Electric Netting for Goats
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Having goats to take care of unwanted brush and weeds can be a tremendous biological control. However, building fence can be an issue for several folks. Cost, labor, and the know how are a hindrance of using “natures weed-eaters” to benefit our land. A simple solution to this problem is using electric netting to secure goats around a desired area. This idea is simple and very do-able for most land owners.
Electric netting is a temporary poly-wire type fence that can be staked to create a perimeter fence, cross fence, or simply to surround a desired area that needs to be grazed or browsed. For instance, if you have heavy weed pressure of multiflora rose bushes in one area of a pasture, you can simply circle the brush with this fence, attach a solar fence charger to the netting, and then allow your goats to browse until the desired vegetation is gone. Once they have stripped this area you can then move your fence and goats to the next area.
While the popular misconception that goats will eat anything is clearly not true, goats will clear an amazing variety of brushy weedy species in a relatively short time. Research shows us that goats can clear 50-90% of brush in a single year and that brush will be down to as low as 2% within 5 years. However, there are some weeds that goats do not prefer. Weeds such as nimble weed, wild strawberry, and yellow-crown beard goats will usually leave alone.
With anything, there is some labor involved with this practice. You will have to unroll and stake your fence for each rotation. Along with this, you will have to make sure there is a clear path for your fence so that the netting can be adequality electrified. Insuring fresh water is available is extremely important for your animals as well.
While this will not be a cure all for everyone, this practice is certainly a beneficial and economical way of clearing unwanted brushy type weeds, without having to build permeant fence for your animals.