Goat Fence: Project Complete!

The electric fencing around the top goat paddock is finally hooked up and working. Daphne and Lulu are learning what it means to live with a real fence! This project was completed none too soon, as Daphne had been escaping and had already totally trashed a young loquat tree in the orchard area. I was getting very sick of having to put her back in the goat paddock all the time!

The goats used to stick their necks through the fence as a matter of course, but have quickly learned that this is not a good idea. They do not like electric fences!

Kevin has been testing his ingenuity with the goat fence project. My Dad came over and helped tighten the existing wires of the fence, and roll out the new wires. Kevin devised some home-made insulators made out of old plastic irrigation tubing to stop the electric wires shorting out against the fence posts. These seem to be working very well, and have saved us a lot of money compared to buying ready-made insulators.

Satisfaction is 5000 volts running through your goat fence

It won’t win any beauty contests, but the goats are contained

Note from Kevin: If you do this, make your insulators longer than I did and strain your wire well.

The goats have been especially playful lately, despite not liking their new fence. Daphne loves to jump up onto the goat house in the top paddock. She capers around up there looking very pleased with herself. Lulu can’t (or won’t) jump up onto the goat house, but waits until Daphne gets down to start jumping at her and bunting. The two of them have mock goat fights, and tear around the paddock like mad creatures, doing twists and leaps and fancy stunts.

Daphne surveys the realm from the roof of the goat house; Lulu is jealous

We are glad we don’t have to put the wooden A-frame collars on the goats any more when they are in the top paddock. (They haven’t needed to wear them for a while in the lower paddock.) They are surely more comfortable without them, and it was a hassle for us to be taking them on and off all the time! We feed the goats on extra tree clippings (especially any privet that we clear out around the place), and weeds, prunings, and over-grown vegetables from the garden to supplement the forage in their paddocks. With these extra offerings, we hope they don’t suffer too much for having to stay in their paddock. Certainly, this arrangement is going to be much better for the little fruit trees we are hoping to plant.

8 Responses to “Goat Fence: Project Complete!”

  1. Ralph Corderoy says:

    Any chance of a picture of the home-made insulators?

  2. Kevin says:

    Hi Ralph,

    I’ve posted a picture of what I did. Unfortunately, the previous owner of our property didn’t wire this paddock for electric fences. You can see how the wire is run right through the metal standards. 😐

    I don’t know why they didn’t just do it properly the first time… Oh well.

    We’re making do: We ran two additional “hot” wires around the entire perimeter and just left the existing fence in place.


  3. Mike says:

    I have been told that you test a goat fence by filling up a 20 litre bucket of water. You take it to the fence and throw the water at the fence. If it goes through then it is not a goat fence 🙂

  4. Kevin says:

    HEHE, well, that Stafix fence unit is doing the trick for the moment. The little buggers don’t seem to learn though. They keep trying it out…

  5. Peter says:

    Dont push your luck feeding privet to goats. It is generally poisoness. Watch macrocarpa if you have it also. It might be wise to check out “Poisoness Plants of New Zealand” in your local library.

    regards Peter

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hi Peter,

    I’d read in my goat book that privet could be poisonous to goats, though the details on this were very vague. By the time I read the book, our goats had already demolished a good quantity of privet and seemed none the worse for it. Further research seemed to indicate that the poisoning affects the milk rather than the goat itself — so maybe that’s why it hasn’t been a problem at this stage. (I’ve since heard a number of anecdotes about goats eating privet with no problems, but I do continue to wonder.) It would be interesting to read what “Poisonous Plants of New Zealand” has to say on the matter. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll see if I can find it at the library.

    Eucalyptus is another one that I’m not sure about. The goat book says that it can be poisonous due to high prussic acid content, but gives information in another chapter that seems to limit the warning to the “young shoots of sugar gums.” When I tried looking this up on the internet, I found lots of anecdotes about how much goats enjoy eucalyptus. Ours certainly do! Still, like the privet, I try not to let them gobble it in massive quantities.

    Perhaps we should be more careful. Have you had any experience with goats and privet? I’d be really interested to hear about it.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Hilary says:

    I understand the thing with privet is that it is not poisonous to goats but will poison the milk. I don’t know if the milk will kill you (!!!) or just make you crook. I am steadily getting rid of the privet so my milking goat doesn’t browse it!

  8. Tanya says:

    Has anyone had any experience with goats and hemlock?? We have heaps of it in one paddock.