The animals around here know about our electric fence. Not all of them respect it, but they know about it. Our “hot” wire is set at appropriate heights for each group of critters. It keeps the animals where they belong. It’s for their well-being and safety, as well as others’. The cows, horses, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and even ducks respect the fence. Or at least, they have a great fear of it. The goats are another story.
Anyway, keeping our fence hot, gets to be challenging at times. So, we have two types of indicators that help us maintain it. The first one is a visual indicator. It’s a small device that clips to the fence wire. It has its own little ground rod. When an intermittent pulse of electricity goes through the wire, it lights up. A little red light-bulb flashes. It’s amazing how attached I’ve become to this device. I can see it from the kitchen window. Every morning and evening, I check to see if the red light is blinking.
The second indicator is an audio one. Ours is really loud! It’s a pig squeal. A pig’s eyesight isn’t all that great. And sometimes, they get too close to the wire. Other animals will squeal, “Ouch” once. And they simply jump back if they touch an electric fence. Not so with pigs. With just one snap, pigs will go through all kinds of acrobatic moves. And all the while, there’s a prolonged and blood-curdling squeal. And if one squeals, others may join in; hence, the audio indicator.
If we are within earshot of an audio alert, my wife and I turn to each other and exclaim, “Fence is hot”! Now I don’t like to see anything get hurt, but nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than knowing our fence is doing its job.
I’m not alone. I follow a group called, Pastured Pigs. A few days ago, someone posted the bold question, “Is there anything more satisfying that the sound of someone (pig) hitting the electric fence after its been down (and you’ve been attempting to fix) for days”? Many commented that it was their favorite sound. Another said, “You can only know and understand this satisfaction if you’ve been through it”. I wholeheartedly agree.
As I sit in the kitchen writing tonight, I can see the little, red light blinking. For the moment, it’s peaceful on our 160-acre homestead. I’ll go to bed knowing our fence is working. Every critter will stay in their place, except the goats. Please hurry Mr. Trump! I needed that fence for the goats yesterday. They don’t respect boundaries and go wherever they damn-well please. It won’t be long before it’s an international crisis.
In all seriousness, we’re allowing our goats to free-range. They’re enjoying their summer break. The goats are perfectly content and looking good. Of course, there are risks with that kind of freedom… they killed the herbs.