Goat fence

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sylverfly, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Come spring I'll be fencing in a few acres of open pasture for my goats. I'm trying to figure out what the best fence would be. I can't chance them getting out and getting hit by a car or deciding that someones expensive and shiny car would be a wonderful place to play king of the hill. I had planed on putting up a post and rail type fence and then running three lines of electric fence between the rails (one at the bottom, middle, and top.) But my father is not happy about the electric fence part of that, he is terrified that it will be a fire hazard and can't be told otherwise on the issue. So I'm wondering if I can still use the post and rail fence idea with more boards closer together near the bottom and widening as I go up, and then adding chicken wire or field fence to the inside to prevent any one from climbing the boards or slipping between them? If that would work how tall does it need to be, I have Nigerians. If that doesn't sound like its going to cut it can someone tell me what they have for a fence this big besides electric, maybe post a pic of your fences if you can.
     
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A goat fence.................... What an undertaking, LOL!

    We got goats Spring 2011. We bought 95 pregnant Boers and Kikos. Most of our fencing was five strand barbed wire, which works great for cows, but causes a goat to barely pause before going through it or over it!

    We've tried a few different fencing types. We've done three strand electric, which worked fairly well, so long as you kept the grass from growing up and grounding out the fence. Although there were always some stinkers that managed to get out with a little motivation (such as our freshly planted raspberry plants - Argh!).

    We've added three strands of electric to a five strand barbed wire fence. This worked well, except for through the woods and the places where the barbed wire wasn't close enough to the ground and the goats would just go under. In the woods, the goats would "ride" the young trees (stand on their back legs, hook the tree under their armpit, and then come down on all four hooves and slowly walk along, eating all the leaves within reach). Sometimes the tree would get hung up in the fence, and ground out the electric. Also you had to keep the grass from grounding out the fence.

    We've added three additional strands of barbed wire to a five strand barbed wire fence (one between the ground and the first wire, between the first wire and the second wire, and between the second wire and the third wire). This has worked really well for the bigger goats, but anything under 50-60 pounds can get through. But since this tends to be the babies, they never wander off very far from the fence before coming back in by momma for dinner, and then getting back out again in the morning.

    But what we've found to work best and be fairly economical is "field fencing" with three strands of barbed wire. Put the field fencing an inch or two off the ground. Put one strand of barbed wire between the ground and the field fencing, to discourage them from going under. Put one strand in the middle to keep them from rubbing on and stretching out the fence. And we also put one strand a few inches above the field fencing, for cows. This fence has worked very well for us, it keeps in even the smallest babies. Only complaint is that the goats sometimes put their heads through the fence to nibble at whatever strikes their fancy, and then can't pull their head back out because of their horns. So you can either dehorn your goats (we don't, they make dandy handles for worming, etc.), in some way fasten a stick on their horns that prevents them from reaching their head through the fence (we do this for the repeat offenders, but the stick eventually falls off and needs to be replaced), or just go out and check the fenceline two or three times a day and free any stuck goats (or at a minimum, every day just before dusk). Although I will add that until recently we thought this was an undefeated goat fence. But in October our bottlefed 19 month old Kiko buck, Kuzco, proved otherwise. He thought breeding season should start in October, rather than November. After repeatedly catching him and putting him back in, and fixing every possible hole there could be, we finally caught him in the act - he was jumping over the fence! Not gracefully mind you, but he was getting over. I am still quite amazed he never injured his boy parts on the top strand of barbed wire.

    But despite all this, we still have the goats. We originally got them for eating the weeds the cattle leave behind. And they also make high quality fertilizer pellets that they broadcast themselves all over the pasture, LOL.

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sylverfly

    Sylverfly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it would probably work here. Do you happen to know what the mesh, or how big the open squares are on your field fence and what gauge the wire is? Also did you use wood posts or metal T-post for your fence? Thanks for responding its incredibly helpful to know what people have tried and found didn't work so I don't spend all that money putting up a fence I'll just have to take down or add to so that it works.
     
  4. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager

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    We currently have 47" woven wire around our Nigerian Dwarfs barn, with t=posts. We are getting 48" 2x4 horse fence with wooden posts, with a smooth wire on top. Our pasture is 47" woven wire, with barb wire across top (old cow pasture). The 2x4 horse fence is popular with Nigerian owners as the kids can't sneak through it.
     
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The field fencing was whatever our feedstore carried, I think it was "Red Brand." It's 39" tall, with 6" vertical spacing. Horizontal spacing is 3" at the bottom, gradually going up to 7" at the top. I'm not sure what guage it is, 10 or 12 maybe? We used metal t-posts.
     
  6. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've also thought about using this, but haven't yet because it's rather pricey (close to double the price of regular field fencing). We have a lot fencing we want to do in the next couple years, so the extra $100/roll would add up fast. But it looks like a good long-lasting fence. And if you get the 3" or 12" vertical spacing the head-caught-in-the-fence-thing is no longer a problem. Just a thought. [​IMG]

    http://www.staytuff.com/
     
  7. animalgirl12

    animalgirl12 Out Of The Brooder

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    My goats are free range. what i did is I locked them in there barn for two days and know they stay around but I only have two.
     
  8. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our goats are kind of free range too... We have a few pastures that are goat fenced that we lock them up in at night. In the morning we let them out. Somebody has to shepherd them for the first hour or so, until they calm down from the excitement of being let out. Once they calm down we're able to leave them alone and just let them browse, and then just check on them every hour or so to make sure they're not getting into trouble. In the past year and a half we've kinda tought them where they can and cannot go (aka the property lines). It's not foolproof, they still sometimes get out on the neighbor's properties, but luckily most of our neighbors live up in St. Louis and come down to deer hunt in November, so they never know....... During deer season we keep the goats locked up. Some city people can be quite stupid... One guy was telling us about a friend of his that was bragging about shooting an "albino spike buck." It turned out to be someone's pet goat. [​IMG]

    Someday we'd like to get our whole property perimeter fenced for goats. But that would be miles of fencing, which would be quite expensive not to mention time consuming. But a little at a time we're getting closer to our goal. [​IMG]
     
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Cattle panels. Love 'em! Won't fence a goat with out. You can always add a foot or two of field fencing or tape around the top to increase the height another foot or two.

    My goats have cattle panels, topped off by 3 feet of field fencing that overlaps the top foot or so of the panels. 7 1/2 ft t-posts hold them in place and I bought a dog kennel door at Home Depot for access. Chain link fence is excellent fencing. Some friends of mine got some 8 ft high stuff for free plus posts when a local maximum security prison closed down. Doing some looking or maybe Habitat for Humanity might have some they would be willing to sell.

    The problem with field fencing and big goats is that they can and WILL climb on it unless you put up an electric barrier. My chicken runs--which are enclosed with 2"x4" 48" field fencing and do a dandy job of keeping chickens in--got overgrown with weeds this summer. So I put a few goats in to mow down the weeds. Within 5 minutes I had those goats running all over the yard. Though they could have easily leapt the fence, they chose to CLIMB instead and the fencing was all bent and posts knocked over.
     
  10. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager

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    We do use cattle panels, with Nigerian kids you need to cover the bottom so they don't crawl thru. They will climb chain link, maybe not 8 feet high though. The OP was asking about Nigerians specifically.

    Michickenwrangler, you must have some crazy goats. Our neighbors have Nubians and La Manchas and they don't have your issues using normal goat fencing.

    Mine are more like a couple other people mentioned, they can free range and not go anywhere.
     

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