Since our goats demonstrated that a little plastic fence will not contain them anymore, we brought out the big guns. Yesterday, we installed six-foot metal T-posts with insulators to attach another electric barrier. This time, it is only a small rectangle to keep the goats away from the entrance to the chicken run.
It was not such an easy job, even though we had installed many times more posts this summer to fence in the pasture. We were out of practice and handled the heavy posts awkwardly. I grabbed for one that was falling and lost my balance, crashing to the ground and hurting myself. It was a good reminder that silly mistakes can have serious consequences, but fortunately this morning I am fine, albeit rather sore.
It did not dawn on me until half-way through that I should pen up the goats to keep them out of the way. They chewed on everything foreign that they could find, grabbing tools, jackets, and plastic bags of insulators when they were not up out of reach. They watched with eagle eyes any time the door to the chicken run looked like they could breach it and scooted with surprising speed around our legs in an attempt to squeeze in.
Once, the wind blew the unsecured door slightly ajar. Ely ran through before I could grab him and ran full tilt into the coop to steal chicken feed. I shoved him back out and closed the door and then hooked his head in my shepherd’s crook, dragging him all the way to the shelter to lock him in. The fencing job got easier after they were both locked up. In their frustration, they spent the next half hour butting heads and wrestling as the walls of the shed shuddered and thumped.
So now, the goats are once again held back away from the chickens but they have access to the whole pasture instead of just half of it. The new electric fence is a bit trickier to open up because metal posts can easily take a charge if the wires touch them. You’d be surprised how frequently I forget and get shocked for my carelessness.
Even though they frustrate us to no end, my husband and I are kept in stitches by the antics of those stubborn, playful goats. I wonder what they will come up with next to foil our defenses? We may have to dig a moat!