Finding the right electric fence for goats can be a challenge. Inside our permanent pastures, we’re using Gallagher’s Smart Fence to sub-divide our pastures into paddocks. We use this fence to practice regenerative, rotational grazing practices on our farm.
The video above give a comprehensive overview on the fence and how we use it.
How the SmartFence works
But, here’s a quick run down on how it works. The SmartFence is an all-in-one fence system, which includes step-in-posts and four reels of polywire, all run with one gear handle.
Here’s how I use in on our farm with our goats:
1️⃣: Set up a semi-permanent fence down the center of the pasture using two strands (yes TWO!!) of poly wire with step-in posts and using t-posts at the end and in spots where more strength may be needed (we aren’t totally flat). This center fence started and ends with a fairly large distance to the perimeter fence, allowing us to create a paddock or extend this fence with a portable fence in this space.
We keep this up all summer. I’ll do maintenance on it in the spring for the start of the next season. With our winters the step-in posts might last longer if they came out, but I keep them in.
2️⃣: Create paddocks with portable fencing. My preference in our permanent pastures is to use Gallagher’s Smart Fence to set up paddocks, running one fence from the permanent fence to the semi-permanent fence. By keeping the SmartFence straight and avoiding turns, it seems to handle better during setup and takedown.
I use jumpers to connect all sides of the fence to the hot high tensile that is powered from the energizer in our barn.
3️⃣: For each new paddock, I simply set up another fence, open the back fence to let the goats through, move the pasture shelters, mineral, and water tank to the new paddock. Close the back fence. Then take down the old back fence. Keep repeating.
Always remember to train your goats
Like all electric fence options, it’s important to train goats, or any livestock for that matter, to the electric fence. The fence is only as good as the training. After that, make sure there’s always enough to eat the paddock, and rehome any troublemakers who keep getting out. They will teach other goats their bad habits.
Let me know in the comments if you have other questions about this system.