Factors affecting behavior of goats in pens with electric fence strand additions to cattle barb wire fence

TitleFactors affecting behavior of goats in pens with electric fence strand additions to cattle barb wire fence
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsTsukahara, Y, Gipson, TA, Detweiler, GD, Sahlu, T, Goetsch, AL
Conference NameXI International Conference on Goats

A constraint to grazing of goats in cattle pastures is the different types of fence required for containment of both species. Thus, the objective this experiment was to investigate effects of meat goat breed, gender, experimental period, and preliminary and washout treatments on behavior in pens with electric strand modifications to cattle barb wire fence. Eighty of four types of growing meat goats (Boer wethers and doelings, 24.0±1.27 and 22.3±0.97 kg; Spanish wethers and doelings, 16.9±0.43 and 15.6±0.28 kg, respectively) were assigned to four sets of 20 animals used in 5×5 Latin squares. Test pens of 2.4×3.7 m had three metal panel sides and one of barb wire strands at 30, 56, 81, 107, and 132 cm from the ground adjacent to a pasture with abundant vegetation. Fence treatments were electric strands at 15 and 43 (LH), 15 and 23 (LM), 15 (L), 23 (M), and 43 cm (H) at 6 kV. During a 4-wk adaptation period, animals were sequentially exposed each week to test pens with different fence conditions: no electric strands, one strand at 0 kV, LH, and LH. Two preliminary treatments (barb wire with no electric strands and LH) were applied the week before the first measurement period. During the Latin square periods, after fasting overnight each set of animals was placed in test pens and observed for 1 h with a video surveillance system. In the 1-wk interval between observation periods, two washout treatments were imposed: with or without electric strands at ≥6 kV situated next to concentrate feed troughs. Data were analyzed by a MIXED model with the repeated measure of period. There were no effects of gender or preliminary or washout treatment, and interactions between fence treatment and breed were nonsignificant. Fence treatment affected the percentage of animals exiting test pens (31, 23, 16, 35, and 30%; SE=5.3 for LH, LM, L, H, and M, respectively). Breed influenced (P