Message from the Owner

Stan & Jean Potratz, Owners

New from Premier in 2006

If you're a long-time member of the "Premier family", you know that change and improvement is a constant with us. Though more are on the way, these are "now".

  • Lower prices for our unique welded wire sheep and goat panels. More options (height, length and rod size) are in the pipeline.
  • 2Xte ear tags. Replaces both 2X and 2X TamperProof. More flexible. Safer for lambs and kids.
  • Special prices for selected electric fence products (see below).
  • And we hope, by July, to offer a simple way to prevent the ear infection that often occurs when tagging in damp climates.

Best wishes to all,
Stan Potratz

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Premier Tip

Premier Pos/Neg Fence Tips

A normal electric fence consists of:

  1. Wire(s) connected to the fence (positive) terminal of an fence energizer.
  2. The soil's moisture connected via metal ground (earth) stakes to the negative terminal of the fence energizer.

But the top soil moisture in many areas is too low to be a reliable conductor. In this situation the animal may receive minimal pain even though a voltmeter touching a steel spike may register 3000 plus volts.

For these sites one solution is to connect one or more wires in the fence to a second ground stake that is then 'connected' via subsoil moisture to the energizer's ground stake. So some wires are now positive and some are negative-a Pos/Neg fence.

How does the animal receive a shock?

  • On a normal all-positive electric fence the animal completes the circuit by standing on moist soil (which is connected to the energizer via metal stakes) and touching a hot wire. The current flows down the wire through the animal's point of contact with the wire to his feet (which are on the soil) and back through the soil moisture to the ground stake.
  • With a Pos/Neg fence, the animal completes the circuit by touching a positive wire and a negative wire at the same time.

When is Pos/Neg wiring needed?

The simplest test is to look at the grass and soil. If the grass has been brown for 3 or more weeks and the top 3 inches of soil are very dry you need it. A second test (not advised) is to wait until your animals escape. A 3rd test is to lay the voltmeter's probe on the dry ground (instead of sticking it in the soil or contacting a metal stake). If less than 2000 volts appear, revert to Pos/Neg wiring.

Are some energizers better in dry soil situations with all positive fences than others?

IntelliShock & Kube units are superior – particularly the 284, 506, 88B, 20B & Kube 4000. They continue to deliver an animal stopping pulse long after traditional low-impedance units (HotShock, Patriot, and most other brands) have ceased to do so.

What energizers work for Pos/Neg fences?

All do. From a safety aspect, it's actually best not to use too large a unit.

What are the negatives of Pos/Neg fences?

  • Fences must be kept very clean. Any conductor (green weed stem or tree, metal post/wire) that touches 2 opposing wires will cause the pulse to drop from powerful to ineffective.
  • An animal or person that remains in contact with both wires (positive and negative) could be killed. That's why, in Premier's view, offset metal hot wires should be installed high enough to allow human contact to be broken by gravity.

Click here for Premier's Fences.

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VIP Article

Electric Netting Can Work with Goats
by Clint N. Evans

Do you ever wonder how you're going to keep the goats in and the predators out? Are you always worrying that someday your goats are going to be a coyote's next supper or your neighbor's next nuisance? Or, do you need to pen up your goats while constructing a new fence? Maybe you need a temporary enclosure for your mothers-to-be.

At Surefoot Boer Goats we've found that electric netting can help solve those problems.

Electric netting is not the magic cure for all of your worries. If haphazardly slapping together a project is your idea of time well spent, electric netting is not for you. It takes time, effort, and proper equipment to make it work. But, having the right attitude is your most important asset. You must be willing to research the technology and learn from your mistakes. Patience is important.

First, the goat rancher must start with the right equipment. Ground stakes, support posts, and the proper charger are needed when putting up electric netting. You must also have the proper kind of netting for your specific purpose because not all of it is intended for goats. For example, some netting is meant for lightweight, temporary duty, such as keeping the pet dog in the yard. Evaluate the product carefully before buying, and see if the company you're buying from is well known for supplying livestock fencing.

Also, don't allow yourself to become distracted by specialized terminology. You'll read such words as joules and pulse flow in the advertisements. These terms might confuse you, but they are insignificant to the beginner. Instead, concentrate on finding the right company, with the right service and the right products. You're looking for a supplier who is willing to give the customer 100% attention.

At Surefoot Boer Goats we have found that ElectroNet in the 164 ft. rolls, 35 inches high, gives good results when energized with an IntelliShock 42B charger. These products were purchased through Premier (1-800-262-6631 or We use up to six rolls of netting at a time, which gives between three and four acres of grazing, depending on how the fence is laid out. But, what works for us might not work for you. Each rancher's situation is unique. The key is to call and discuss your situation with knowledgeable people who have actual field experience. Also, it's important to purchase equipment with a solid guarantee, but remember a guarantee is not better than the company standing behind it.

You want electric netting that's simple to put up and take down. It's easy to become frustrated with any kind of electric fencing the first time you handle it. When you don't have experience, putting up electric netting can be like wrestling a bowl of spaghetti. Placing the stakes in the ground might be a little harder than you imagined, especially if your land is rough and rocky. As in most endeavors, the more you practice the easier it gets.

The good news is that electric netting can be adapted to just about any type of terrain. For example, the soil on our ranch in the Texas hill country is mostly dry, rocky caliche. Sometimes we have to work at it, but we've always been able to erect the fencing. Just stay with it, and exercise some patience.

We have discovered one of the keys to success is training your goats properly to the electric netting. You can't just run excited goats into a pasture and hope that they will respect the fence. Gordon Shelangoski, who works in research, development, and sales for Premier, says, "Electric netting is not a physical barrier; it's a pain and visual barrier." That means, the goats need to be calmly trained to the netting. Scared goats might blindly charge into the fence and keep going.

Let me share with you what's worked best for us. We just let a few goats roam out at a time to investigate the electric netting. We make sure that nothing exciting is going on-no dogs barking, children running, or horns honking. Almost always they come up and nudge the fence with their nose, and that is when they are shocked and jump back. Most goats require three or four "lessons" before they get it in their heads to Stay Away! Our goats rarely need a reminder after the 4th time.

Because electric netting is potentially dangerous, the rancher must exercise caution. You need to check with state and local officials about required warning signs. And, it just makes good sense to tell people that this fence is electrically charged. Also, you should inspect your fence daily to make sure that it is working properly and that no animal is entangled in it. You just can't abandon your electric netting out in the pasture and expect it to maintain itself.

It's common for beginners to make mistakes. Gordon Shelangoski and Stephanie Sexton, Marketing Director for Premier, report the most common errors include not making the proper connections, failing to use a powerful enough energizer, and not using the proper ground stakes. It pays to be careful and to double check your work. We still make mistakes, but we learn every day.

Electric netting is not suitable for some goats and some situations. Myotonic (stiff-legged) goats when startled might fall against the fence resulting in injury or death. The wild ibex goats might sail over the fence without touching it. All goats with horns are at a somewhat increased risk of becoming entangled. If your purpose is to keep white-tail deer from stealing your goat feed, it won't work! We have a doe at our ranch that routinely jumps over the netting to get food.

Keep in mind that there are other items to purchase besides the netting, energizer, and ground stakes. If you buy a solar-powered energizer, you will need to get a deep-cycle marine battery of the proper voltage and amperage. You will also want a good fence checker. Extra support posts, power connectors, and a few more warning signs would be smart buys. Remember to budget for these items, or the dollars may run out before the purchases!

We've been pleased with what electric netting has done for our goat operation. The fencing allows us to divide our goats into different parts of the pasture while offering protection. I have walked the fence and found where predators tried to dig under and were repelled. The netting can also be used to prevent the goats from over-grazing any spot. Once every couple of weeks we move the electric netting to different sections of the pasture so we can give the browsed areas time to recover. Our ranch benefits because the electric netting is good for the land and the goats.

Electric netting is not the answer to all goat problems. For example, it does not substitute for a permanent boundary fence. But it is a valuable tool that increases the rancher's flexibility. It helps deter predators while dividing your goats into different parts of the pasture. It can even be used in a rotational browsing system. Just make sure you have the right equipment, it's connected right, and the goats are properly trained to it.

This article and photo was provided by:
Clint N. Evans, Surefoot Boer Goats
P.O. Box 181, Bandera, TX 78003

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HotStop Rope, 1/2" Tape, SuperWide Tape and PigTail Posts

HotStop Rope - Sale $27.00
Identical to many farm store and catalog "ropes". Has 6 stainless steel filaments & 1400 ohms per 1000 ft. of resistance. For short term fences less than 1000 ft. in length unless wide impedance energizers are used with it. 1/4"

HotStop Tape - Sale $15.00
The easiest tape to wind onto/off reels and install/remove from portable posts. Has 5 stainless steel filaments and 2600 ohms per 1000 ft. of resistance. For fence runs shorter than 1000 ft. More visible to animals than wire fences. 1/2"

HotStop SuperWide Tape - Sale $39.00
If your need is a portable or temporary (up to 3 yrs.) wide tape, this is the best choice. Has 15 stainless steel filaments and 900 ohms per 1000 ft. of resistance. Suited for short runs (< 1000 ft.) of fence unless a Kube or IntelliShock energizer is used. 1-1/2"

PigTail Posts - Sale $2.70 & $1.80
These posts were designed for strip grazing but have many other uses. They're easy to carry and quick to step into the ground via the strong footplates. Conductors are easily installed/removed and holds all securely. All conductors slide through the eyes easily. Tops are 33" above soil. Soil spike plus plate is 8 and 9 in. long. Steel shanks are 3/8" in. and 5/16 in. dia. respectively.

To get your special price when ordering:Use Code: News 17
If ordering from our website:
Enter News 17 in the "Catalog Source Code"  box on the "Checkout-Confirm & Submit" screen. NOTE: The original price of the above items will be shown on your order, but we will adjust it to the sale price when we receive your order.
Offer good thru March 31, 2006.

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Premier Employee Spotlight

Kathryn Newman

Kathryn Newman of Brighton, Iowa is this month's featured employee. Kathryn has been with Premier for almost 4 years and does a variety of jobs for us including accounting and imputing of the mandatory scrapie tag orders and monthly reports.

When asked what she likes best about Premier, she says "When I first started, I worked on the laser machine imprinting information on tags. From there I moved to the other side and actually processed the orders. It is very challenging and rewarding to be able to help the individual state offices and producers in collecting the correct information to process their sheep, goat or deer tag orders."

What Kathryn likes best about Premier is the farm setting. She grew up on a rural Iowa farm with a family of 13. This she says "is good preparation for work at Premier. My co-workers have become a big part of my life. Premier has done a great job of keeping the work atmosphere friendly as well as productive."

Kathryn and her husband Dick have been married for 3 yrs. They have four children and seven grandchildren who live in Georgia, northern Iowa and close to home. She says that we do our best to spend as much quality time as possible with them.

Kathryn loves the outdoors. "Bicycling has always been my passion, she says. I have made several bike trips across the states of Georgia and Florida, plus one across the state of Iowa. From my own experience you don't realize what you miss when driving in your car, but by riding a bike, you can really stop and smell the roses." Their other hobby, when time allows, is to get together with Dick's family and play some blue grass and country music. Kathryn plays a Dobro (lap steel guitar) which is a guitar like instrument but sounds like a cross between a banjo and a mandolin & Dick plays guitar and sings vocals.

Her favorite statement is "SUCCESS - I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." by Bill Cosby. Kathryn is a great addition here at Premier and we hope that she stays with us a long time.

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Caribbean Goat Meat Stew

2 lbs. goat meat, cut into chunks
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 sprigs of parsley, chopped
2 Tbs. curry powder
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
2 onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 pint of beef stock
3 large carrots, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tomatoes, diced

Season meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a deep, heavy pan. Braise meat until browned. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add beef stock, thyme and curry. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours in a covered pan. Add carrots, potatoes and tomatoes and simmer for 40 minutes or until done. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Premier thanks Michael Wade of Intl. Kiko Goat Assoc. at for the recipe.

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