Fall goat pen

I finally got off my duff and built the fall goat pen yesterday.  It took me almost twelve hours, a big job, but that’s why I had put it off for so long. 

My nine acres are tremendously overgrown and I rotate a portable electric fence to different areas for the goats to eat down.  I “try” to make burn piles and clear rocks and old rubbish once you can move through the areas and thrown some rye seed down when areas really open up.  Bit by bit I have made progress.  Running pigs through each area following the goats helps but I didn’t have a chance to do that this year.  Of course, have some heavy equipment would help too and a couple of farm hands.

The goats had eaten the summer goat pen down to nothing.  It looked like it had been hit by agent orange.  With some of the summer storms, branches had come down and weeds had grown along the fence line so the electric charge was almost nothing.  Once the browse was gone, the goats started escaping, first at the end of the day and then when they wanted to.  That is always a good sign that I need to move the pen.  With allk the escaping, the baby goats became conditioned they could go where ever they wanted so for the next few days I need to shock them when I put them in.  An easier task now that they are such annoying little teenagers.

This year’s fall goat fence runs from behind the playgym, over the old barn site where japanese knotweed flourishes, between the right property line and the path that runs down to the oak tree and down the path that we bulldozed a few years ago, about two acres all together.  It is a mix of woods and brambles, all browse, no pasture or grass.  I weed wacked a swath three feet wide so the electric fence should have no interference for a few weeks.  Then I put in posts every five to eight feet.  Then I ran three strands of electric fence.  Then I hung the charger, connected it to the fence and ground it, running cord from the barn.  Then I moved the water tub, bleached it out and ran a hose to the pen.  I ran the electric charge last night to train the deer to it and will walk it and repair it this morning.

When I was running the last strand at the end of the day, I put the goats in the pen for about an hour.  They happily ate the entire time.  Although I am sore this morning and tired, I am pleased I finally finished this project.

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