Goat Fence

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What type of fence do y'all use for your goats.Husband wants to use a combination of barbed wire with hot fence.Will it work?

-- Bettie Ferguson (jobett@dixie-net.com), December 29, 2000


DON'T use the barb wire, esp. if you will have milkers. They WILL try to get thru it at some point (sure as shootin'), and their udders will get NASTY, deep, gory cuts that require massive first aid work (and maybe expensive visits from the vet), maybe give permanant damage, and make milking a pain--for you and your lady goat. Goats see fences as a challenge, and they WILL try them. PLEASE deep six the idea of barbed wire!!!!

-- Leann Banta (thelionandlamb@hotmail.com), December 29, 2000.

Bettie - electric fence will work just fine without any barbs. You'll need maybe 3 wires (or more) so they can't crawl under, go thru, or go over. It has always worked for me, with Nubians, Toggs, and Saanans. But you have to keep it hot - they know when it's not! I always wanted to try hog panels.

-- Dianne (willow@config.com), December 29, 2000.

Hi, we always used cattle panels. The heavy duty galvin. wire type. They are 5' high and 16 feet long. Put a wood post every 8 '. Goats would never jump them or go through them. I could feed on the other side of the fence and they would just stick their heads thought to eat. It really worked great! They cost around 15.00 bucks each. But in the long run they last just about forever.

-- Linda (hesscat@cot.net), December 29, 2000.

I have used both cattle panel and electric. You MUST train them on the electric and it isn't fun, but it works with almost every goat. I have a horned wether that has to be in cattle panel, but all of my other goats do great behind three strands of elcetric. Don't even consider barbed wire....torn udders are very bad. Good luck!

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@excite.com), December 29, 2000.

We have over 3050 ft. to fence.I wanted to use 5ft.stock fence.I worry about coyotes.I am thinking about putting the goats in a smaller pasture,until I have the money for more stock fence.We are building a new house and husband don't want to use a lot of house money on a fence. I have sweet talked him out of money for four goats and a cow,all in about two weeks time.I want a 5ft. stock fence,but I don't want to push my luck!

-- Bettie Ferguson (jobett@dixie-net.com), December 29, 2000.

Bettie, electric is cheap and easy and also coyotes don't like getting shocked either! I don't have cattle, but I have seen them kept in by a single strand. You can't get away with one strand for goats though. The cattle panel is great, but you can spend boucoup bucks using a lot of it. It works very well for smaller more contained areas. Sorry, I'm blathering away about fencing...I guess I should just say , electric would be the way I would go.

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@excite.com), December 30, 2000.

Bettie, please investigate a true 7-strand New Zealand fence. I recently attended a class on them and found that for predator protection and livestock control they are hard to beat. Also, if they are installed properly, with posts at correct intervals, they are relatively inexpensive and the labor is substantially reduced over any other type of fencing. The only dug-in posts necessary are at the corners, with pounded-in posts every 75 feet and spacers (that don't go into the ground) every 25 feet. This will hold everything from horses to goats, and will keep all coyotes and most deer out. Contact a feed store that sells Gallagher equipment and ask to speak to a fencing consultant.

Boy, I sound like an ad! I have no interest in Gallagher, except that they were the only ones who would explain to me just how a New Zealand fence is really done. I had been puzzling over my own varied fencing needs, and this truly looks like a solution to them all, except for the garden area.

-- Laura Jensen (lrjensen@nwlink.com), December 30, 2000.

I too have debated about using barbed wire and electric combination. I realize the danger of barbed wire, but also want to deter 2-legged trespassers. What would be a safe height (if any) to use barbed wire?

-- Marsha (CaprisMaa@aol.com), December 30, 2000.

Definitely stay away from barbed wire.We use 4 ft field fenceing with one strand of electric on the inside and 16 inches from the ground. The hotwire keeps the goats off the fence and keeps the guard dogs from digging under. One problem with all electric is that the goats seem to be able to tell when it is off.If it is off for more than a day,mine pay no attention to it.

-- JT in NW Fl. (gone2seed@hotmail.com), December 30, 2000.

We use a combination of cattle panels, electric wire and woven wire. We are gradually replacing the woven wire and using cattle panals as we can afford it. The cattle panals are very sturdy and the goats can't bend it as easily when they stand up on the fence and the ele. is off to peer out. But... my alpines are houdinis and its hard to keep them in.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), December 30, 2000.

I would suggest one or two strands of electric to keep your cow in the larger pasture, and cattle panels to build a pen to keep your goats in and bring their feed to them. Later you could work on the rest of the pasture fence so eventually you could turn the goats out on pasture, too. But, I want to add (and fortunately my husband agrees) that when we move and start building, our priorities are, 1. the well, 2. fencing, 3. the house. In other words, we'll build the house after the other stuff gets done, with whatever money is left!!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), December 30, 2000.

Hi Bettie ;) I like your idea of just enclosing around the goats housing with a yard. Then as they get used to your place and get used to you, simply fence in as much property as you can with 4 or 5 foot field fencing, or barbless horse wire. Then just open thier gate during the day when you are home and they can go out to browse, close them in at night, for security. When you have the place securly fenced, that is the time to introduce a guardian dog. Using the horse wire or electric fence, unless it is the net kind from Premier, this won't secure in a dog or keep coyote and strays out. You will think that your problems with your goats will be from exotic wildlife, nothing could be further from the truth, it will be your neighbors pets "who wouldn't bother a fly"!!!

We fenced our 13 acres originally with barbed wire, now we have the fence replaced with field fencing, I love cattle panels and use them around heavy use areas. Like where the does stand on the fence to watch me coming to the barn, and the buck areas! Around their barn just use the fence panels, then when you visit other farms, look and see how they have handled the fencing. Buying hornless, tame stock that is used to being handled is the first most important step! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), December 30, 2000.

Barbed wire against 2 legged trespassers[while tempting]is an invitation for a law suit.Plant multiflora rose instead.If a trespasser gets torn up in that-hey he was only going through natural vegetation.A solar powered 12 volt system works for goats,plus by its not being connected to a house system:it won't carry a lightning strike indoors.Check your connections regularly for shorts. Watch out for free roaming dogs-some people shouldn't be allowed: children,dogs,firearms,vehicles.Check with your county/state re reimbursement for dog damage.If the county can prove whose dog[s] it is,they'll get reimbursement from the offender;additionally[in N.Y.State] there are funds dedicated to reimburse farmers for dog damage.

-- Karl Bechler (kbechler@frontiernet.net), December 30, 2000.

I use a ranch/farm woven fence. It comes in 330 ft rolls. And cost about $90 a roll. I am able to run the fence on trees so it saves me posts (and digging the holes). Inside this, I run a strand of electric, at nose level. This keeps the goats in and predators out. (even the neighbor's dog) I tried running 7 strand wire for my goat but she toughed it out. The woven kept her struggling until the electric kicked her off. The double metal gives a good jolt, too.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), December 30, 2000.

Vicki, did the barbed wire keep the goats contained?

-- Teresa in TN (otgonz@bellsouth.net), December 31, 2000.

Somewhat the barbed wire kept the goats contained. But honestly the junior/yearlings and bucks would go through if they really wanted to. My senior buck Eric, now deceased and in the tank, would press his nose burning lines through it to ground out and break the electric fence, the worst of course would be a jumper, we have none of that! We live in the forest, and at the back fence is 150 acres of improved pasture for cattle. My junior/yearlings would go through not to eat the grass but to play on the big round bales of hay. We had one accidental breeding, LaMancha to Nubian because of this fencing. My big milkers would never go through a fence like this, and yes with going through a barbed wire fence, we had a young doe filet open her back.

The real problem isn't cost, it is that when you are new, like we were, and everyone fences around here with barbed, so do you. Not until you have lived in a place for awhile, and had goats for awhile do you realize that their are other better alternatives. And though they may not be cheaper in the initial cost, over the next 20 years, a good fence is much cheaper than a barbed wire fence that lets in dogs, or lets out goats. Yes, by all means, set your corner posts to show your boundries, and perhaps run some barbed wire to mark the property lines, but then think smaller, and start fencing in pastures or paddocks as you can afford it. The Have More Plan and Back To Basic's both have invaluable information in them for planning your homestead and where to put what. You really ought to have a plan from the beginning, so this way when you are done, your fencing makes sense for what you ultimatly want. Even after having done this, we will be taking down 2 more fences this spring, and replacing more sections of fence with cattle panels. If I would have just started smaller, if you added up the barbed wire, the field fence the fence chargers for electric fencing that were blowen up by lightening and all, I could have afforded the cattle panel fencing!! Boy, I do go on don't I? Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), December 31, 2000.

My property is woods, rocks and hills. For me, the cattle panels wouldn't work, as much as I wish it was so. I did lose two chargers to lightning (one is being repaired for free for the first year) I run the woven fence to the trees, adjusting tention as I go. Digging up rocks or going over them as I can. I guess everyone has their own land discriptions.

PS My sister is looking to homestead and my most important message to her was to find FLAT land. That was her major request for the realitor.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), December 31, 2000.

I agree with the other replies here: DON'T use barb wire. We have a herd of over 20 nubians: both bucks and does, and have found four foot field fence to work just fine around the pasture. The exception is between the buck and doe pastures. There it has to be a full five foot, tornado proof fence. When the bucks are in rut and the does in heat, it really puts a strain on fences and gates. Around the paddocks where the does congregate is a good place to use hot wire. They like to lean their full weight against the fence and then walk along it to scratch their sides. It doesn't take long for 150 pound does to put a serious bow in your fences. Place the hot wire on either side about 18"-24" from the ground to save your fences. Another trick is to make sure there is nothing on the other side of the fence or above the fence near enough for them to even think they can reach it. Goats love to stand their front feet on the wire and reach over for tasty leaves and twigs.

-- Skip Walton (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), December 31, 2000.


Don't know if this is a solution or a question, but has anyone tried Rhino Fence for goats? It's steel and made for continuous fence use. Looks good to me, unless you think a goat would try to climb it?

-- Bobbi Double (ddouble@mediaone.net), November 01, 2001.

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