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Using electronet fencing with goats

When we graze outside of our permanent pastures, it’s important we have a fence system we trust. That’s why we use electronet in our woods, fields and other areas that do not have existing fence.

– Leslie Svacina, farmer, Cylon Rolling Acres

The netted fence gives me piece of mind when rotationally grazing our goats and sheep for several reasons:

1. It is less permeable compared to a multi-strand set up, which means it’s less likely that a goat or sheep will get out of the energizer stops working or is grounded out. It also means that it’s less likely an predators will try to get through it or crawl under it. Of course, keeping it electrified will help with that, as well as using livestock guardians.

2. We’ve found it to be more durable with wildlife that moves through our woods. If a deer jumps the fence, it may knock down a post or break part of the top of the netting, but the whole fence doesn’t go down. In the past when we used polywire, often the wire would break or get pulled out, leaving a larger opening for livestock or guardian animals to get out, or predators to get in.

Working with the downsides of electronet fence

The downside of the fence is setting it up, taking it down, moving it and transporting it.

But, if you take your time to lay it down, fold it by the posts and tie it together at the posts, it can make the process and experience so much better. We also use a trailer where we’ll lay our fencing down flat, stacked, and it seems to help make moving the fence that much easier.

I wouldn’t recommend rolling the fence up, unless it’s already folded, tied and then you can roll it up. I wouldn’t roll it up unless I was storing for the season or needed to make room to transport it longer distances (such as off the farm or fields farther away).

Set up tips + energizer

Our net fences are typically run off its own energizer (Speedrite 600). Sometimes we will connect the fence to the hot wire on our existing permanent pasture fence. We get our fences from Premier 1 Fence in Iowa.

When I set up the fence, we will clear trails, brush or grass to minimize grounding out and making it easier to set up the fence. If it’s a pasture paddock, making a beat down path with our Gator tires does the job. If it’s the woods, we often will have to use the brush hog and/or the chain saw, especially if we haven’t grazed that area in the last year or at all.

Just like our other electric fence, it’s always important to fence train your goats to respect the fence and make sure they always have enough to eat in a paddock to avoid any issues of jumpers, animals getting caught or other problems.

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