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Conditions to test electric fence modifications of cattle barb wire fence for goat containment

A. L. Goetsch, G. D. Detweiler, R. Puchala, T. Sahlu, and T. A. Gipson

Journal of Animal Science 88(E-Supplement 2):458. 2010

Two simultaneous 6 x 6 Latin squares were conducted, each with 24 yearling meat goat doelings previously exposed to electric fence. After overnight fasting, groups of 4 doelings were placed in 2.4 x 2.4 m pens without forage. Pens had 3 metal panel sides and 1 side with 5 strands of barb wire 30.5, 55.9, 81.3, 106.7, and 132.1 cm from the ground adjacent to a pasture with forage and browse. Intervals between periods of 2-3 d and 1 wk were assigned to the two squares. Electric fence treatments in each square were 4 strands 15.2, 27.9, 43.2, and 58.4 cm from the ground at low voltage of 4-4.5 kV (4S-LV); 2 strands at 15.2 and 43.2 cm and high voltage of 8.5-9 kV (2S-HV); 2 strands at 15.2 and 43.2 cm and low voltage (2S-LV); 1 strand at low height of 15.2 cm and low voltage (1S-LH-LV); 1 strand at 43.2 cm and low voltage (1S-HH-LV); and 1 strand at 22.9 cm and high voltage (1S-MH-HV). The percentage of doelings exiting after 2 (during continuous visual observation) and 6 h was similar between intervals (6.3 and 4.2% at 2 h (SE=2.49) and 9.7 and 6.3% at 6 h (SE=2.33)) for long and short intervals, respectively). Doelings receiving a first shock in 2 h did not differ between intervals (16.7 and 19.4% for long and short intervals, respectively; SE=3.20). The percentage of doelings exiting at 2 and 6 h was not affected by fencing treatment. Period of the squares affected (P < 0.05) the percentage of doelings shocked in 2 h (62.5, 29.2, 6.3, 6.3, 0, and 4.2%; SE = 4.92) and exiting pens after 2 (20.8, 8.3, 2.1, 0, 0, and 0%; SE=3.24) and 6 h (27.1, 10.4, 6.3, 4.2, 0, and 0% for 4S-LV, 2S-HV, 2S-LV, 1S-LH-LV, 1S-HH-LV, and 1S-MH-HV, respectively; SE=3.44). Low pen exit, particularly in latter periods, suggests desirability of more thorough prior training to electric fence. Memory of previous exposure to electric fence appeared substantial, implying need to evaluate longer intervals. The overnight fasting period may not have created an adequate impetus to test electric fence for pen exit.


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