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Discussion Starter #1
We have a ten acre hay field, and the hay man is doing a terrible job with it. I'm on the edge of converting it to pasture. It will be a while before I can afford enough good sheep fence to enclose the whole thing, so I need an animal that will respect electric fence that I can rotate over the field. I'm deciding between cows and goats.

In my more secure fences I have Cotswold sheep, I'm in my second year as a shepherd.

Cows respect electric well and have a good market if finished properly. They are going to require handling equipment I don't have yet.

Goats can be cared for with my existing sheep gear, just need another water trough, another mineral feeder, and different minerals, but they will need a more dense electric net fence than cattle, and they are pretty mischievous creatures.

So, I'm looking for pros and cons on goats for this situation.
 

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Personally, I think you did an excellent job of defining the pros and cons!! We do not have and have never used electric fencing. We also do not have cattle. Perhaps someone who has will be able to give you additional direction, but you seem pretty up to speed to me. I guess I could add that goats are cuter and very funny...but then you know that, too...LOL.
 

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Our goats respect electric (five strand) very nicely - the baby tested it for about a week, but they don't even try any more. Don't tell them, but I turn it off when I'm out there (my tiny human helper does NOT respect the fence) all the time and they don't even try to get out. :) It depends on the goats!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm looking at electric net, in order to visit all 10 acres every 60 days and only move the net twice a week, I need about $1700 in equipment. (Almost more fence than the charger can handle) And I probably want one more net so I can make a handling pen to put them in while I'm moving the rest of it.
 

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If they are trained to come to the shake of a feed bin you can likely just move the fencing without a holding pen. When I move my mobile fence (its not fancy electric though) I just move it and then call them into it with a touch of grain shaken in a bin. They come running like they haven't been eating all day already.

Sounds like you have a good plan all around though.

Also if you need talking in to goats nothing more needs be said than this:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just got in contact with a boer breeder. She is right here in town. She is in the camp that she has not had luck with electric, but she used wire and poly, not net. She thinks net and horns don't mix and she may have a point.
 

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My only advice is to keep in mind that goats don't really eat short grass. I have 3 does in a 1/4th acre pen. The pen has tons of grass and ferns in it that they absolutely will not eat. They eat the trees instead. My goats almost never venture more than 20 feet from the water bucket either. I've been left with the feeling that while I feel good offering them 1/4th of an acre they most definitely don't even use half of it on a regular basis.
 

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I just got in contact with a boer breeder. She is right here in town. She is in the camp that she has not had luck with electric, but she used wire and poly, not net. She thinks net and horns don't mix and she may have a point.
I used two lengths of Premier 1 deer fencing (100m or 164ft total) and a 2 joule energizer. They respect it!
Now, they did get out yesterday, but that was due to a coyote going after one of the chickens I keep in the with goats (tick control). The yote must be desperate to make a go at them during the day (I saw it).
They panicked. Cannot blame them. Once I got them calm, I lead them back to the pen (they follow me easily), they have stay put since. I move them every two days. But I am using them to clear a heavily over grown area. They do a great job at it!
I have 4 Boers and 2 Nubians.
 

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One thing I'll note is that you can house sheep and goats together just fine, just know many of their parasites and diseases are communicable.

As far as minerals go, just use a good sheep mineral. Then just do copper boluses on the goats pre-breeding and pre-kidding.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I'm aware I can house them together, but the point is to get stock I can put on pasture I can't put sheep on yet. I would winter them together in the barn, and keep one ram/buck flock.
 
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