Figuring out about the goat fencing on its own with little resources out there is confusing. Especially if one is new to commercial goat farming, there will be a lot of challenges. To make the process simple, this article will provide the roadmap for the fence for goat farms. One will get everything they need for setting up the fence for their farm in the article.
In a commercial goat farming business, fencing is an integral part of rearing goats. Fencing helps one to give safeguard and security to the goats from the harms of outside. Also, it is beneficial for keeping goats manageable.
So all the aspects of fencing move around with the single aim of keeping the goats inside and danger outside. But, the thing is that containing a goat is a mighty task. There always will be that one goat who wants to outsmart the fence but, the thing is, no goat farmer is alone in this.
Goat Fencing Ideas
Goat fencing depends on location, climate, number and size of goats, etc. So, one has to keep these considerations in mind while constructing fences on the farm. Yet, apart from these factors, there is some universal base to cover. So, here are the things one needs to focus on while building a practical and robust fence for their goat farm.
1. Choosing the Right Style of Fence
No matter space, goats love to poke their head through it if it fits. Goats have a triangular shape for their head. Thus, they can easily push their heads through it but are unable to extract it easily. If a goat has horns, then this situation gets even more difficult. So, often for releasing the entrapped goat, the fence needs to cut open. Due to this reason, it is best to keep the openings in the fence too small, so the goats are unable to pass through it. Similarly, one can control the spaces large enough so that the goat’s head doesn’t get stuck.
Before choosing the Goat fencing materials or modifying the current fence, they need to keep young goats under consideration. If kept with their mothers, young goats are less likely to leave the fence than adult goats. But, if there is an opening large enough to get them out, they’ll decide to come and go on their will. It becomes a habit of theirs, and as they grow, there will be a greater risk of them getting stuck. In short, no matter how well one has built the fence, goats will find a way to getting stuck into it. So it is best to have a cutter on-farm for emergencies.
Apart from sticking their head into any hole, goats love to scratch their body on any firm vertical surface. So, anything healthy and sturdy that is vertical will become a goat’s scratch post. Thus, chain-link fencing and field fencing is the perfect surface to rub against. Constant rubbing against the fences will make them weak, worn, and stretched. Thus, avoid installing these fences in the areas where goats spend most of their time. Goats have cloven hooves that help them to stand on narrow surfaces. This way, they can place their hooves on the fencing to stretch their neck for getting to the nearby branch. Due to bearing so much weight, it puts a strain on the Goat fencing. So if goats are not using fencing as a scratch post, the possibility is they are standing on it.
It is easy to manage goats on 250 square feet of outdoor space per head. Since for commercial farming, one needs more than one goat, it is advisable to have small fencing of 500 square feet. Some sources say that one can keep 12 goats per acre. Goats live happily in more space and adequate provisions. But if goats need to find food, then one should have a strong fence.
One can use woven wire, high-tensile hot or electric wire, or a selective combination in extensive pastures or permanent enclosures. Unlike sheep and other cattle, goats aren’t pain-motivated. Multi-stranded barbed wires are not a practical choice as goats take them as a challenge and don’t respect it. As for choosing perimeter fencing, think about these points:
1. Is the space sufficiently enormous, with enough food and movement choices? As goats can challenge the fencing and this can turn into a problem in the long run.
2. Are there different animals (counting pet dogs) that may enter the pen and scare the goats so they may try to through the fencing? If yes, then barbed wire or hot wire that they could get tangled in is not the right decision.
3. Are there predators that one can keep out by picking the correct goat fencing? If yes, then use that type of fencing, even if it costs more; As it will avoid financial loss and the despair of losing the goat.
4. Are there other livestock (llamas or donkeys) sharing the farm with the goats? If yes, then the fencing should be taller than one for goats alone.
The guidelines for openings in the fencing and tallness of the fence are the same for the main fence. It’s essential to check the strength of the pasture fence. One should examine consistently for any damage to the fence, such as damage due to tree fall, animal damage, and even destruction by individuals, including hikers or riders.
3. Height of the fence
People think that goats cannot get out of a fence, but they are wrong. Many sources suggest making Goat fencing in any event 4 feet high. Goats can and will hop over any fence that is shorter than that.
Tall fences are a need, but it doesn’t mean that one can leave holes along the base. Goats can level themselves in surprising ways and creep under the fence more quickly than they hop them. Thus, taller is better in the case of goats.
Goats are excellent jumpers, and the younger the goats, the more they like to jump (both attitude and weight have something to do with this). In regions where hopping is likely, for example, over a fence for securing a nursery or isolating bucks from does in warmth, one needs to be cautious. So, ensure that the fence is sufficiently tall to keep the goat from attempting to hop over. A 4-to 5-foot (1.2–1.5 m) fence is suitable for most goats. A 3-foot (0.9 m) fence is typically tall enough to contain grown-up Nigerian Dwarf or small scale goats. To be safe for all ages and sorts of goats, have a 5-foot (1.5 m) fence, especially in areas where they spend time roaming instead of grazing.
If a fence is too short, a goat may hop as well as—much more dreadful—hop and get a back leg hung up in the fence, breaking the bone. Personally, this sort of mishap makes a sound one won’t fail to remember. Indeed, even with the best-laid plans, in any case, occasionally a goat is born that is by all accounts ready to jump out of practically any pen. Goats that are young, light-bodied, and loaded with mischief are most likely to hurt themselves.
The best fences for more small goat pens and enclosures are boards made of unbending steel bars. The process for building it is by welding the bars into a place and then making a structure that can hold up to the challenges that goats give. The Hog panel is one example of this sort of fencing. These panels have a matrix design with smaller openings toward the base, and they are around 3 or 4 feet (1–1.2 m) tall. Another model is a security or pony board, which are 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and have openings that are just 2 inches wide by 4 inches tall (5 × 10 cm). These sorts of fencing are the most costly, but one will not need any replacement.
The taller the fence, the lesser is the chances for predators to get inside the farm and attack goats. So, keep this in mind while building one.
There are two ways to build gates in goat pens or barns. The first way is to set-up gates with inward swing only, wherever possible. This allows one to spread out the goats away when someone enters the pen. Also, it needs force to open the gate, making it difficult for goats to escape from the pen if left unlatched.
The second way is to have an extra gate in the areas with frequent usage. Use one of these gates for goats and the other one for human traffic. One needs to keep in mind that goats are the animal of habits. If they have a habit of getting out of their pen through a certain gate, they will only go through it. And due to this case, whenever the gate of the pen is opened for any other use goats will block the gate to get out of it. But, if there is an extra gate that is not for the goats to use, they will not pay attention.
Gates should be large enough from width for easy access to goats of all sizes. They are the only point for goats to connect them with the outer world to hold a special place in their routine. There is a famous saying that “good fences make good neighbors”, but I will say in this case, “good gate strategy makes good goats.”
5. Be Flexible
One should be flexible and ready to get their strategy to fail as the first strategy doesn’t always need to work. Over time and as per the needs, one must change things because the primary goal is to keep the goats safe and comfortable in all situations.
Keep trying if the first idea doesn’t work by modifying it appropriately. But, once a strategy for fencing layout works then, it is good to go. If one gets any new goat, then they will follow the lead of the herd. Indeed, the new goat will readily accept and adapt to the fencing layout because they are very flexible animals. So, it is on the farm owners how they plan the fence.
It doesn’t matter what fence type and materials one use; there are both upsides and downsides. So, one needs to accept the maintenance that comes with it readily.
6. Head Gaps
Goats love pushing their inquisitive head between things. It’s cute! Yet, if they have horns, this can frequently be a dangerous error. Be sure that any holes, regardless of whether they are in the spaces between posts, cross-supports, or the squares of a wiring board, are no bigger than 4-by-4 inches.
If one has little, dynamic kids, then keep an everyday watch on the goats and fence line. In the goat stalling out, one needs to fetch the animal as soon as possible before a wild animal attacks it.
While one needs to think of head gaps keeping the goats in mind, it is also necessary to consider other farm members’ movements.
Having a play area inside the barn for goats is a good idea. One can get toys, raised stages, development spools, and logs for their carefree goats. And viewing these animals skip, jump, and play are a delight for every goat owner. This will also keep the goats healthy, and yield quality produces.
In any case, be sure that any raised surface is, at any rate, five or so feet from the fence. This includes low-hanging tree limbs with the goal that they can’t take a running jump and clear the fence.
Goats are smart, and they will use any other tools or wood logs inside the farm to get them out of the fence. So, one needs to be smarter than them to beat in their own game.
8. Fence Attachment
Attachments are essential for the fence. Instead of attaching a wire panel to the outside surface, one should attach it inside the fence. Because when goats push against it, they will drive the attachment into the post and not out of it. Similarly, build doors, so they open toward the goat yard, not swinging outward towards the farm.
That way, regardless of whether goats get a way to escape, they’ll be pushing the entryway shut as they incline toward it instead of making it open. So it’s best to get a two-activity hook to stay away from this. Also, latches must be of prime quality and healthy to keep the gates and any other opening intact. They play an essential role in keeping the goats inside.
9. Inspecting the Fenceline
Make it a priority to walk the fence line of the property regularly to examine it. One must check for potential issues like breakage, biting, or holes done from goats pushing against frail fences. As often, the ideal approach to stop misfortune is to keep it from occurring in any case. Inspecting the fenceline regularly will also help to keep up with different situations.
Many times, damages to fencing is through a wild animal for getting goats. So, look for such signs and repair the damage quickly. Because once a predator gets inside, then the harm to the goat farming business will be great.
10. Design fences to keep the goats inside
People like building things that are functional as well as beautiful in looks. The same goes for building fences. But if one wants to rear goats then, the looks of the fence are of no use. Because if a goat wants to get out, then it will find a way for it anyhow. Thus, one must use strong fencing to escape the goat’s difficulties and give them a fight.
So it’s best to use wooden posts into the ground with the concrete around it. Mesh fencing is excellent for livestock. Significantly, one needs to use a smaller mesh. Because as we know, goats try their best to get their heads through it. But, there is a little opening for that to happen. This type of fencing is best for small and large goats and is durable too. The only thing to remember is having a fence with small openings. It is sporadic for the goats to escape from the farm.
Many goat farmers agree that goats are very active and playful animals, but they don’t cause much trouble. But, there are cases of pregnant goats to escape from the farms, only for a little while, if they decide to have a quick snack. As soon as they have their bellies full, they get back into the barn. The same goes for male goats if they are in the rut period. They will try their best to cross over the barn and slide into a lot of female goats. So, in short, if goats do escape, they will never be far and will always come back.
11. Design fences to keep the predators out
While building a goat fence one must consider keeping them in and keeping predators out. It is also essential to choose a location that is far from the predators’ area. This will ensure the safety of the goats.
Loss of goats due to predators has a vast economic strain and will hamper the farm activities’ daily functioning. Even if your location seems too safe, predators may come for food in any way possible. So keeping this in mind, one needs to build a tall and strong fence. This will not let a predator jump inside and get to goats.
If the farm is extensive and challenging to keep watch, it is best to have a guardian dog. They will help to protect the goats from predators. But, if that’s not possible, build a fence that is around 6 feet tall. It is the most practical barrier for the predators to get the goats and discourage any attempts.
12. Keep the fence strong
No matter what material one chooses for the Goat fencing of the farm, it should be strong. People often think that goats are tiny and submissive and underestimate their will to take the fence as a challenge.
Females goats use them for scratching their back and thus overburdening the fence. As for male goats, they use the fence for racking their horns. So, one needs to keep on repairing the fence because no matter how strong the fence is, it gets weak over time. Male goats will often indirectly damage the fence to prove their dominance while playing. They are not aggressive, but their way of playing is rough because, after all, they are animals.
For male goats, it is best to go with the small mesh animals fencing or even the domesticated animals’ boards. They are more costly, but the probability of a goat having the option to use his/her horns to push the boards around is pretty thin, as it is healthy.
13. Maintaining the fence
To protect and keep the goats safe, maintaining the fence needs to be a part of one’s routine. Whenever the goats are sleeping or busy feeding inside their pen, it is good to make a quick run and check for any fence damage. Because as we know, goats are the masterminds when it comes to escaping. So, look for holes, even the small ones, and fix them as soon as possible. Also, check all the attachments, gates, and latches to make sure everything is working fine.
There are also times when a particular goat may decide to have extra fun and play rough. This might damage the fences or get the gate rammed, depending on the game they are playing. This creates more work for the caretakers and consumes time. But, one can’t help this out and avoid it because it comes with the package of rearing goats. This is their basic nature, and one needs to plan things around it. The caretakers’ role is to manage and handle things around the goat’s routine, not the other way around.
14. Keeping goats happy
The final tip is to keep the goats happy. Goats don’t try to escape most of the time. They just want to have fun. And in case they do cross it, it’s for petty reasons and for a little time. Most of the time, if a goat goes out, it is for having a quick munching of their favorite grass across the pasture. And once they have plenty of it, they always come back.
Goats are the animals of habit and love their shelter, their feeding schedule, and they love their caretakers because they care for them. If one keeps the goat happy, then goats will hardly try to escape. Although, if they are going through a hormonal season, then that’s another story. There are many times when the gates of the barn or pens of the goats are open for cleaning the barn or moving things inside and outside. While doing so, goats are always inattentive towards it. The only something that interests them is food and fun. So, if one finds their goats trying to escape a lot, they want attention and some treats. Apart from this, check if something is troubling them or going through the hormonal season, such as a rut.
Try to understand your goats and their requirements. Like any other domestic animal, goats depend on their human owners. So, it is the owners’ responsibility to provide the best to the goats and keep them comfortable. People often wonder why the same kinds of breed don’t yield equal produce. Well, the secret lies in the care of the goats. A happier and well-cared goat will provide a better and higher quality of the yield.
Finding the correct type of fencing for the goat farm is not hard. One needs fencing that fits into the budget and as per the location of the farm.
Try not to ration the goat fencing and fabricate a modest variant of what one truly needs. Goats will test it, and one will probably wind up going through much more cash fixing the weak fence than they would have spent to fabricate it out of more strong materials.
Escapee goats are a risk to themselves, a danger to the farm’s nurseries and plantation, an inconvenience to neighbors, and a likely peril on the off chance that the farm is near a busy road. So a strong fence is best for the goat owners and the goats. Goat owners need to examine and attempt to keep a strong fence with quality materials. So, if it means to keep fewer goats at the start of the venture, then go for it.