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Mobile Electric Camp/Paddock for mob grazing

Building small mobile enclosures with electric fences for mob grazing can be a practical and effective way to manage livestock rotation without the need for a herder. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create such enclosures:

Materials Needed:

  1. Electric fence energizer (solar-powered or battery-operated)
  2. Electric fence posts (suitable for temporary use)
  3. Electric fence polywire or tape
  4. Grounding rod (if using a battery-operated energizer)
  5. Insulators for attaching polywire/tape to posts
  6. Gate handles for easy access in and out of the enclosures
  7. Livestock water and feed containers (optional)

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Plan and Design: Determine the size and number of enclosures you need based on the number of livestock and the desired grazing rotation. The goal is to have enough space for the livestock to graze intensely for a short period before moving to the next enclosure.
  2. Install Corner Posts: Set up corner posts for each enclosure using durable and sturdy electric fence posts. These corner posts will serve as anchor points for the electric fence lines.
  3. Set Up the Electric Fence Lines: Attach the polywire or tape to the corner posts using suitable insulators. The number of wires or tapes you use may vary, but two or three strands at different heights can work well. Space the wires out to match the livestock you’re grazing; larger animals may need the wires higher.
  4. Install Gate Handles: At the designated entrance and exit points of each enclosure, attach gate handles to allow easy access for moving the livestock in and out. This is important for mob grazing, as you’ll be frequently moving the animals from one enclosure to another.
  5. Erect Temporary Fence Posts: Using temporary electric fence posts, create the dividing fence lines between each enclosure. These posts should be movable to allow for easy changes to the enclosure size or shape.
  6. Connect the Electric Fence: Connect the polywire or tape to the electric fence energizer. If you’re using a solar-powered energizer, place it in an area with sufficient sunlight. For battery-operated energizers, connect it to a grounding rod to complete the circuit.
  7. Test the Fence: Before introducing the livestock, test the electric fence to ensure it’s working correctly and providing enough charge to deter the animals from escaping.
  8. Move the Livestock: Once everything is set up, move the livestock into the first enclosure. Allow them to graze intensively for a short period, typically a few days, depending on the size of the herd and the available forage.
  9. Rotate to the Next Enclosure: After the grazing period is over, move the livestock to the next enclosure. This rotational grazing process continues, mimicking mob grazing without a herder.
  10. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly monitor the livestock, the condition of the forage, and the enclosures. Adjust the size and location of the enclosures as needed to ensure optimal grazing and plant recovery.

Remember that electric fences are effective when properly installed and maintained. Ensure the electric fence is kept free from vegetation, and regularly check for any damage or malfunctioning components. Safety is crucial when working with electric fences, so make sure everyone involved is aware of the risks and proper handling procedures.

In Southern Africa you can get the relevant equipment from Nemtek.

Here’s a good article on how to train your sheep for mob grazing with electric fences:

https://www.progressivefarming.co.uk/howtoguides/train-livestock-to-electric-fencing

Worthwhile videos

Here’s a nice video showing how a mobile electric fence enclosure is moved using a quadbike/ATV
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