Miniature goats safe behind unobtrusive, feral-dog proof Gallagher Westonfence
Miniature goat breeder Fiona Hyde was looking for a fence that would protect her little herd, yet not be obtrusive on the small, semi-rural property. She found the answer in a Gallagher Westonfence.
Buying a small farm at the edge of town on the NSW Tablelands, Fiona had two safety criteria for boundary fencing: to be effective in retaining “escape artists” on the inside while keeping foxes and feral dogs on the outside. Of equal importance in the picturesque area was that the fence looked discreet.
Fiona runs a small herd of Australian Miniature Goats on her four-hectare (10-acre) property, that she’s building up to eventually become a small-scale commercial operation.
But none of that would happen without the right fencing.
“I just couldn’t have livestock without it, so the fencing went in pretty much straightaway when I moved here two years ago."
While the property did have some fencing, it wasn’t suitable for miniature goats – or to keep feral predators out.
Easy prey, hard terrain
“I needed decent fencing, because miniature goats go quite easily to predators, so you can imagine baby miniature goats are even easier prey for them, and there are a lot of foxes and feral dogs on the Highlands.
“The other thing is that all goats are actually escape artists. So I needed something that was going to very, very effectively keep the goats in, as well as the predators out.
“Then on top of that, I’m on the corner of a relatively major road, fairly close to town, so the attractiveness of the fence also became a factor.”
A fourth consideration was re-fencing parts of the boundary running under massive pine trees, with equally as invasive root systems.
For Fiona’s fencing contractor George Lang, of White Dog Industries, the solution was simple: Gallagher Westonfence.
For the boundary exclusion fence, George used D7 Insulated Suspension Posts. The 1,100-millimetre tall posts run four hot wires and three earths, while to create three small paddocks internally, George used D6 ISPs.
“A miniature goat buck is a maximum height of 60 centimetres, so the 960mm tall D6 Insulated Suspension Posts were ideal. Goats can jump very well, but they tend not to jump over a fence – particularly if it’s humming with 8,000 or 9,000 volts.”
The fence is powered with a Gallagher M1400 Fence Energizer. A smart control maximises fence voltage, while the LED bar graph quickly shows fence performance.
For Fiona, the results are perfect.
“I frequently see foxes on the other side of the fence, but I have never seen a fox inside and have had no losses inside the fence."
“I have two guard Alpacas, so I know when foxes and feral dogs are around because the alpacas pick them up. My neighbours have all had losses – chickens and ducks – but the Gallagher Westonfence has done its trick with protecting the miniature goats I’m breeding, along with the alpacas, chickens and geese.”
Wild ducks have also found a safe haven: hatching large clutches of up to 19 ducklings with no foxes or feral dogs to eat eggs or ducklings.
Fiona says, “Another really fantastic thing about the Gallagher Westonfence for a small property is the attractiveness. Once we did one boundary, I didn’t want to do any other type of fencing because this is 10 times more attractive. It’s really nice on a small property to have fencing that’s not an eyesore.”
Ease of installation was another issue.
“It would have been really difficult to fence with traditional fencing underneath the massive pine trees along the boundary because the roots were in the way. The Gallagher Westonfence was much easier, because the ISPs don’t go into the ground – just the steel posts, and that’s only every 10 metres. So it just suited terrain wise, and was easily more cost-effective because of that – even more so in that zone.
“I’m very happy with the outcome.”