Best kind of fencing for goats? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

We are wanting to put in a pasture area for our goats this spring. First we need to get the fencing in. We have used wooden posts with three wooden rails and with metal panels for the barnyard. We have never had a problem with the goats getting out of that area. However, we are trying to decide whether to continue with that form of fencing to extend the area to include another 1/2 acre. That type of fencing is expensive, but we don't want to risk the goats getting out. When we do go to town we are sometimes gone most of the day and our nearest neighbor is 2 miles away so we would have no one to contact us if there was a problem. I am concerned about the reliability of hot wire. Any suggestions?

-- Marie in Central WA (, March 22, 2002


Remember the fencing in Jurassic Park?

Actually, I've had good luck with electric fencing. The goats (and Pyrs) get zapped, and quickly learn to stay back.

Good luck!

-- Lisbeth (, March 22, 2002.

We've had good luck with the four foot horse fence. It is pulled really tight and we made sure there were no gaps at the bottom to the ground. We have several types of goats and so far none have got out. Now that I've said that, I'd better go check the goats ;]

-- Debbie in S IL (, March 23, 2002.

We have four kinds of fence here- woven wire reinforced with wood, wood board fence, stock panel, and electric. The woven wire has big holes, maybe 6X6 or more. A determined dog can go right through it. The wooden board fence looks nice and keeps them contained. The wood was salvaged from snowmobile crates so cost wasn't a factor. Stock panel is great, although it lacks the charm of a board fence. Also be careful of the rough edges of the panels if they come to a corner inside the pen for some reason. I have had goats gouged by the edges- especially when it was used for gates. Do not use it for gates if you can help it, OR reinforce the gate by making a wooden frame all around it, covering the sharp edges and giving it more rigidity. Electric fence is used exclusively in the pasture, we use two strands of electric twine and they do break out once in awhile, but not often. Most of the escapades are due to old twine (ten years old or more) that is breaking down after years in the sunshine. Electric fence (regular electric wire) is also used to reinforce the buck pen, around the top perimeter and inside, too, to keep them from pushing against the fence.

-- Rebekah (, March 23, 2002.

Buy a old military base, its the only thing that will hold those darling in. seriously, woven wire with electric or cattle panels. On our old farm in VA we had about 6 acres of our 35 fenced in cattle panales.

-- Bernice (, March 23, 2002.

Cattle panel would be my first choice if I could afford it. My budget allows for electric :). They get out on occasion, but then I have had them climb cattle panel on occasion as well. hmmm. Jurassic Park would certainly work!

-- Doreen (, March 24, 2002.

We also chose field fencing, then the next year we added posts every 10 feet, we tried electric on the inside but we live in lightening strike alley :) I have now started replacing the field fence with cattle panels, mostly around the barns and the heavy traffic areas. They make excellent buck pens! There was no way when we starting fencing we could have afforded to use cattle panels the whole 13 acres plus all the cross fencing, but I bet if you add up all the wire, posts, refencing, on and on that we have done, we spent that much and maybe more! vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (Nubians) (, March 24, 2002.

Hi Marie,

Cattle panels rule but who can afford to fence the whole place in them? The holding pens are cattle panels here, but the rest is field fencing with an electric wire 18 inches from the bottom (discourages hooves on the fence) and a wire at the top. And tie bright plastic "flags" on the hot wire. They learn to recongize it. Once they do, they're less apt to "try" the fence again. But goats are goats, and they'll try it again eventually. Cattle will try a hot fence a couple of times and STOP. Goats are more intelligent. They'll "touch" it occasionally just to be sure. They KNOW they can sneak up on it eventually. Around here, field fencing is about $70.00 for a 330 ft roll. Posts about every 8 feet.


-- Dennis (, March 25, 2002.

Oh, forgot!

Use a copper rod driven in the ground to ground the charger, don't use the ground on an electric pole. And use a surge protector on the charger. Most fried chargers are from voltage surges or using a common ground with an electrical system.

If you use metal T posts with the field fencing, you have an immediate ground close to the hot wire. Even more effective than just the goat to ground in dry soil conditions. If you use wood posts, connect a heavy ground wire from your field fencing to the copper ground rod, and use an occasional metal post. Protection from lighting. Learned that on the hard way. Ever see how cattle will line up along the barbed wire fence when a thunderstorm is approaching? Yup, just begging to be medium well done. Goats don't have the same behavior, but better safe than sorry!


-- Dennis (, March 25, 2002.

Good goat fencing isn't cheap but losing a registered animal to dogs or wandering off isn't either. Here are two methods I use. I have 4 acres fenced and cross fenced with woven wire on wood and metal posts with a strand of electric on the inside about 18" to 24" from the ground to prevent the little buggars from using the fence as a back scratcher and to keep my bucks and breeding does separated. I built them a three sided hay feeder with 3 spare wooden posts and 12 feet of leftover woven wire that doubles as a pretty good back scratcher. It seems to keep them contented. I also have 3 acres fenced with 4 strands of alternating hot and ground high tension fencing, as long as the bottom strand is hot and 18 inches from the ground nothing including dogs has made it through my fence. You have to keep the grass mowed under the fence. Electric fencing is fine. Once the stock find out what it's like they tend to stay away from it except during breeding season. If the power is off for a short time they still respect it so you have time to restore the power. There are several excellent solar/battery powered chargers as well.

-- Rick Thompson (, July 05, 2002.

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