Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Failure to contain
When Mike over at The Halpern Homestead saw this photo on my blog recently...:
He asked me: "Do the goats just follow you around with no fencing or leashes? Won't they run off? Silly goats!"
Well, yes, Mike, on our almost-a-mile walks to the mailbox and back, these silly goats leave their fencing behind and follow me around with no leashes on. Well, in all honesty, they follow me, run ahead of me, jump up on me, wiggle around next to me, and run after Roxy, my farm pup, with no leashes or containment. This has never been a problem. They come to me when I call them (or when I crinkle my carrot-coin baggie).
Keeping them within my property's fencing when we're not on a walk, however, has become an entirely different story. And I'm about to tell you why.
See all that "debris" under the bottom strand of my electric fence?:
That's not really debris. Its intention is to act as a deterrent:
and to prevent this from happening: a llama alone in the middle pasture without her goats:
Where are her goats, you ask? Well, for some reason, they are over in the next pasture, outside the chicken coop, being naughty:
The "debris" deterrent isn't even remotely working. Which means, when I see they've escaped, I have to go running down there before they get into some kind of trouble. Of course, when I get down there, the goat boys act all excited to see me:
"Look what we did, Mom!"
Now, a little over month ago, these goats wouldn't leave Kai llama's side for anything. They were happy to just be with her and follow her around all day long. Then, suddenly, one day, they happened to catch sight of me on the other side, paying attention to the chickens and they decided they neeeeeeeeded to be on the other side of that fence with me and slid under. Now, weeks later, it's a flat-out free-for-all, as evidenced in the picture below. I was in THEIR PASTURE WITH THEM and they still tore off and scooted under that fence so fast, I didn't even have time to focus my camera:
By the time I got to the fence line, Pete had noticed that the door to the chicken run was wide open. He, of course, believed this was an open invitation for him to go in and check things out:
Reggie, though, couldn't quite wrap his brain around how Pete got in there, so he just hung around outside:
...until he figured it out and joined his goat brother. Anybody who says goats aren't persistent just doesn't know goats:
As if I wasn't grouchy enough over this whole thing, Pete then came back and decided to show me how he had gone under the fence the first time:
Goofy goats that they are, now that I'm up against the fence, they desperately want to be on the other side again:
No amount of obstruction is going to prevent them from coming back through, either:
Apparently, my fence's zap doesn't faze a goat. Whoops, there he goes:
And, of course, where Pete goes, Reggie follows:
Dang. Any thoughts? My entire property is fenced with 7-strand New Zealand electric fencing. Cost is, of course, an issue and it just isn't feasible to replace any portion of an existing fencing like this with special goat fencing. This current kink renders me unable to pasture the goats without me being outside with them at all times, which just doesn't work.
Kai, the goat-less llama, and I will appreciate any advice you can give: