Fence repairs can become a common routine when keeping goats. Goats are curious animals, constantly attempting escape regardless of whether or not it’s intentional.
It’s almost too easy for them to test a fence and break it down in the process of trying to scratch themselves or simply get out, making it frustrating and a hassle to deal with the damage done. This is why having a strong and durable fence is necessary to keep your goats contained and protected.
You can keep your goats in with ease while keeping predators and other potential dangers out. Good farmers have good fences.
There is a great variety of fencing options that may be beneficial for you and your goats but numerous factors to think about before committing to one. Once you do, you can be well on your way to constructing the best fence for your escape artists.
However, it’s important to take the first vital step before committing to any of these types: acknowledge the necessary requirements you must meet.
These requirements apply to any type of fencing, which is why you should focus on these components first.
Before constructing or fixing up a fence for your goats, there are important factors you need to consider. You must first establish the location and area size of your fencing. Figure out where your fence lines will be, along with items like corner posts and gate locations.
Always map it out before starting so you can ensure the fence is done correctly and effectively for what you want and need.
Also consider terrain. Your goal is to designate an area for fencing that is mostly flat and not overly rocky. This will prevent any potential challenges when building the fence.
These components, along with the typical behavior of your goats, will determine your fence design. In whatever design you commit to, make sure fencing is at least 4 feet tall to hinder their ability to jump it.
Also determine whether you prefer temporary or permanent fencing –– this will affect how frequently you need to tend to your fence, what materials you need, and the efforts you need to make to construct it.
Temporary fencing can be moved around often, typically occurring sometime around daily to weekly. An example you’ll see is electric netting.
Then you have permanent fencing –– the strongest and most durable of the options that requires no movement. This may cost more, but the overall results often prove its worth.
There may be some semi-permanent fencing, as well, which falls somewhere on a timeline in between these two options.
With this being said, let’s get into the various types of goat fence ideas for you to choose from.
If you plan to utilize a smaller and flat area to keep your goats in, then you may consider having feedlot panels, sometimes referred to as cattle panels or hog panels. This option may not seem like it, but it is strong, and it’s also a better option if you need to separate your animals in a pen.
It’s easy to maneuver and requires less work than wooden frame style fencing. The standard for these are at least 4 feet tall and around 16 feet long. You may purchase these online for reasonable prices.
If you’re looking for something to cover more ground, a wooden fence is a good option. It’s mostly durable, and materials are easy to replace when damage is done to the fencing.
This can be very inexpensive if you do the work yourself and utilize materials you may already have at your homestead, like pallets of wood. However, this construction can be far more challenging and is usually more of a high maintenance fence.
Wood can be considered dangerous due to weathering, rotting, and termites. Goats also chew on the wood causing a slew of problems.
The cons of this option may outweigh the pros, but wood fencing can be done with efficiency if properly maintained.
If you decide to take this route, also consider constructing the fence in a stockade-style rather than picket to make sure your goats are protected and to prevent their hooves and knees from getting trapped in the fence.
A great alternative to wood is wire fencing. Permanent wire fencing is most durable and requires much less maintenance than the types of fencing previously discussed.
Again, the standard size in height for the perimeter fence is 4 feet; however, this wire fencing may need to be taller for some breeds, so keep this in mind.
It’s also recommended to utilize woven wire, which can be very beneficial for permanent fencing, so you can purchase the necessary amount to meet your sizing requirements. Your wire fencing should have 4-by-4-inch small openings, or the “squares” you see in the woven wire fence.
This makes it slightly more expensive, but it is necessary considering that any bigger size gap may result in your goats’ heads getting caught in the gaps, or predators getting through to attack them. Large gaps also give goat kids (baby goats) easy access to go beyond the goat yard.
Goats come in all different sizes. You must keep this in mind when constructing your fence, or be mindful of the size of different breeds of goats. Maybe you don’t buy breeds that become too big for your goat farm.
Temporary wire fence kits may be purchased online. These work right along with the permanent fencing. You’ll attach the wires to fence posts that are dug fairly deep in the ground. The end post of a fence is usually 2-4 feet deep in the ground. This prevents tension from pulling the post over.
3-BOARD/WELDED WIRE COMBO
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, you may decide to construct a fence with a combination of wooden planks (3-board fencing) and welded wire.
You can use welded wire instead of woven wire fence in this case since you have the added protection of the boards (welded wire is also the less expensive option). FYI: woven wire and field fence are usually the same thing.
This provides extra strength and is perhaps the most durable out of all of these options, but it is also the most expensive. It’s not the most ideal for bigger areas of land or if you’re working on a strict budget. However, it is incredibly durable. It also works great if you have horses or other animals located adjacent to your goats.
It’s recommended that with this fence, you may need 2-by-4-inch gaps of wire to prevent your goats from getting their horns caught between the slats, but definitely don’t go any bigger than 4-inch squares. Thin timber like 1-by-6 treated lumber tend to work best . They’re not too heavy or too narrow.
ELECTRIC NET FENCING
Another good choice that can be much cheaper and just as strong as the 3-board wooden slats and welded wire fence combination is the electric netting.
Temporary electric netting is easy to purchase and put up, but it doesn’t last as long. This may be right up your alley if you want an easier setup option and don’t mind the extra maintenance.
If you’re willing to put in the work to build a permanent electric fence, you may just have found the best option yet.
With the permanent fencing, you can either add electric wire to pre-existing wire fencing, or, if you prefer, you can construct an electric fence using wooden posts or steel posts along with high-tensile wire. This is highly recommended and most likely your best bet.
You will need additional materials compared to other fencing, such as different wiring and an electric fence charger. The key to having a successful electric net fence is not just maintaining the right voltage and wiring it correctly, but having enough properly installed ground rods is the most important thing. Too often we don’t put enough emphasis on the ground rod aspect of our electric fence.
There should be at least five strands of wires along the fence, with the bottom wire being an option for a ground wire. There are not vertical wires, so I wouldn’t recommend using less than 5 horizontal strands in your high tensile wire fence. Also, be sure to maintain an electrical charge hot enough to discourage your goats and livestock predators.
Electric fencing provides not only a physical barrier to your goats and predators, but also a psychological barrier, making it less likely that your goats will escape.
An electric fence is not harmful. If this is a concern of yours, don’t worry. The hot wire effectively keeps your goats in by psychologically training them to stay away from it without causing any true danger to them. The volts are high, but the amps (amplifications) are low, almost nonexistent, not even enough of shock to kill a squirrel. Plus, the fence provides a shock in pulses, unlike the constant flow of electricity in your home’s electrical grid.
Out of these types, permanent electric fencing can be considered a great option, possibly the best option because of its greater durability and cost efficiency. It could be argued that the wire and wood combination is better, but it requires more expensive materials than this option.
Permanent electric fencing works for a long time with little repairs and maintenance, aside from occasionally checking voltage and your fence lines.
Overall, this is perhaps the best type of fence provided. However, it ultimately comes down to the previous factors, including the designated area, location, behavior of your goats, costs, etc.
This fencing style has been proven successful by many farmers and ranchers, but you may determine you need another fencing option.
Based on the type of fencing you choose to use, you will then need to determine what materials you’ll need, and where you’ll get them, before beginning your work.
General fence materials you may need include the following:
- T-Posts and Corner Posts
- T-Post Insulators
- Corner Strainers
- Corner Post Insulators
- Wires (depends on type of fencing)
- High tensile wire
- Electric Fence Charger (for electric fencing)
- AC or Battery-Powered
- Also Solar-Powered options
- Ground Rods
Materials and the amount of each, again, depend on the type of fencing you choose to go with, as well as the size of the area you are covering.
These are the typical materials needed, and depending on the case, you may need more or less than the provided supplies.
Individual materials can almost always be purchased online. Utilize various websites that allow you to purchase necessary materials for your goat fencing.
Sites like Tractor Supply Co. and Powerflex Fence provide many options for fencing, as well as any items you may need to construct the right fence for you and your goats.
You may also purchase fence kits if you decide to stick with temporary fencing or fences that are generally easy to put up and to take care of.
Here’s another article I wrote: How to Build Electric Fence for Goats
You can often sort the selection shown on these websites through filtering options by fence length, height, features, price, etc.
These items may be shipped directly to you, or you can even pick them up if the store you have chosen is local.
Once these items are bought or you have gathered materials already in your possession, you can construct the best fencing option for your goats.
MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP
It’s important that even after your fence is constructed, you put in the necessary work to maintain it properly. The upkeep of your fence is just as essential as building it in order to prevent your goats from escaping and ensuring that everything remains in good condition.
Regular inspections are needed, so make sure to walk the fence line regularly, checking for lack of tension and sturdiness, tall grass on your fence line, and for damage in general.
It’s recommended that you do the following in a regular routine:
Daily Inspection: Check the general area of your fencing, walking the fence line and looking for any signs of wear, holes, or gaps. If you notice weeds and/or debris around the fence line, clear it (fence line should stay trimmed). Check the bottom of your fence closely; this is where goats like to focus their attention.
Quarterly Inspection: Check the entirety of the fence in detail. Make sure every post, as well as hinges, latches, screws, and any other attachments, is secure and that nothing is damaged or broken. Also check taht your wire spacing has not been altered.
Annual Inspection: Prior to the breeding season, check the entire length of the fence in detail again. Make sure everything is sturdy and secure, including all posts, corners, and gates. Check for any damage caused by weather or wood rot; you may need to do this more frequently if there are specific weather incidents occurring. You may also consider placing flagstones at the bottom of your fencing to make sure the base is fully protected. This way you don’t have to constantly clear weed and debris right along the fence line.
Rather than chewing on the wood, trying to climb over the fence, or getting caught in some wire, your goats can be occupied by various items within the designated fenced-in area.
Invest in some colorful toys for them to chew on, place various raised platforms throughout the area, and provide something they can scratch themselves on that isn’t the fence.
This extra bit of effort will not only benefit your goats but you as well, allowing them to have fun while you don’t have to worry about taking care of further damage caused by them messing with your fencing. Create a happy, healthy environment for them and you will be creating the same for yourself.
Overall, there are many effective fencing options that you can consider and choose from to utilize for your goats.
Factors to keep in mind include, but are not limited to, location, the size of the area you desire to enclose, your budget, your goats behavior, their breed, and what you are generally willing to take care of.
Each type of fencing has its pros and cons, but it’s up to you to ultimately decide which is the perfect fence for you and your goats. Once that’s decided, you can determine necessary materials and your methods of construction. When your fence is installed and completed, your hard work is done! You can let your goats enjoy their new, enjoyable area while you sit back and relax, without the stress of damage and repairs. Enjoy observing your goats, and watching them roaming and having fun without attempting escape.