Electric netting will protect or contain livestock, poultry, beehives, dogs, windbreaks and gardens.

Premier’s ElectroNet® 9/35/12 (shown above) can be used to protect sheep and other livestock from predators. Always maintain at least 3000 volts on the fence line. This way adults and young stock will respect the fence.

September 2016 Edition

Tips for Training Livestock to Electric Fence
By Eric Reuter, Chert Hollow Farm
Portable electric fence makes rotational grazing easier, offering many benefits to small-scale herds. Regular herd movement helps break parasite cycles, provides a fresh source of forage, and helps the land recover once animals are removed from an area. Rotational grazing mimics the natural movement of wild animals which do not restrict themselves to the same patch of ground year-round, though homesteaders generally prefer not to expose their domestic animals to the same predator threats as their wild cousins.

Electric netting is a modern boon to this style of management, allowing easy and secure paddocks to be set up and moved regularly without fussing over permanent fences. These systems also come with quirks and hazards, however, which should be understood and respected for best results.
Goats can be contained by electric fence with proper training.
Goats can be contained by electric fence, but they must be thoroughly and properly trained. (Photo by Chert Hollow Farm.)
Training Animals to Electric Netting is Essential
Portable netting is the easiest way to keep livestock moving about the landscape, but it’s very important to train all animals to these fences. Since they’re not as strong as permanent wire-mesh fences, their value and safety relies on the animal understanding and respecting the barrier. An animal which becomes entangled is at risk of injury or death through a combination of strangulation and shock stress.

Young lambs and kids are particularly vulnerable because their smaller heads fit easily through the fences’ openings as they explore the new world around them. Unlike a cattle panel, once an animal’s head is through a flexible net, it’s much harder for them to withdraw without entanglement. Meanwhile, the fence is delivering an electric pulse to the animal, a double-dose of danger!

There are several ways to mitigate this risk:
  • Introduce livestock to the fence slowly and intentionally.
  • Set up a test section inside of a permanent paddock and expose new stock to the electrified netting. When an animal is shocked, it will create an association between pain and fence that will linger in their mind. This temporary unpleasantness is well worth the long-term benefits for the animal.
  • Remain in earshot when using electric fence with young animals. If you hear hollering, it’s easy to run down, disconnect the fence and free the animal before any permanent harm is done.
A similar process can be used with any new animals you introduce to your herd, or any problem animals that seem determined to test the fence. Simply watching your herd can help in identifying individuals who show less respect than you’d like.
The Benefits of Electric Netting as a Temporary Fence
In our experience, the significant benefits of using net fences far outweigh the modest risks. Portable electric netting has reduced our reliance on permanent fences, saving money and resources while helping us maintain a more open landscape. Moving our herd regularly to new grazing areas has contributed to breaking the parasite cycle and reduced the need for chemical dewormers.

Electric netting provides security from coyotes and loose dogs and helps to keep livestock where they belong. Nets allow us to graze a wider variety of landscapes, improving the herd’s diet and providing beneficial land management. With all of these benefits, it’s well worth taking the time to teach the animals to respect these fences.
Eric & Joanna Reuter
Eric & Joanna Reuter founded their homestead farm in 2006, within a narrow Ozark-style valley with diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Chert Hollow Farm seeks to integrate food and farming into the ecosystem, at various times managing vegetable & grain crops, perennial fruits, dairy/meat goats, poultry, timber resources, and natural habitats. Explore the farm at www.cherthollowfarm.com.

This post originally appeared on MotherEarthNews.com.
* The views and opinions of the authors who have submitted articles to Premier1Supplies.com belong to them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Premier1Supplies.com, its staff or owners.
7 keys to fence success
  1. Mow or trample grass prior to installing netting.
  2. Properly install netting—add corner posts for support and tension to prevent sagging.
  3. Use a pulse-type energizer with enough output to adequately energize netting. Avoid continuous current energizers!
  4. Maintain at least 3000 volts on the fence.
  5. Don’t push stock against the fence, it’s not a physical barrier like a wall or corral.
  6. Avoid putting animals of the same species on both sides of the fence.
  7. Fence for the most difficult animal, that is don’t fence goats with raccoon fence.
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Employment Opportunity
Seeking Applications for a Lamb and Wool Instructor
Applicants will be reviewed September 30th, 2016
The Pipestone Lamb and Wool Program at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Pipestone, Minnesota is seeking applications for an additional instructor in the program.

The Pipestone Lamb and Wool Management Program is a sheep management education/consulting program offered to sheep producers in southwestern Minnesota and around the world through the Member Producer Program, newsletters, short courses, tours and online courses.

The Program’s goal is to help sheep producers increase income and profit through the production of quality lamb and wool by maximizing the profit per ewe and by realizing the full potential of all sheep through use of modern management practices, new technologies, and new approaches to marketing both lamb and wool. Instructors in the program work with sheep producers in the Pipestone area and around the world through the Member Producer Program, newsletters, short courses, tours and online courses.
To learn more about the lamb and wool program and the activities conducted visit:
For more information on the position and application procedures, please visit:
If you have any questions about applying call Minnesota West Human Resources Department at (507) 223-1378 or (507) 223-1335. For questions about the Lamb and Wool program contact either program instructor: Mike Caskey (507) 825-6808 or Philip Berg (507) 825-6799.
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