Yesterday was the big day. We finally released our grazing animals out on green grass to…well, graze. They’ve been stuck in a small barnyard eating hay since we purchased them in January. We’ve been waiting four months to see this, not to mention the years we’ve been dreaming of this day. It was a beautiful sight.
We modified our previous fencing plan. We decided we would not fix up the current, permanent electric fencing around the perimeter of our front pasture as it would be a waste of time and money. We will be repurposing some of the posts and the wire for other fencing projects we have on our to-do list, including a new winter barnyard area. Our grazing animals will be rotated across our whole 10 acre property with just the moveable electronet fencing. We purchased four 164-foot fence rolls. We’ll use two fences at one time to create an 82’ x 82’ paddock. When we are ready to move the animals into their next paddock, we’ll set up the second set of fences and transfer the animals in through an opening between the two. After a couple transfers, the animals will be well-trained and eagerly waiting for their new green buffet to be served each day. Our fencing arrived yesterday and we were anxious to get outside after dinner to set it up.
First, the rolls of fencing need to be laid around the perimeter of the chosen area to graze.
Next, the fence posts need to be stepped into the ground and corners need to be secured to strong support posts that also push into the ground.
Once the fence is up, it gets connected to the portable solar-powered energizer. The energizer will run on a battery during the night and cloudy days. There is also a plug-in to charge the battery if it gets low.
We also purchased a voltage detector to be able to test our fence and make sure it is working properly. Ryan went around and tested several spots in our fence and all were kicking out 4,000 volts.
The final step, add the animals.
Our animals were so excited to be on fresh, green grass. They immediately began grazing. After a few minutes satisfying their craving for new spring shoots, the friskiness set in. The lambs leapt. The cows kicked up their back hooves. The farmers looked on in satisfaction and contentment. There is something so peaceful about watching animals happily graze on green grass.
With the electronet, anything is pasture. The current paddock the animals are grazing is my future vegetable garden. The animals will mow it down, fertilize it, then we’ll till it and plant our seeds (a project we hope to complete very soon). This evening we’ll move the animals onto a new fresh piece of pasture. This is high maintenance management, to be sure. However, it is ideal for grass-fed animals and the soil. It mimics wild, grazing herds in nature. They never stay stationary. They eat, poop and move on. Under these conditions, the soil, plants and animals thrive.
The shock from the electronet provides enough pain to deter predators and keep our animals safely in the fence. We watched for a few minutes as the animals began testing their new boundary. I think the cows were the first to learn respect for the fence. They would unsuspectingly nose the fence and ZAP! They would jump back. Not surprisingly, our steer needed to repeatedly learn this painful lesson. He ran to a few different areas of the fence, cautiously inching his nose forward until ZAP! You can actually hear the voltage transferring to the animal. After a few times testing the fence, all the animals learned to mind it. We read reviews from users online that attest to the fence’s ability to keep out coyotes, stray dogs and anything else that may threaten the safety of our animals.
We feel so excited and relieved to finally have our fencing plan and infrastructure up and running. The animals are happy, too.