Two toddlers and a baby, preparing to start a new business, farm and family perpetually on the edge of chaos …. seems like a good time to try something new, right?? Suddenly we had the opportunity to purchase two Nigerian Dwarf bucks from a fried nearby, and we jumped on it. It isn’t the perfect time for us, but I mean, when is? Let’s do it! And while we’re at it, we just got this camera, let’s try starting our first homestead vlog!
What could go wrong?
So I grab an escaping toddler as he runs outside with us, start up the camera, and see what happens.
We hope both our does are already pregnant, so we aren’t worried about accidental breeding right now. Even so, eventually these new guys will need their own space. So we ordered a Premier 1 electric goat fence. Since we began looking into goats a few years ago, we heard many people say that the only way to contain goats is with electric fences. With two rowdy toddlers running around, we were a little hesitant. This seems like a good time to try out a small one, and plan a mobile goat pen!
Check out our first vlog to see why you should carefully introduce your animals to electric fences!
Let’s just say we all had the opportunity to see what our new electric fence feels like…
So maybe just throwing goats into a field surrounded by an electric netting that they’ve never seen wasn’t the best idea. Axel decided, as goats often do, that the grass just outside the fence was better than what was inside. When he tried to put his head through the fence to get to the “greener grass” he was rudely surprised by a shock. It continued as he charged through the fence, dragging it with him.
Now that we’ve had a chance to see our mistakes and think about things a little more, here are some quick tips for starting goats with electric fences:
1 – Make sure the electric fence is ALWAYS on.
At least when there is a chance that the goats may touch the fence, make sure it is ALWAYS hot. Always. Every time. They learn quickly – but goats are especially notorious for constantly pushing their boundaries. If they figure out they can escape, they will continue to try.
2 – Secure the fence.
Most electric fence netting systems come with polls that are easy to move from one place to another. This means you may need to watch out for sections of the fence that may be less secure. If a section of electric fence falls over, these goats won’t waste any time stepping right over it!
3 – Introduce goats to an electric fence in a controlled setting.
One way to introduce a goat to an electric fence is to hold on to the goat, and lead it to the fence slowly. Allow it to touch the fence, face first to be sure it sees what is going on. Learn from our mistake!! If the goat finds out that this thing will shock it while its head is halfway through the fence, it is likely to charge THROUGH the fence. Our goal is to make sure it runs AWAY from the fence after being shocked, and then keep its distance safely.
Keep in mind, if you are physically holding on to the animal when it is shocked, you will likely feel it as well!
4 – Be vigilant.
Over the next few days and weeks, the goats will continue to test their boundaries. Ok, so they will probably always do this to some degree. Depending on the personality of the goat, this may be a continuing issue, however these first days in a new fence are usually the most intense.