Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sprung Loose

Yesterday afternoon Paul came in the house to announce that two of the goats were out of their pen.  He got them back inside without much ado, but couldn't figure out how they were getting out.  Did they suddenly have a Spring in their Step, and figured out that they could climb over the fence, or was there a break someplace?

He put a t-post in one of the areas where it seemed a little wobbly, but there weren't any other obvious signs of gate malfunction or downed panels.  Then a few hours later, he tells me that there's a goat in the yard again.  He dutifully returns the rogue goat to it's proper enclosure and I join him outside to go over the fence line again.  I check the gates and where I open / close the cattle panels with the clippy do-dads, but all was secure.  So I mosey over to the bale of hay so I can pitch some over for the goats to waste eat, and notice that there is a "hole" in the cattle panel fence.  The buggers have pushed so hard on the fence where they stick their heads through to get at the hay that they actually busted the welds on three of the fence squares.  And I though that this was pretty much goat-indestructible fencing.
Stupid goats durn busted threw da the cattle panels.
In any other section of the enclosure, this would be a pretty quick and easy fix.  The panels are attached to t-posts with metal wire, so in theory one would just snip the wires, remove the busted panel, and replace it with a new panel.  But because as you all know, absolutely nothing is quick or easy when it comes to farming or animals.  The bottom of the panel was buried in wasted hay about a foot thick, completely saturated by the melted snow and trampled on by the pointy feet of a dozen goat hooves.
Yuck.  Double yuck on the smell.
Oh, and partially composted (i.e. really, really rank when you pulled it up).  Which is good for my compost pile, but not very nice on the nostrils.

Luckily we have the tractor and put it to good use.  So instead of us mucking out the muck by hand, Paul put the forks on the front and lifted the smelly mass out from the area and dumped it over the fence.  There was still manual pitch forking to do, but the tractor saved an hour of time and hours of later complaints about back aches and pulled muscles.

Paul pulled the broken panel out, put the new one on, and we were back to normal.  Well, as normal as it gets around here, that is.


  1. I'm getting worried that this meltdown will cause Orion to spring loose. His tie out can easily get pulled out when the ground is very soft. I hope I don't see him at the door too soon. Glad you got the fencing fixed.

  2. Dang, not good to know the welded points of a cattle panel aren't any stronger than that! And the goats did that, huh? Guess we'd better not rely on cattle panel fencing to keep our herd of bulls in. (Just kidding -- snort, snort.)

  3. I had heard that goats were hard to keep confined......I wouldn't have thought they were strong enough to break that weld though.

    We are going to need this week of warmer weather before the ground really thaws deeper. I swept the patio for the first time in a month yesterday....it is in the shade and had ice and snow that long.

  4. Carolyn,

    I love using feedlot panels for just about anything. We've used them to line our garden however, the squares are relatively big, and small critters can get into the garden. So we have placed another small meshed fence on the outside lover section of the feedlot panels with wire ties to secure it on the feedlot panel. This has stopped entry or even exit of 4 legged critters.

  5. Ooooh that smell. My gag reflex kicked in at the thought of spring pen cleaning. It's just around the corner. Erg!!

  6. Just think how boring your life would be without goats. Don't think too hard....

  7. Nothing like a good tractor. Oh, and I understand that smell completely.