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What type of fence for goats? How to Choose the Perfect Fence

You want to keep your goats in a fenced area, but you don't know what type of fence is best for them.

There are many types of fencing that can be used to contain goats, and the choice depends on the size of your herd and how much land you have available.

If you need help installing a fence system we suggest you should consider some options of goats fencing that are used currently. Which types have reasonable prices? What is the best suitable option for your demands?


There are many reasons you may want to pen in your goats. We will explore some of the most common ones, as well as some not-so-common reasons for penning up your goats here.

Penning up your goats will not only keep them from getting into trouble but it can also:

  • improve the quality and/or quantity of milk
  • protect them from predators
  • lessen the effect of disease on your herd
  • reduce or eliminate kidding problems
  • improve the overall health and condition of your goats
  • improve the safety of those who handle them

There are probably other reasons you would want to keep your goats penned up, and probably other reasons you would not want to keep them penned up.

What type of goat's fencing?

Goats are hard to keep in a small area. They will climb over or dig under most types of fencing. There are many suggestions out there for building a goat fence.

The solution is a poly fence for goats!

Wooden Fence

With a wooden fence, your goats will be able to jump and climb the fence. If you want to keep them in without any additional fencing inside the wood, line the inside of the fence with wire. 

You can also use a trellis instead for added support and to help keep your goats in. If you don't want to line the inside of your fence, you may consider using electric wire or tape on the top and bottom of your fence. You can also use wire fencing on the ground if you don't want your goats to dig out.

Pallet fences

A pallet fence is one form of a wooden pallet. They are easy to make. Pallet fences are good for goats because they allow the goat to move about and graze in a specific area. They also provide shade to goats when placed properly near the house.

Electric Fence

Electric fencing is also used for goats, but it has to be buried in the ground because if a goat touches just the wire itself it can get stuck and may get injured.

With an electric fence, goats are able to jump the fence without getting shocked. You can use electric wire or tape on top of your wooden or another type of fence to help keep your goats in.

For small herds or hobby farmers with just a few animals, electric fences work well and they're easy to install yourself.

High tensile wire fence

It is mostly used for dairy goats in the US.  High tensile wire fencing is a more expensive type of fencing to install and maintain than barbed wire fencing. It is an agricultural fencing system made of hot-dipped galvanized steel wire. The Galvanizing process of welded wire fencing for Goats prevents rust.

Usual Galvanized Welded Wire used for fencing has a hot-dip galvanizing process where steel passes through a molten zinc bath. The amount of zinc coating is determined by the wire gauge. The larger the wire, the thicker the zinc coating is required to stop rusting.

High tensile wire fencing for goats should be 6 feet tall at a bare minimum.  The higher the tensile wire fencing is, the better the containment. High tensile wire fencing must be staked down securely at a minimum of every 12 feet.

High tensile wire fencing for Goats is also known as barbed wire, agricultural fencing, electric fence, welded wire fencing

Barbed wire fencing 

Barbed wire fencing for goats is usually done for keeping goats in or keeping other animals out. It is less expensive than high tensile wire fencing. However, barbed wire fencing does not provide the same containment as high tensile wire fencing.  

That should not be used as goat containment alone because goats are very good at getting around it, even if it is buried into the ground. Goats are also able to jump over low fences that have barbed wire on them. A better option for goat containment would be either a woven wire mesh fence or a hot wire, high tensile electric fence.

Cattle Panels

Cattle Panels are sturdy, galvanized steel fences that are designed to hold cattle and other livestock. They can also be used for small animals such as goats.   The panels are lightweight, so they can be moved easily. Since they are 5 ft tall, Cattle Panels will keep big animals in and small animals out. They come in eight and twelve-foot lengths and can be combined to make any length between five and ten feet. 

Cattle Panels are easy to install and can be used for permanent or temporary fencing. They come with a tension band at the top and the bottom to hold the panel in place when an animal pushes up against it. The bands can be opened easily so you can slip small animals through without having to take the entire panel down.

Cattle Panels are galvanized, which means that they will not rust or corrode even when used outdoors for years. They are also easy to transport and can be used as portable fencing, if necessary.

Chain link

A chain-link fence is an ideal fencing option for goats because it consists of links made of metal or plastic that are woven together to make a strong surface. Chain link is mostly used in construction applications; however, it is also aesthetically pleasing. It is preferred by goat owners because of its ability to keep its goat inhabitants. 

This type is much more affordable than other fencing options; it is also easy to install and has low maintenance costs.  It is easy to roll up and store when goats are not present in the area. It is also very safe for small children and pets.

With a chain-link fence, you can use electric wire or tape on top of your fence to help keep your goats in. If you live in a cold climate, you should place electric tape or wire around the outside of your chain link fence because it will crack when it gets too cold and will not provide enough protection from predators.

Goat Fencing Basic Considerations

Type of fencing

Different types of fences serve different purposes. The first step in choosing a fence is to determine what you plan on doing with the goat. 

If you plan on moving your goats to different fields or pens, then a portable electric fence is probably what you will want to build. 

If you have a specific location that the animals will stay in, then permanent fencing is what you will want to build. The type of fence is going to determine the materials that you will need. 

If you have a specific area for your goats at all times, then wooden fence posts or steel fence posts that are driven into the ground might be what you would want to use. 

If you plan on moving your goats around and only need the fence to be put up some of the time, then you will probably want to use some sort of portable fencing. In this case, a non-electric or an electric portable fence would do the trick.

Space

The next thing you will need to determine is how big of an area you need to fence in. Goats are very curious, which means that they will want to explore their entire area. This could mean trouble if you do not have a large enough area. 

When you are trying to figure out what size of an area you fenced in, just take the number of goats that you plan on keeping, multiply that by 2 acres per goat, and then add an additional 10% for waste. This will give you the approximate amount of land that you will need to provide for each goat.

Age and personality

It is also important to consider how old your goats are and what kind of personality they have. Goats with a lot of energy, such as pygmy goats, can adapt to almost any environment. Goats that are more meek, such as Nigerian dwarf goats, might not do well in an environment where there are many dangers.

It is important to consider the age and personality of your goats before you build a fence because this will determine what type of fencing you should use. 

If the goat is not very adventurous, then build a fence that will keep predators out. If it has an adventurous personality, then you can build a fence to contain it, but you will still need to be careful about predators.

Type of terrain

The last thing that you will need to consider is the type of terrain that you will be fencing in. If you are fenced into a hill, then you might need to build something that is sturdy and can handle the incline. 

Different types of terrain such as grassland, forest, and desert will all require different types of fencing techniques. The importance of this step cannot be emphasized enough. 

If you have a lot of trees in your area, then barbed wire might not be the best option. If you have a large number of cliffs and ravines, then electric fencing may not work very well for you either.

It is important to keep in mind that goats are very clever and if left within an area of more than one acre they will find ways to escape. Goat Fencing is needed when they are going to be grazing in your backyard or going out in the woods.

F.A.Q

How many acres does a goat need?

The area to be fenced should have a minimum dimension of at least 50 feet by 100 feet, with the width being greater than the height. The larger the area to be fenced, the more options and types of fence that can be used. Obviously, you don't want to fence excessively large areas if it is not necessary.

How tall should a fence be for goats?

About four feet is satisfactory. If weight poles (Y-Y) are used on the top, goat panels should be at least five feet high. An added advantage of using weight poles (Y-Y) is that soil erosion around fence lines, especially in the spring when hard rains come, will be reduced. 

If poles are used, all horizontal wires should be tight and the fence should be well braced. The gate should swing away from the pen. Gate posts should also be well braced.

Which is the best goat fencing option?

The most common goat fencing is high tensile wire, a type of wire netting. This wire netting is about 4 feet tall and comes in rolls that are typically 50 or 100 feet long.

The wire netting is made of high tensile wire and includes horizontal wires woven tightly together to keep the goats safely inside the fencing.

Some people use electric netting that's about 5 feet tall. They bury the wire along the perimeter of their farm, about 6 inches deep. Electric netting is an option for anyone who doesn't want to deal with fences that need to be maintained.

What other fencing considerations for goats?

Goats are notorious for putting fences to the test, so when designing your pastures, make sure your fencing is strong!

When deciding on a fence for your goats, the first thing to consider is how much voltage (electrical shock) that you want. This can range from a "lickin'" to a potentially deadly shock, depending on the type of fence.

A five-wire fence is better than a four-wire fence; the bottom wire should be about four or five inches above the ground so there will be no injury to a goat's back when it tries to get under the fence.

By using a small mesh wire, one and a half-inch or smaller, goats will not try to get through it because they cannot get good footing for jumping.

Conclusion

Depending on where you live and what type of problems you have, you may want to use a combination of the types of goats fencing mentioned. For instance, if you live in a cold climate and mountain lions pose a problem for your goats, you may want to use a wooden fence with electric tape or wire on top. We hope we’ve given you the information and tools to find a fence solution for your goat. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

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