buck is out again. This tends to happen every spring for some reason. Things tend to happen that are out of the norm whenever the weather starts to warm up.
If you have a homestead, I am sure you understand entirely.
My to-do list in the spring is quite impressive and not in a good way. Hubby and I have so many things that need to be done we prefer to make a 6-9 month game plan listing items by month.
This plan is my secret to keeping my sanity in check.
READ: PLANNING PROJECTS ON THE HOMESTEAD
So after the 3rd call regarding our roaming buck who swears the grass really IS greener on the other side of his fence, I knew it was time for a fence inspection to find out just what was up.
When you have livestock on your homestead, this is an important chore that simply should not ever be overlooked. We had no idea how important this chore was until we began having goat buck escaping issues.
Fence inspection is just exactly what it sounds like. You take a few minutes every few weeks or month to walk your entire goat fence line inspecting it for holes, breaks, or other interference.
That day when Hubby and I did our very first fence inspection, we found not one but several breaks in our fence, causing the electric current to be weak and in some spots, completely nonexistent.
The biggest culprit we found was the grass and how much it had grown up. It was actually higher than the fence and because of that caused some pretty major interruptions.
Now, each month we make a point to mow down and trim all the grass around the goat fence line do a quality fence inspection at the same time.
This may sound like an obvious and even simple task, but when I first started out I did not realize 2 major things.
First, if you do not trim the grass around the base of your electric fence, it grounds out and will be completely useless keeping anything in a pasture, let alone a determined 180-pound buck.
Second, trimming a goat fence line, especially when you have quite a bit of fence, is at least a day-long task.
My advice? Enlist some help.
escape proof your goat fence
Let’s take a look at the two most common electric fencing options for goats and what you can do to ensure the current stays strong.
Electric Net Goat Fencing
Electric fence netting is a woven prefabricated, portable fence that you can purchase in sections that are around 160 feet or longer. They can be hooked together to fence in a secure grazing area for your goat herd.
If you use electric netting fence, you will need to move the fence off the line so you can cut the grass more easily.
One of the perks of netting is you can move it quickly and quite easily. Pasture rotation is a breeze with this fence and I encourage you to check it out.
Our fence netting was purchased from Premier One but you can find the same fence at the same price from Amazon. I love this fence so much that I now have 4 of them, including one for my chickens.
Poultry netting is the only thing I have found that will safely keep my chickens inside where they belong.
It also works well, keeping out daytime predators, allowing our flock to range in a bigger area safely.
Once the fend is moved out of the way, mow a 5-10 foot ease way along the path of your fence line. Try to take the grass down as low as you can.
We like to make a wide ease way when mowing to give our goats a pathway to walk down when moving around the pasture.
I now even go so far as to mow a border around our shade trees and a few paths through the pasture.
The paths are perfect for my goat kids, they tend to get lost rather quickly in the tall grass so the paths help them stay closer to the herd.
Mow the grass LOW. Remember the lower it is, the less you will have to do it. We take it down as low as our mower deck will go.
Put the fence netting back up. As you replace your fence, take the time to check the condition of your netting as you go. This is a really good habit to get into.
I always try to stay one step ahead of my goats, if there is a tear I would rather find it myself than have them make me aware of it by getting out and into the neighbor’s garden.
Let me just jump in here quick to say, if you are brand new to homesteading and just thinking about getting animals this may all be alien to you. Read my post on Goat Fencing 101 to learn the different types of fencing and the pros and cons of each.
High Tensile Fencing
Another fence option is high-tensile. This is a permanent option but one that works great if you have a collection of different animals on your homestead.
Mow down what you can reach. This is the easiest way to get rid of most of the grass and weeds, but be careful. We have done damage to our lower wire by not paying attention.
Also, it is better to mow the grass on your fence line from both sides. Again, you will want to do a wide path for your goats and yourself to use.
Weed wack the grass under the lowest wire all the way to the dirt. We do this because it reduces the frequency we need to do this chore.
Check the condition of your goat line fence. Again, staying on top of things on a homestead is a good thing. You can find issues and correct them before they become full-blown problems.
I know this is an obvious chore, but it is an important one that you do not want to postpone. The purpose of an electrified fence is to not only keep your herd in but to keep predators out. Keep this chore on your routine list, so your fence is able to do the job effectively.
It can be easy to overlook the obvious and before you know it you have a huge problem on your hands. Get goat fence line trimming on your monthly to-do list so it is a task and not a day-long chore.