Fencing Them In


 

Woven Wire

To put it mildly. If you want to keep your goats where you want them, think Fort Knox!

Trust me, when I started raising goats one of the low priorities was fencing. It soon moved to the top of the list! Goats will go under, through and occasionally over less than adequate fences.

If you are dealing with a fairly large area and a fairly small budget you may want to consider patching your existing fences and then stringing hot wire. Hot wire will USUALLY keep them where you want them, just remember that goats hair does not conduct electricity very well so it takes a really strong charger and the right kind of wire. Be sure and consult your local feed and equipment supply store for recommendations. You don't want to spend your hard earned money and then find out you need something different.

In my case I found myself trying to use 281 acres of land that was over grown with black berries, thistle, hawthorne, poison oak, tansy and you name it. In addition to that the perimeter fences were essentially non-existent. I had to start over from scratch and re-fence the entire place.

The first thing that had to be done was to have the property lines surveyed and marked and then have a cat clear the property line so I could get to it to install the new fence.

I had a limited budget so I chose a woven wire fence from Red Top. It is a medium duty fence with 4"x4" openings. I went with the 48" high, 12 gauge with 7 gauge top and bottom wires.

I used heavy duty T-posts set 12 feet apart with occasional wood H's to pull to or from and around curves and corners.

I used a single 4 barbed, barb wire strand three inches above the woven wire. Between the summer of 2009 and 2010 I have installed more than 19,000 ft. of fencing and still have cross fencing to do.

This woven wire is ok but if you keep goats with horns get ready to help the young ones get unstuck on a regular basis. They will eventually shove their heads through the 4" openings to get to a great looking plant and bingo you have an upset goat bleating it's heart out and telling predators where to come for an easy meal. Stark fact maybe but the truth.

There are fencing systems with smaller openings but the price goes up quickly. You have to raise and sell a lot of goats to get your investment back.

We also raise cattle and this fencing system works great for them. We should be able to recoup our cost by the time I'm 90.

Remember goats will push their way under fences so your fence must have a heavy bottom and top wire and be pulled tight and tied on your posts right next to the ground.

In areas where there were small depressions that wouldn't allow the fence to go all the way to the ground I drove an extra post in those areas so I could pull the fence all the way down and tie it. Anything less will not serve you well.

I hope this helps. If you have questions about fencing please feel free to use our Contact Us page and I will do my best to answer your question and I can at least share the little that I have learned.