The team that keeps grass height to levels appropriate for Swainson’s hawk foraging (these raptors need to see and be able to access prey, and taller vegetation constrains both) run on four legs and weigh about 40 pounds. Their work to control vegetation height is cheaper and safer than herbicides, field crews using string trimmers, controlled burning or even a tractor with a mower on it. But they need containment. We’re talking goats here. And containment is the issue.
We use an electric netting called polywire for containment. Our field crews set up paddocks for the goats to graze in sequence, and we give the occupied paddock fencing a “buzz,” charged with solar panels. However, we only charge that area where the goats actually are, not where they will go to next.
When we turned power on to the pre-installed “next” fencing the other day, it didn’t work. Complete failure to take a charge and contain the goats. What? It seems the squirrels, rabbits and rodents chewed the plastic part of the polywire and destroyed its functionality! This is expensive stuff!
Now, we keep it all buzzed and hot, whether it is the goat-occupied paddock or the pre-installed paddock awaiting the next grazing rotation. If we don’t keep it charged up, it’ll just get chewed up and destroyed.
Outsmarted by rodents. The shame.