How to Rotate Your Goats (Not Really)

Not too long ago I thought it would be fun to make a quick video that shows exactly what’s involved in rotating our goats to new pasture. It turned out to be fun alright, in an “everything that can go wrong, did go wrong” sort of way! The video isn’t quick, but might make you feel better about YOUR rotational grazing procedure. Or you might learn a thing or two about goats. Either way…

This is not a “howto” for rotational grazing goats.

This is not a “howto” for working with Premier1 electric netting fences.

This is just documenting the time and activities involved in moving two groups of goats as part of our rotational grazing plan. Sometimes it goes quickly and sometimes it doesn’t!

We set up a large fenced pasture for our does (girl goats) that can be subdivided into 6 roughly equal sized “pie slice” paddocks. The outer boundary is set by the permanent electrified fence, while the radial edges are constructed from Premier1 electric netting fences, with one roll of fencing per edge. A single “draggable” shade structure can be moved from paddock to paddock. The first part of this video shows the full process of moving goats from one paddock to the next. The purpose is not to present it as a “how to” move goats, but to give a sense of the time and work involved.

The second (and longer) part of the video shows a (slightly) more complicated move for the bucks (boy goats). We set up a moving paddock around the outside of the permanent fencing. This ended up taking much more time because I tripped over the net fence and got it horribly tangled. Next I goofed and left a hot wire resting on the ground so there was no voltage on the fence. Dealing with the goofs took way more time than actually setting the fences and moving the goats! We do this about once a week. Interior paddock (for the does):

  • 1:45 Set the electric net fence.
  • 4:43 Connect the net fence to the high tensile electric fence.
  • 6:47 Open a gap in the old fence to let the goats through.
  • 9:05 Bring the water buckets into the new paddock.
  • 10:30 Tractor the draggable shed from the old paddock to the new.
  • 15:40 Close the gap in the fence dividing old and new paddocks.
  • 17:20 Move the electric net gate.
  • 21:53 Exterior paddock (for the bucks):
  • 22:06 Pace to estimate the corner of the paddock.
  • 23:10 Start to set the fence.
  • 23:40 Fall on my face.
  • 24:15 Untangle the fence.
  • 40:00 Continue to set the fence.
  • 50:50 Open a gap in the old fence to let the goats through.
  • 51:32 Tractor the draggable shed from the old paddock to the new.
  • 57:00 Close the gap in the old fence.
  • 59:55 Move the electric net gate.
  • 1:02:10 Gather up the unused fence.
  • 1:08:10 Move the water.
  • 1:11:08 Measure the voltage and troubleshoot.

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