Mar 26, 2015

Electric Fence for my Nigerian Dwarf Goats

I've heard that a lot of people have had issues with electric fences when it comes to keeping in Nigerian Dwarf goats. Therefore, I wanted to make sure it worked for my goats before posting anything about it. I have had goats in this set-up for almost a year. It currently holds in three adult does and one nine week old doeling. I would also like to mention that there are no bucks on my property and that may be a big part of why my electric fence works. All of my goats have never been around an electric fence so of course they did test it. It has 6 strands of wire, almost 4' high.

When bringing in a new goat, we make sure we walk her around the inside perimeter with a leash and wait for her to hit the fence a few times. If they've never seen a fence they will usually try to sniff it. I've read of people putting peanut butter on the wire but I think that's kind of mean and I have the time to wait anyway. We do have an attempted escape every now and then; one of them went through the fence a few weeks ago as I was walking by with a bucket of grain for the other goats. I would say a breakout every 3-4 months does happen but there is usually an obvious reason why it happens and I'm always there to put them back in.

Would I use electric again? Absolutely! I have an extremely slopey yard and I can't even imagine fudging with field fence on my property. Trying to wrap my head around the whole wire setup initially was the hardest part. The wire can't touch anything that isn't plastic or metal which then connects the other wires. Okay! It has to make a complete loop. Got it! There has to be at least 3 - 6' grounding rods, hammered into the ground, first one located within 8' of the charger. Easy enough! If you're not putting electric wire across your gate, it has to go over or under the gate, if under it has to be insulated. Wait what? Yes, it can be confusing, but once it's all finished, you'll think "ehh, that was easy!"

For my charger I use a: Zareba Red Snap'r 66C AC Powered Solid State 15 Mile Fence Charger
I made my charger box out of scrap wood and extra hinges in about 10 minutes. The black wire is just insulated wire, this is also buried beneath my gate to connect the wires on the other side. I don't see why using insulated wires between the fence lines would matter, this was just what the instructions I was following said to use.
If you get a lot of snow, you'll want to install Mini Knife Switch. They're cheap and pretty handy- If snow accumulates above the bottom wire, it will drain the charge. Put one on each side of your gate so you can turn off the bottom couple wires.
I used reclaimed posts that I got for free. It's best to use set up an "H" brace, but mine are doing pretty well as is.
My spacing from ground - 6", 6", 6", 7", 10", 12", which is just shy of 4'.