for people who love the littlest dairy goats
We used Premier's poultry netting-42 inches high--and while we now realize that this fencing is not ideal for goats and not really even intended for them, I was somewhat surprised to see just how resistant some of the goats became to it.
They stopped minding the shocks after a while and one of our does would take a running leap over it, even if it meant catching her foot on the top string and getting a shock that way. So if we were going to do it again, we would get the fence intended for goats, make sure it is at least 4 ft high, and get lots of extra poles (the white pvc poles aren't sturdy enough to stand up to a goat pushing against them).
As for the size of the holes, we did once have a kid get her head stuck inside a hole before she got shocked and then get tangled because of the shock. She was fine...and never did it again, but it was pretty scary for a moment as she couldn't get out and just kept getting shocks. We unplugged the fence and untangled her.
For us, welded wire ended up being a better choice, but obviously each setup and each goat is unique. Premier's fencing is very easy to set up and, though not right for us, they were very helpful when we were using their products.
We have about eight rolls of the ElectroNet, which is the one they suggested when I told them that we had goats. We also have woven wire, welded wire, livestock panels, and old-fashioned single-strand electric. We use them all in different places and for different situations, and not a single one is perfect for everything.
We mostly use the ElectroNet for rotational grazing with our bucks.
It allows them to graze in places that are not fenced as pasture, such as the front yard or the yard next to our house, so it really cuts down on the mowing we have to do, and it gives them clean pasture to graze. Overall, it works extremely well for the Nigerian boys. We used to have a la mancha that could jump it without even trying hard, but he also trampled and jumped the woven wire.
The key to using electric is training the goats to it. You need to be there when they're first exposed to it, so if they get tangled, you can shut it off and untangle them. Usually, that only happens with kids. Someone on here once said she heard of a kid getting tangled and getting strangled in it, but I don't think that could happen with the ElectroNet because it has vertical plastic struts, so it would seem *nearly* impossible for the horizontal to be long enough to wrap around a kid's neck. I've played with it and don't see how the horizontal wires could get wrapped around a kid's neck. Since hearing that, I always tell people not to use the nets with string struts (like poultry netting), because I could see it happening with that. Usually the first time we put kids out with it, every single one of them will touch it within about 15 minutes, and they never do it again.
Another very important thing is that you should never enclose animals with it unless it is powered up. Once they are able to go through it without getting shocked, they are more likely to try again and again.
We bought our first two rolls about five or six years ago, and we each year we get a couple more because we keep finding more and more uses for it. And last year when we needed a new charger, I called the folks at Premier, and they told me I needed one that cost about $100 less than what I was thinking when I looked at their catalog. I can't say enough good things about them. The people who own it have goats and sheep themselves, so they are very knowledgeable and train their staff well. They don't just try to sell you the most expensive thing -- they ask you about your particular situation before making a recommendation. I highly recommend calling them and talking to them, rather than just ordering off the website, especially when choosing the charger.
Thanks for all the great advice so far. We are going to build a permanent area for the goats and are going to use the netting for pasture rotation.
Have to agree Anna, dogs and electric fencing is never a good sound! One of ours walks an extra 25meters away from the fencing now!
I am thinking about acquiring some electric netting and wondered about using solar to keep it powered up.
Jan you will be fine with solar, it is what we use. Our solar fencer does a horse paddock pig paddock and the goats. Only thing we learnt was to make sure you have a back up battery, especially if you don't get sun for a few days in a row and you run it on high power.