Sunday, March 15, 2015

Naughty little Kids

We have seven little kids from last spring. They are in our original goat paddock along with one doe who had a very late buck kid in November. They have a great shed, good access to water, some rocks/bricks to smooth off their hooves and a two strand electric fence attached inside the original boundary fence.
For the past few years we have kept goats in this paddock. It is split in two so that we can rest one side for a while. We have also put chickens in to scratch up the dung and eat the worms.
After a fantastic season with plenty of grass it is finally browning off and the rate of growth is slowing. The kids have been getting hungry. I feed them sheep nuts but it doesn't go far amongst eight eager mouths.
The grass around the perimeter has been getting longer and has begun to short out the fence. Now two of the kids have worked out that if they push quickly through the fence they can reach more grass and the kick from the fence is not enough to put them off.

Once they have a taste for escape they can be pretty persistent and will teach all the others. If I don't stop them now I could have a paddock that is useless for keeping in goats and a whole bunch of kids wandering around in the wrong places. Curly will probably get wind of them and then we may have problems with kid kidding too young.

We don't have enough hinge-joint fencing to block off the whole side where the kids have been escaping so I try to fool them with a temporary section that covers their initial escape route. It may fool them for a while but more money will be needed for fencing wire and supplementary feed to ensure that the problem is solved.

Two hours later the kids are out again. They are small enough to force their way through the holes in the hinge-joint mesh. A combination of keen kelpie and angry farmer might have chased them back again but another strategy is needed!

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