How to build a goat-proof fence? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Help fellow countrysiders. While getting my bath this morning I let my two goats out to eat. I should have known better. They got into my morning glories which were really starting to take off. I do not have a fenced in area but I need to do something. I have a 1 1/2 acre hillside I would like to fence in cheaply that will keep two goats, a great pyranees dog, and 30 some chickens in check. I am not a good handyman so something simple & cheap would be great. I do have access to lots of wooden pallets at work if this helps. Please tell me how to build a fence in easy terms because remember - I am not a good handyman! Thanks in advance!

-- Michael W. Smith (, August 13, 2000


Do you really need a fence? The goats seem to be the problem. Can you put a collar on them and stake them out during the day? Even here I can see lots of problems with their tie rope getting hung up. There really is no cheap fencing system even with just an acre and a half. Your alternative might be to get rid of the goats.

A couple of years ago I had a bull calf which insisted on working his way through barb wire fences. Sold him to my neighbor. He said the calf was right tasty.

-- Ken S. in TN (, August 13, 2000.

Ken, no I really don't need a fence but thought it might be nice to have a fence to pasture them in. Both goats do have collars on, and I have tried the stake them out routine, but they freak out when I start leaving them. Get rid of the goats? Not a chance. I don't have to fence in 1 1/2 acres, but I thought it might be nice to have a little pasture area for them.

-- Michael W. Smith (, August 13, 2000.

Michael I am not sure there is such a thing as goat proof fence but I have had good luck with plain old field fencing. At my local store it comes in 5'H x 330'L rolls and the openings in the squares are 4 1/2". I run rails between the posts, at the top and bottom, 60" apart to fasten the top and bottom of the fence to. This keeps the girls from crawling under or riding the fence down. The bottom rail is about 4" off the ground. Always put the corner braces on the outside of the wire so the goats cannot walk up them and jump off. This should work ok for the GP too unless it decides to dig. As for the chickens it would have to be closer the gound to keep them in and the smaller ones could probably fit through the openings unless you used chicken wire on the bottom also. Clipping wings will keep them from flying over.

-- Marci (, August 13, 2000.

we use a solar electric fence it started out w/ 3 strands now we have 5 and that seems to hold them in. i donot loveit but it works.

-- renee oneill (, August 13, 2000.

I have a Marci and renee combination. My pygmy used to get out between the 5 strands of eletric so I put up a ranch fence. The feild or ranch fence was only $89 for the 330 feet. I used cedar poles from a neighbor's clearing (free) and landscape ties (cost $2.95 ea) for posts. I ran the fence on the outside of the posts and ran a strand of wire near the ground for the eletric fence. Now nothing gets out or in for that matter. (We have coyote and bears - not to mention neighbor dogs)

-- Dee (, August 13, 2000.

Just couldn't stay a lurker on this one. A goat magizine from Texas had joke about goat fence. When they got the fence built, they would throw a buket of water at it and if the water went through, it wasn't goat proof.

-- Darrell Schlueter (, August 13, 2000.

I agree with Darrel. I watched my saanen doe, Angel, climb over a 6 foot farm fence like it was a ladder with my austalian shepard following after her. For Angel, the grass was ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence and nothing would stop her from getting there. Electric fence? Maybe house current.

-- Laura (, August 14, 2000.

I'm sure Laura's comment about using household current for an electric fence was in jest. However, it should not even be considered. Household current is constant. It an animal gets caught in the wires it will kill them. Fence chargers use a pulsating current so they at least have a chance to get away from it. I use a 10,000 volt charger and when it is cranking full strength you don't want to touch the fence. As I have mentioned in the past, animals can be trained about electric fencing by putting globs of peanut butter on the wire. Teaches them respect and not to like peanut butter. In theory an entire section of woven wire can be made hot by isolating it from the posts with fence wire insulators which are nailed on to the post.

-- Ken S. in TN (, August 15, 2000.

When we get goats again, I am going to keep them in a small paddock and bring their feed to them. It is nice for them to be able to have more space -- though you could take them for walks if you wanted to -- but it is so expensive and difficult to fence a large area to be goat-proof. I plan to use hog panels for the paddock, two high, with concrete posts, and possibly electric fence around top and bottom. (Can you tell, I've had goats before! LOL!!) As far as the Great Pyrenees is concerned, we had a female that could get out through field fencing. The male stayed put even without fencing. So it may depend on what sex your dog is. The chickens could go in chicken tractors. Much cheaper than fencing an acre and a half for them, tight enough to keep them in and predators out.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, August 15, 2000.

i also use an electric fence. they are surprisingly easy to install. the other thing that i have found is that after a brief training period, the fence no longer has to be on. they wont go near it anyway...would you? i am thinking of putting the fence (uncharged) around my house and garden, and letting the goats graze everwhere else. lots o luck

-- john (, August 17, 2000.

I've given up for this year about fencing the goats. They have jumped the fence and eaten everything down anyway, so I conceded. I simply draw the line when there are goats in the HOUSE, since last week one got in the open front door and broke the dishes on the kitchen table.

Actually, I am free to enjoy the tail end of Summer more, rather than mend fences and swear at my girls every day.

I think cattle panels would hold them, but who can afford to fence in a few acres with cattle panels??

-- Rachel (, August 17, 2000.

I have said this before, but, if I had all the money I spent on the fencing of our 13 acres, with barbed wire, horse wire, electric fence with chargers that got blown across the barn, lightening arresters, and field fencing, I could have indeed afforded to use cattle panels. To do this cheaply think small don't think of fencing the whole thing at once, since even the use of a good quality feild fencing would still be alot of money for some. Buy yourself 4 treated/wooden posts and sackcrete to make your gate sturdy and where you want it, and remember you want it to push in towards the goats and not out towards you. Then buy 4 cattle pannels with t-posts for corners and middles, about every 8 feet. And start there. Viola` you have a 16 by 16 pen. When you have more money next month buy 4 more and on and on. Make sure and overlap the panels and don't butt them together. You can also order cattle panels that have only 4 inch holes in them. All of my babies can fit through cattle panel holes, even the varigated ones. So I use the smaller holed panels in the kids pens and the larger ones in the adult pens. We have the property perimeter fenced in feild fencing and use the cattle panels for extra security in the buck pens, and in areas of high traffic with the does, ie, where they eat their hay, where they look out to see when I am coming to do chores, and as fencing between pens. The other added bonus of cattle panels is that you can set your water, hay and feed out on your side of the fence and they can eat through the panels, and not poop or step in the feed. Obviously won't work for horned animals, and my adult bucks also won't fit. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, August 17, 2000.

I did well with woven wire fencing on my 11 acre pasture, then I got a new doe nicknamed 'the escape artist' She taught my herd to get out either under or over the fence andinto my neighbors corn. I ended up building a goat 'supermax' using 52" x 16' cattle panels, an establised fenceline and my barn wall. I needed 10 panels to house 30 does.

-- Dianne (, August 18, 2000.

I vote for electric fence in front of woven wire. It will keep them from climbing on and rubbing against the wire. Don't ever think you can do without the fence being on though. I had a doe with a permanent burned spot on her nose. Checked it everyday, she did.

-- Melina Bush (, August 18, 2000.

I've tried both and lost .So now my girls walk around chained to tires ! They can wonder but not to fast .Maybe i'll get brave enough to try again .

-- Patty Gamble (, August 18, 2000.

Well to tell you the trueth I don't know if there is a goat proof fence. I'm in the process of getting a hightencile 5 strand fence installed for my ladies and I will keep you posted. This site has given me some great laughs. The tears were actually running down my face. I needed it as my nieghbors are theatening to shoot my sixty odd does and kids.

-- Elizabeth Gordon (, June 10, 2001.

Years ago, husband and I fenced in 40 acres with 7 strands of high tension wire, with every other wire electric (solar).The bottom strands were closer together and spaced wider toward to top. We had about 250 goats at the time and never had one escape. It was a bit expensive, but meant to be permanent. Could fence in smaller pastures one at a time as money allowed, and would also be nice for rotating pastures. We are now renting a house with 2 acres and I am trying to find an inexpensive way to fence in the woods to start with goats again. May try the woven wire/electric fence combo to see. Oh well, wish us luck!

-- Amy Tarr (, July 15, 2001.

I have to go with the cattle panel too. In the last 20 years we've been through roll fencing- pigs force an edge up and the goats follow. I've watched them LAY on their sides and wiggle under. Electric (single, mesh, poly and multiple strand). Cows will leave it alone, but the horse and goats will check for current with their upper lip each morning and the upkeep for weeding is pretty serious. Chicken wire is close to useless (even for chickens) and goats will ride it down until it's flat.

We keep cattle, horses, goats, chicken, ducks. We try to keep out dogs and cyotoes (they reached Georgia about 4 years ago.) and the growing population of cityidiots who can't quite grasp the concept of personal property if there isn't a house on it.

Here's our fence: 16 foot cattle panels with T-post every 8 feet. We over lap the ends by a square and use rebar ties to join them (these come in 1000 cout rolls and the tool is $10)

The regular fence clips won't go around both panels. We clip the first and use 16 gage wire cut to length and catch both when we set the second -the wire that is used for suspended ceilings works fine and is reasonable in price.

THEN- I place 2 inch mesh fence (chicken) on the inside using the smallest clips they sell for making wire cages. I start it on full square above the ground to let the wild turkeys poults and quail through. Why- It gets old having to pull goat heads out, it keeps the heavy breeds of chickens in and it keeps out smaller dogs out.

Then we place a single wide electric poly ribbon on top to keep the catle off.

Expensive? Not really, I hate to even think what we've spent before this.

Good things-- the fence can wander around, we don't have to keep a straignt line( no tension involved) It keeps the pigs and goats in, the predators out, you can buy it a few posts and panels at a time, you don't need alot of strength to put the pannels up (the post are something else) and you don't need 5 posts coners or midline braces. Also, it is easy to remove a single panel if one is damanaged.

-- Jenny Johnson (, July 22, 2001.

Micheal Stock panel for grown goats. sells for 13.00 each here. 6ft t-post 2.00. we use 3- 3/8 in U bolt to join ends with. but invest in a bolt cutter, here in these hills 16 ft ain,t always straight or level.

-- Nathan Harris Sr. (, July 22, 2001.


-- amanda russell (, January 02, 2002.

hmmmm. woven wire with electric about 1 ft off the ground works for 10 nubians and 2 pyrs. when i am home and the weather is nice i use 5 cattle panels joined with baling wire in the front field (not fenced-YET) and it holds the 5 milkers-no problem. some goats love to get out, some never learn how. mine only escape when a 2-legged kid leaves a gate unlatched somewhere.

-- laura (, March 13, 2002.

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