Dogs under the Fence

December 15, 2010

Dogs got through the fence yesterday and to the goats.  When we arrived, we found we had arrived in time, the goats were crowded into a corner but the dogs hadn’t maimed or killed any.

Dogs are one of our greatest fears.  Coyotes come and go around the farm and we don’t give them much worry.  It isn’t that they haven’t taken a lamb or two over the years, rather, that what they do kill, they eat.  Dogs, though, are much more a menace.  When two, three, four, or more domestic dogs get together, they kill with little thought.  For they have a food source every day and when they show up their not hungry.  Therefore, when they run in a pack they are not killing for food, but for pleasure.  Over the years we’ve been lucky and have had only one ewe torn up, but not killed.  Our neighbors though haven’t had such luck and have come home to find multiple animals killed, and, it is this sight in our mind that has us worry more about dogs than coyotes.

Once the dogs were ran off, we walked the fence line to where they came and went.  We run a high-tension electric fence.  Belinda came across this type of fence about twenty years ago when she and her father visited sheep ranches in Australia.  When it came time to build the perimeter fences on the farm, we chose high-tension and electric.  Walking the fence line we found nothing out of the ordinary.  However, the ordinary is not electrifying the bottom wire of the fence during the summer.  This way, as vegetation is growing, the goats will nose under the fence and keep the fence line free of plants that might otherwise short out the fence.  This works great during the summer, but not so well during the winter when vegetation is not growing.  An unelectrified bottom wire in the winter is like opening a hole in the fence for the dogs.  So, the fix was simple enough.  Make the bottom wire hot.

© David B. Bell 2010

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