Loving the herd life
- Jan 10, 2022
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You’re right, that information (I should have read all the threads first) makes a heck of a difference. We have a low mountain lion threat but have thousands of coyote that come down out of the wooded hills every night into the valley. We arrived to find barbed wire fencing in poor repair around our land. We installed live feed cameras, motion alarms, solar motion sensor lights and have been erecting 5’ solid welded steel panels around about half the property and in between pastures so far. We have a truck load of 3 miles more of materials sitting in the drive waiting for Spring to complete the 8 mile circuit. On top of this we added powerful electric top wire. we have had zero sheep or goats lost to the coyotes so far but it has not been cheap. In California there is bound to be limits on what kind of fencing, how high and what materials so the cost goes up. @Augie needs to assess if this is a long term project where the cost/benefit throws in his favor or if it is a hobby (costs money). Under those conditions I would erect a 10 foot fence with a double electric top wire and a 12” wire 24” outside of the entire fence. This keeps the ML from getting right up close and trying to climb or find weak spots. There is no problem with putting a second solar energizer on the same fence. It will only carry so much charge and will not interfere with each other. But if one fails…the second is always there. The likelihood of double failure is slim. 5 acres, based on my fencing experience adding in current steel prices would be around $14,600 plus labor if he is unable to erect it himself. If he has a business grazing weeds or milking, etc. that would supplement a meat herd. With the growing international crowd here in America goat meat is in high demand and a five acre herd could justify the expense if the lease cost was right over a five year plan. I personally would add a guardian dog (probably two) but that’s me. Those goats need someone to ’speak’ for them when trouble comes knocking! If there are human neighbors you can work out a meat or milk trade for daily checks on the fencing and spotting for kills. Thanks for upgrading my head sponge with better info.Here in SoCal where @Augie lives cougar are protected by law. They are no longer afraid of humans. They will prowl city neighborhoods if they are looking for an easy meal. While they normally remain up in the foothills and higher into the mountains, @Augie says they routinely patrol the creek bed adjacent to the 5 acres he wants to lease. Since they will immediately see that there are goats there, they will eventually take one or two. Electric fencing will not necessarily keep them out of the herd if they decide that cabrito is on the menu. This is particularly true since @Augie will not be living on the premises, nor will the owner. With no human presence around the goat herd will be even more enticing to a cougar, not to mention coyotes and loose dogs. An electric fence has the possibility for the charger or battery to stop working and without a charge in the fence the electric fence will be worthless.
A permanent fence with electric wire and barbed wire would be more effective in the absence of a guardian dog. A guardian dog is the most effective predator control. However, in the presence of a cougar that is determined to get a goat even ONE guardian dog would not be enough deterrent. You would have to have several in order to fight off a cougar. On the other hand, the presence of a barking guardian dog can encourage a roaming cougar to change their hunting pattern and avoid the premises protected by one or two guardian dogs.