Getting my first goat... maybe

squidvicious

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2016
32
2
34
NW PA
I've been wanting a dairy animal for awhile. I've gone back and forth between goats and cows. Cows have fewer fencing requirements, but produce way more milk than my family will consume. Goats need hardy fencing, but produce less milk and will probably have a lower maintenance cost over all than a cow.

I have just found a bred dairy goat due in April available for sale that I'm considering looking at if it's still available (if it's not there are some other goats that aren't currently bred I might look at).

However I'm struggling with the fencing set up. Currently we have 2 horses, who have not had any experience with goats. In a perfect world I would be able to keep them all in the same pasture and everyone gets along and is one big happy family. (Probably not going to happen, but for the purposes of this post, let's just roll with it.) The fencing set up for the horses is a very large pasture that is divided into 2 sections separated by a gate that we leave open most of the time. The smaller section is right by the barn and offers a large walk in stall, 5 high tensile wires attached to wood posts, 2 of which are electric. The larger section is a single strand of electric tape , which borders dense forest on 2 sides, which is obviously not going to keep in a goat. The sturdier fence has dense forest on one side and a stand of trees on another.

My question is would the smaller section of pasture be enough to keep the goat in, assuming everyone gets along or we separate the horses into the larger pasture? Would it be better to run several wires of high tensile fencing around the large pasture (which concerns me because there's wild cherry trees there, the horses stay away from them but I know goats like wood)? We could fence off most of the cherry trees. Or would it be better to build a separate goat enclosure?
 

cassie

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 19, 2009
6,103
2,263
401
You need very good fencing for goats. Keeping them in is just half of it. Keeping predators out is the other half. You might look into that electrified poultry fencing. It will take care of both issues.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,736
58,913
1,312
central Wisconsin
I would go with a separate goat enclosure. A kick from a horse will kill a goat. We have used woven wire, cattle panels, electric fencing, and wood. All can work, but it's best to pick what will work for your situation.

Avoid wide spaced fencing if your goats have horns because they will repeatedly get stuck in it. We currently use 3-4 foot tall welded wire with 1 strand of electric to keep them from rubbing, and pushing on the fence. We also have wooden fencing in some areas.
 
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