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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm freaking out a little bit. One of our neighbors just popped into the office warning us that two stray bulls have been wondering the back 7 acres of our property (which we never see). She mentioned that a grey dog was chasing the bulls and that she's lost several goats to coyotes/predators since January. We never thought we'd have issues with this since we are still in a relatively residential area. We don't really put our goats away at night, we just let them go into their little lean-to on their own. Now I'm starting to worry that I'll have to improve on their barns, and my boss won't even add a 100 ft fence addition. Does anyone have any tips or advice to help keep predators away from my babies? :tears:
 

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The only thing I would say is a dog. A good guard dog.
 

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Peggy1689
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We have to keep our goats in pens because of all the predators out here. They have plenty of room to run around in the strong pens. My brother lost 7 kids to coyotes and put out snares and a trap, and that helped. Also, blue heeler and Great Pyrennes dogs help with the goats. Our blue heeler is worth his weight in gold!
 

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Peggy1689
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If you get a guardian dog, make sure that it is one that likes goats,and has parents that already herd. Sometimes ads are up at auction halls, rescue centers, and of course, 'word of mouth.' Good luck
 

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I have a very hot wire above my fence and on the outside of the fences about "sniffing" height for dogs and other predators. It is only on at night as the charger is so hot. I also have NiteGuard flashers on all the corner posts - and a few extras on the areas that face the woods and the river. Also some lights on at night in the same areas. So far we have kept everyone safe.
Our neighbor had two big guard dogs with his sheep - they hid when a cougar came around and killed 3. Our hot wire kept the cat out of our barn area -I know this because I heard it scream outside our house -sounded like a pain scream and I think it hit the hot wire sniffing around the fence before it jumped in. It is my constant worry.
 

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We have had a lot of problems with coyotes were we live. They come right up to the goat pen. We have a hot wire fence, but one coyote was attempting to climb over when I saw it. I'm crazy protective about my goats... So I went to Walmart and got a baby monitor and keep it in their pen. I can hear them at night if there is a problem. It has helped. Our dogs aren't good hearding breeds and we have to keep them in a pen. I have it by the goats and they bark if a perdator comes around. It is a constant battle that worries me. I understand what you are going through.
 

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www.wildheartsranch.org
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I've never heard of NiteGuard before, looks like cheap insurance if it works! Coyotes around here worry me.
 

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We have a lot of coyote pressure here in Central Florida (and bobcat and signs of bear, but I worry more about my beehives than goats with bear). Currently we do not live on our farm, so watching them overnight is impossible expect the times we camp out.

Our 10 acres is fenced with 7 strand smooth wire. We have a Speedrite 6000 hooked up to that.

Our goats are further enclosed in 1/2 acre of Premier 1 net fencing (pos/neg) with a Speedrite 3000.

We have had no issues - even trough kidding season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We don't live on our ranch either. It's actually a landscaping company and the owner bought a whole herd of goats (expecting them to be low maintenance) and now I'm one of the few people who actually care what happens to them. Our males are huge with big horns, so I don't worry about them quite as much, but most of my girls are pregnant (we just had our first set of twins yesterday!!) so I worry about them more. I'm thinking about that Nite Guard thing, which definitely seems worth a try.
 

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We have a lot of coyote pressure here in Central Florida (and bobcat and signs of bear, but I worry more about my beehives than goats with bear). Currently we do not live on our farm, so watching them overnight is impossible expect the times we camp out.

Our 10 acres is fenced with 7 strand smooth wire. We have a Speedrite 6000 hooked up to that.

Our goats are further enclosed in 1/2 acre of Premier 1 net fencing (pos/neg) with a Speedrite 3000.

We have had no issues - even trough kidding season.
Your 7 strand smooth wire, is that 12.5 gauge hi-tensile? or 14 gauge? What spacing do you use between the strands and how hi is the top strand of wire? any idea how many volts your wire is holding on that fence? Is this keeping all the predators out? you just use the netting for added protection? do you think you could get by on 3 acres of 7 strand electric wire enclosure to keep out predators?

I thought I read somewhere that the premier 1 net fencing (and similar netting) take such a large powerful charger to keep it hot if you're using more than two or three of the 164' sections of the netting? Your 1/2 acre must have like 4 of the 164' sections? do you know how many volts that fence is carrying? I'm wondering if a 6 volt or 12 volt parmak solar charger would keep a hi enough voltage on 5 sections of the 164' netting? Here http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=51664&cat_id=171 it says your speedrite 3000 stores 4.5 joules and the parmak 6 and 12 volt solar chargers only have 1.8 and 3.1 joules max http://www.electric-deer-fence.com/...ectricfencechargers/solar/solar_powered_1.htm

I'm trying to decide if I should do one 3 acre enclosure with 7 strand 12.5 gauge hi tensile, electrified fencing with 6" spacings for a top strand height of 42", or if I should get 4 or 5 of the 164' sections of the netting fencing to make a 1/2 acre enclosure which I could move around from time to time?

THANKS
 

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www.wildheartsranch.org
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The biggest problem with the net fence is it grounds easily. Has to be on fairly flat ground, the less vegetation the better. Mine was grounding just because we're so wet so I snipped the lowest wire and the output shot back up.
 

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Your 7 strand smooth wire, is that 12.5 gauge hi-tensile? or 14 gauge? What spacing do you use between the strands and how hi is the top strand of wire? any idea how many volts your wire is holding on that fence? Is this keeping all the predators out? you just use the netting for added protection? do you think you could get by on 3 acres of 7 strand electric wire enclosure to keep out predators?

I thought I read somewhere that the premier 1 net fencing (and similar netting) take such a large powerful charger to keep it hot if you're using more than two or three of the 164' sections of the netting? Your 1/2 acre must have like 4 of the 164' sections? do you know how many volts that fence is carrying? I'm wondering if a 6 volt or 12 volt parmak solar charger would keep a hi enough voltage on 5 sections of the 164' netting? Here http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=51664&cat_id=171 it says your speedrite 3000 stores 4.5 joules and the parmak 6 and 12 volt solar chargers only have 1.8 and 3.1 joules max http://www.electric-deer-fence.com/...ectricfencechargers/solar/solar_powered_1.htm

I'm trying to decide if I should do one 3 acre enclosure with 7 strand 12.5 gauge hi tensile, electrified fencing with 6" spacings for a top strand height of 42", or if I should get 4 or 5 of the 164' sections of the netting fencing to make a 1/2 acre enclosure which I could move around from time to time?

THANKS
Our exterior fence is 12.5 gauge. The highest strand is 48. Line spacing is a personal choice, lots of information on internet (DARE spacing pamphlet). Bottom line, is 4 inches off ground, negative. All fencing is pos/neg configuration for ultimate charge delivery. We have extremely sandy (ie: beachy type) soil.

Average volts on fence 7.5 kv. With light rain, voltage on fence jumps to over 9 kv. Main charger is Speedrite 6000 which is a 6 joule rating and 11 kv coming off charger terminal.

Yes we have kept all predators out. For a fact: we have at least three separate coyote packs live within a few mile radius of property. Every kidding we have is in the field, we have no barn. Only protection is the two fences and us standing guard with a shotgun, which we've never needed to use - yet.

7 strand high tensile fencing property spaced and charged, would most likely be sufficient. Will not stop bob cats or mountain lions. Get your fence up and juiced about a month before you put any animals in it. It helps with the predator's education.

Regarding net fencing: DO NOT SKIMP on your charger. Go big or go home on charger. Most solar chargers simply will not cut. We've done our research, we will never use anything other than what brand we have. Bought and sold on what we are using. Speedrite. The Speedrite 3000 can power up to 16 to 18 net fences. There is a lot of information online.

The way your set your farm up is a personal decision, regarding grazing management or whatever your end goal is. But, a fence within a fence configuration both with chargers is our optimal choice for the safety of our livestock.

PS we do have other goat farmers in our area with 100 plus head running just the smooth wire fence and report low predation issues.

Over ground your fence and again, do not skimp on your charger, that's my best advice. Joule rating is everything. Most people get caught up in voltage, the joules is the mule kick behind the shock.
 

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MustBeKiddin, thank you so much for that very informative and detailed post! very helpful! One more question for you, when you say the 7 wire 12.5 ga electric fence won't stop bobcats and cougars, is that because they can climb over it if trees hang and grow over and branches from the trees hang over the fence, or will they actually go right through the strands of wire?

thanks
 

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Wild Pigs are also a major concern in my area, I know many herds who loose kids to the wild pigs.

My girls are fortunate to have a guard dog of their own, my Dobie is extremely fond of her goats and puts on her "business face" when anything upsets them.
 

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I really feel like the Nite Guard works. The flash is so bright and it is amazing that they work for such a long time. The ones we have up now have been there abt 3 years. It would probably be best to move them periodically so critters don't get used to them - I always mean to do that but forget when I am out there during the day. We also put up some outside lights -Fish and Wildlife said they think that deters cougars. Besides sitting out there all night with a gun - have done all we can. It would break my heart to go out and find a predator had come in. I also call the animals all in (the sheep mainly) from near a wooded area in the late afternoon. -hunting time.
 

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I have the Night Guard. No idea if it helps, but our barn is close to the property line (our neighbor likes "nature") and nothing messes with our barn. I zip-tie them to the fence so they're easy to move (but, like everyone else, I forget to move them). We also have a llama, but I think any big animal would be just as good (some llamas are great guardians; some, like ours, are just big and strange and make predators stop for a minute and say "wha..?").

What was said about grounding the fence x2. Everything I've read says fence failures fall on poor grounding above all. Remember to space the grounding rods apart. I very proudly drove 3 grounding rods, then read the rest of the instructions and realized I'd driven 3 rods into hard, rocky soil, so close to each other that I may as well have quit at one!

We put the grounding rods close to the barn. When we dump water buckets, we dump them on the grounding rods. Helps improve soil conductivity around the rod. But dry ground or frozen ground needs ground lines built into the fence.
 

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Lost a baby goat last night! In a panel pen. Head and from leg through the panel! Underneath open insides exposed no blood! In pen with 8 other babies any ideas!
 

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Sounds like something went in the pen, got it, and tried to haul it out but couldn't. Either something that can go over, or something small enough to go through.
 

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MustBeKiddin, thank you so much for that very informative and detailed post! very helpful! One more question for you, when you say the 7 wire 12.5 ga electric fence won't stop bobcats and cougars, is that because they can climb over it if trees hang and grow over and branches from the trees hang over the fence, or will they actually go right through the strands of wire?

thanks
Cats will jump up on the fence posts and over.

And a quick story about my net fence. I got the full brunt of the pos/neg a week ago. Thought it was off, but it was not. Felt like I was punched in the chest by a sledgehammer.
Today, I turned the fence off ( I was sure of it this time ). Picked up a water cube to put over (I'm short, 5' 2") to put over fence. Got smacked in the chest. What the??? I walked over to the charger, it was off. Unhooked the batter clips from the fence. Went to go over fence, got a good smack again. Now I'm getting mad, it was hot, the goats were "maa-ing" at me and I was so confused. Called hubby. I totally unhooked batter from charger so there was NO juice getting to net fence. I could hear it snapping. I knew there was juice getting to it. I found two wood sicks, put the fence down and got in. By now, I had my wits back and 12 hungry goats to get off my back. We went walking. Found that "someone" had pushed the net fence into the main fence (smooth wire, which was on). Puzzled solved, fixed and goats fed successfully.

So, even with the juice off the net fence, just that one panel lying against the smooth wire was enough to shock the you know what out of me.
 
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