Training Goats to an Electric Netting Fence
Why an Electric Goat Fence May Be Your Best OptionPromoted by Live Wire Products, LLC
Reading Time: 5 minutes
By Tracy Shugerts
An electric netting fence is the best fencing for goats in terms of portability. And it doesn’t take long to train your animals for the electric goat fence. Here’s how to do it.
In today’s world of modern homesteading, many young families look into adding goats to their home — and that is something I love to hear.
Goats are some of the most wonderful, quirky, and rewarding creatures, but like any animal, they come with challenges. As long as you are prepared before they arrive, the adjustment will be much more enjoyable for both you and them.
Potential owners often ask about goat fencing. Goats can be pretty impressive escape artists. With their love of climbing, this should be no surprise. Give a goat a mountain, and they will most definitely climb it.
Choose a fence that will keep your goats where you want them but also keep dangerous predators out.
My favorite fence for all my goats is an electric netting fence. It is easy to set up and move, is surprisingly effective, and training on it is typically a breeze.
Electric netting fence is a woven fence that consists of panels separated by insulated stakes. These stakes have one or two prongs that are easily pushed into the ground with your foot or hand. Most electric netting fence gets power using a solar box and a grounding rod. You do not need a full sunny day to power your fence. An overcast sky will keep the fence working. The box stores power, keeping the fence hot even after dark.
This type of goat fencing is sturdy in almost all types of weather. Though it will stand up well in a strong wind and heavy storms, it is always a good idea to check your fence at least weekly by walking the line and adjusting where needed.
Note: This type of goat fencing does not work well in heavy snow.
How to Install Electric Fence for Goats
To train a herd of goats on electric fencing, you will need at least one of them to get shocked. If they know touching a fence results in a painful zap, they will be sure to avoid that fence. Before you begin training, get your fence set up and into place. Choose a spot for your solar electric fence box that is in full sun at all times, to ensure a strong current.
To ensure your fence has a solid current at all times, keep the base of the fence mowed down. We mow our base twice a month in spring and monthly as summer heats up. If you are using this fence in a weedy area, a weed-whacker will do the job well.
Once the fence is in place, unhook the solar box and bring your goats in one by one. You may want to have a second person inside the fence with the goats to make sure they stay back from until the fence is hot.
Once you move your goats, turn on your fence while you remain inside with your herd. This will help them establish that the inside area is safe. Walk the perimeter a few times to show them the boundaries. Goats are natural pack animals, and if you lead one goat, the rest will follow.
Respecting the Electric Netting Fence
The key with any electric goat fence is to train your goats to respect it. The unique design of the electric netting fence is hot all the way to the ground and targets the most sensitive spot on the animal: the nose. The woven nature encourages animals to touch it, giving them a shock when they do. Once shocked, an animal usually does not need to be shocked again. This keeps our animals in and predators out, allowing our herd to graze safely.
As the goats get used to their surroundings, they will explore. If they come close to the fence, do not chase them back. You actually want them to get zapped. I know it doesn’t sound like a loving goat owner, inflicting pain on their animals, but it is an important step, especially for the young kids.
They need to understand that the fence hurts to ensure they stay away from it. The shock doesn’t sting too badly. Trust me, I’ve done the legwork. It feels like a heavy long-lasting static shock. It’s enough to stop a goat in their tracks but not enough to hurt them.
The sting of the fence is also effective at predator protection. Keeping your goat electric fence hot at all times will deter outside animals from getting in even after dark. From small to large animals, as long as your fence is properly installed and maintained, your herd will remain safe.
The trick to training your goats effectively is to take your time with them. Do not ever force your goats up against the fence. Allow them to get there on their own time.
Usually, a curious goat will receive their first zap directly on their nose. Getting shocked in this sensitive area will help them understand that the fence is nothing to be messed with. Most goats only need the zap once. Goats are incredibly intelligent, and once they know … they really know.
Young goat kids may need more time to learn, and for that reason, you will want to watch them closely in the beginning. When training kids, stay next to the solar box. Sometimes when a young kid gets shocked, instead of jumping back, they dart forward. This can get them stuck in the fence netting, receiving a continuous shock. If you are close to the solar box, you can quickly turn it off and safely remove the kid. This is a rarity but something to keep in mind when training on an electric netting fence.
In rare cases, you may have a goat determined to run through the fence and escape. Either find a new way to contain this goat or find a new home altogether. Goats learn by example, and you do not want the herd learning to escape from your fence. Remember your goal is the safety of your animals and keeping them where you know they are safe at all times.
Once your goats are fully trained, you can open up a whole new world of lazy afternoons grazing in the sun. Which is fun for them and you as well.
Have you tried electric netting fence as goat fencing? Do you have tips to recommend? Let us know in the comments.