Before you begin raising goats, you may be wondering what the best types of goat fencing are, because you must erect a fence around the farm to keep the goats from leaving the area you put them in because goats are wandering animals that like to explore.
Additionally, fencing will prevent other animals/predators from harming your goats by attacking them.
When I began keeping goats and sheep, I did not have enough information about fencing, its different benefits and drawbacks, to make an informed decision about the type of fence to use; so, with my limited understanding of fencing, I quickly landed on a wooden fence. It wasn’t that the wooden fence was terrible, but I ended up spending more and it didn’t last as long as I had hoped.
After only three years, my wooden fence was ruined, probably because i didn’t use the right wood or as a result of poorly constructed work and I wished I had heard about a better choice.
I will describe the most effective types of goat fencing in this article. Let’s get started.
What is the best goat fencing?
When it comes to goat fencing, there is rarely a perfect fence, but some are unquestionably superior to others. Additionally, before deciding on the type of fence to use on your farm, you will need to take certain factors into account, such as the area of land you will be fencing.
For example, if you are using less than an acre of land for grazing, the type of fence you will choose will differ from someone who has three acres.
You may also wish to consider issues such as the breed of goat you are raising, the quantity of goats you wish to raise, your budget for fencing, the type of farmland you have, the presence or absence of predators, the ease of fence installation, etc.
It is important to note that the improper construction of a fence can result in injury or, in the worst-case scenario, the death of goats.
Since goats are naturally inquisitive and obstinate, they will attempt to test the fencing by forcing their way through. If the wire spacing of a fence is constructed incorrectly, goats, especially those with horns, can become entangled in the wires and die as a result.
We will be looking at 3 best types of fencing you can choose from.
High Tensile Electric Fence:
The electrified high tensile fencing is popular type of electric fencings and it is a permanent type of fencing which offer better solutions for safe guarding your goats from leaving and from predators coming to attack the goats.
This fencing type is economical due to its low cost of installation and maintenance and permanent nature.
High tensile electric fences are often constructed from wire with a high ratio of strength to weight, allowing it to be stretched tightly and maintain its structural integrity across great distances.
Typically, the wire is supported by wooden, plastic, or metal posts that are evenly spaced along the fence line.
A fence charger is utilized to generate the electric current required to power the fence.
This gadget transforms electricity from an AC power source (such a wall socket) into a low-voltage DC current that is transmitted via the fence wire.
When an animal contacts the wire, the circuit is completed and a shock is administered.
Construction tips for high tensile electric fence
When erecting a high-tensile electric fence, it is essential to observe all safety procedures, including wearing protective clothing and avoiding contact with the wire.
If you do not feel comfortable with the construction procedure, you should employ a professional fencing contractor.
The number of recommended strands you use for high tensile electric fence should be any anything from 5 to 8 strands, 5 would definitely work well for you if you want to cut cost. The length between each line of strand should be varied, starting from ground level it should be smaller and as you go up you can make it a bit wider.
The bracing of this fence should be three 8-inch diameter posts and two 4-inch diameter cross braces on each end.
It is recommended that you make use of 12½ gauge galvanized high tensile wire. The wire should be connected to the energizer or a battery with high output voltage and deterrent output energy.
FIRST STRAND: 6 Inches above the ground level and it should be electrified
SECOND STRAND: 6 inches above first strand and it should be grounded so that if anything tries to go through it would create a current through them
THIRD STRAND: 6 inches above second strand and should be charged
FOURTH STRAND: 8 inches above third strand and should be charged.
FIFT STRAND: 10 inches above fourth strand. You may decide to leave this last strand off without charge just in case you want to step over it to the other side, or you may decide to still have it energized if you have bigger animals like horses and cattle around.
Photo By SimonTHGolfer
Construction steps for a high tensile electric fence:
- Determine your fence’s layout. Mark the placements of the fence posts, taking the size and behavior of the animals you wish to contain into account.
- Mount the fence posts. Depending on the type of post you are using, you may need a post hole digger, cement, or other equipment to secure them in place.
- Attach the insulators to the posts of the fence. These will hold the wire in place and prevent it from touching the posts, which might cause the fence to short out.
- Wire the wire. Attach the wire to the first insulator and pull it tight to the next fence post, beginning at one end of the fence. Use a wire tightener or straining screw to maintain the tautness of the wire. Repeat this procedure until the end of the fence is reached.
- Mount the earthing rods. These will facilitate the flow of electric current into the ground.
- Connect the fence power supply. Install and connect the fence charger to the wire per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Examine the barrier. Use a fence tester or voltage meter to verify that the electric current is flowing correctly and that the fence is providing a shock that is both safe and effective.
- Install cautionary signage (optional). These can prevent mishaps by alerting individuals that the fence is electrified.
Advantages of High Tensile Electric Fence:
- It is cost effective: It is an economically advantageous fence to put up compared to others like barb wire fence or the woven wire fence. You can download details of cost here from IOWA State University.
- Easy Installation: It is quick and easy to set up, you may not need an engineering if you followed the installation instructions very well.
- Mobility: It can be removed and fixed in a different place, you may decide to take it down and re install somewhere else, maybe you are doing rotational grazing, or during times of draught.
- Durability: it can last up to 30 years.
- Aesthetic value: It has a good look on the farm and it remains like that for a very long time because animals don’t get to use them to scratch their bodies, so no pressure from the animals because it will shock them and won’t come in contact with it again unlike barb wire or woven wire that sags due to pressure from animals and get rust after sometime or wooden fences get eaten by termites and stay decaying after some time.
Disadvantages of High Tensile Electric Fence:
- Cost: Due to the materials and equipment required, such as insulators and energizers, high tensile electric fences may be more costly to build than other forms of fencing.
- Maintenance: It require routine maintenance to ensure they perform correctly and have sufficient power to repel animals. This includes the removal of weeds on a regular basis, as excessive development of plants might render them ineffective. checking for loose wires, fixing broken insulators, and testing the voltage.
- It is more of a psychological/mental barrier than a physical barrier so it is possible for something to slip through the wide spacing between the strands.
- Source of electricity may fail, example the solar panels may fail to charge if there is no sunshine.
Woven Wire Fence
Woven Wire Fence is one of the most common types of goat fencing, they offer great protection because they are physical barriers so nothing is going to accidentally get through them and they are permanent fences.
It is well perfect for sheep but you have to watch out for goats because they may get their head stuck between the spacing especially goats with horns.
They consist of wires that are woven together so the joins can slide just in case there is some kind of pressure from the animals.
The spacing are smaller than high tensile wire so it can keep kids from going through them.
Photo By jatrax, Canva
Construction tips for woven wire fence
When constructing a woven wire fence, it is essential to observe certain safety procedures, such as wearing protective gear and utilizing the proper equipment. If you lack confidence in your abilities to construct the fence correctly, it may also be wise to hire a professional fencing firm for assistance.
The height of the woven wire fence usually comes in 48 inches, the top wire is 10 gauge while the wire at the bottom is also 10 gauge, then all the middle wires carry 12 ½ gauge, the smaller the gauge the thickness of the wire, this is to say that the 10 gauge is thinker than the 12.5 gauge.
The poles should be spaced 10 to 15 feet apart, the lesser the spacing the more strength it has to withstand pressure in case animals lean on it.
Tips to construct woven wire fence:
- Mark the fence’s location: Determine the fence’s location and mark it with flags, paint, or other markers.
- Install the fence posts: Install the fence posts along the indicated fence line at regular intervals. The posts must be set in the ground deeply enough to provide stability.
- Attach the wire mesh: Unroll the wire mesh and use wire ties, clips, or other fasteners to attach it to the fence posts. The wire mesh must be tightly stretched between the posts for maximum strength.
- If necessary, add gates along the perimeter of the fence to facilitate access.
- Add any necessary finishing touches, such as installing a gate lock or painting the fence posts.
Advantages of the woven wire fence
- Durability: Woven wire fences are extremely durable and can endure extreme weather conditions and animal wear and tear. Red Brand, one of the most recognizable brands among farmers, asserts that woven wire fences can last between 20 and 30 years.
- Strength: When animals lean against or attempt to push their way through woven wire fences, they are successfully contained. so they have good strength and serves as good protective fencing.
- Versatility: Woven wire fences can serve a variety of functions, including containing cattle, delineating property lines, and providing security.
- Protection: They offer great protection for animals as they cannot escape because of the small spacing between the wires.
- Installation: You may install a woven wire fence yourself if you carefully follow the instructions in the handbook, or you can hire a professional fencing firm so they are generally easy to install.
Disadvantages of the woven wire fence
- Risk of entanglement: Woven fences pose the danger of entanglement for goats, particularly those with horns, as their heads or horns might become trapped between the wire spacing.
- Limited privacy: Woven wire fences give little seclusion since they are often constructed with large openings between the wires, through which strangers can clearly observe.
- Aesthetics: They are not as beautiful to the sight like other options such as high tensile wire or vinyl.
- Limited customization: Woven wire fences may not offer as many customization options as other fencing materials, such as wood.
- Rust: Depending on the material used and the environment in which the fence is installed, a woven wire fence may rust with time, compromising its durability and aesthetic appeal.
Wooden fencing is another form of common goat fencing that is constructed from wood materials and serves as a physical barrier to prevent goats from escaping their enclosure and to prevent predators from attacking them. Various types of wood, such as pine, cedar, and oak, can be used to construct wooden fences for goats, but it is essential to pick a wood that is highly durable and resistant to insect attacks, which typically cause deterioration and eventual fence destruction.
Construction guidelines for wooden fence
Materials needed wooden fence to construct a wooden fence:
- Wooden fence posts: Wooden fence posts provide support for the fence and are normally made of wood, although metal can also be used. The size of the fence posts will depend on the fence’s height and length, as well as the type of wood used.
- Wooden fence panels: These are the horizontal pieces of the fence made of wood that adhere to the posts. They are often made of wood and are available in several forms, including picket, lattice, and solid.
- Fence brackets: These are used to link the fence panels to the fence posts. There are numerous varieties of brackets, such as corner brackets, end brackets, and middle brackets.
- Fence hardware: This comprises the screws, nails, and other fasteners used to hold the fence panels to the fence posts and brackets.
Constructions tips for wooden fence:
- Mark the locations of the fence posts using stakes and thread prior to construction. Use a post hole digger or a manual auger to dig holes for the posts. The holes should be deep enough to hold the length of the fence posts and evenly spaced according to the size of the fence panels being used.
- After the holes have been drilled, position the posts and fill the holes with concrete to secure them. Allow the concrete to completely cure prior to installing the fence panels. Use the brackets and fasteners to attach the panels to the posts.
- Finally, protect the fence from the weather and improve its beauty by applying a finish. This might be a sealant, paint, or stain for wood.
Advantages of the wooden fence
- Ease of repair. When there are damages to sections to a wooden fence, you can decide to repair or replace the damaged wood without pulling down the entire fence, and you can do this on your own without the assistance of experts.
- Durability: Wood fences can survive a long time if constructed from sturdy materials such as cedar, pine, oak, and locust, which are resistant to rot and can bear the scratching and pushing of goats.
- Low cost: Wood is typically less expensive than some fencing materials such as barbed wire, making it an economical option for goat owners and wood.
Photo source: Freepik
- Great Looks: When properly made, wooden fencing has a natural appearance that allows it to mix in nicely with the surrounding environment.
- Customizable: Wood may be easily cut and shaped to meet any desired size or shape, allowing for greater design freedom than other materials such as high tensile wire or woven wire.
Disadvantages of the wooden fence
- Maintenance: To prevent decay, wooden fences require frequent care, such as painting or spraying, in contrast to high tension wire and barb wire, which do not require regular maintenances.
- Durability: A properly constructed wooden fence can last up to 20 years, which is less durable than other fencing options such as high tension wire, which can last up to 40 years.
- Safety: Wooden fencing may not be as safe for goats as other fencing materials, as they may chew on it and consume splinters or bits of wood, which can cause injury or illness.
- Containment: Goats may be able to climb or jump over wooden fence, making it less successful in containing them than alternatives such as barb wire or high tensile wire fencing.
Selecting the right type of fencing for your goat enclosure is important to keeping your goats safe, secure, and healthy. Whether you choose High Tensile Electric Fence, Woven Wire Fence, Wooden fence or another sort of fencing, you need think about your individual needs and budget. Also, you need to consider some factors such as the breed of goat you will raring, how big is your pasture, the present or absent of predators, and above all your finance. Each type of fencing has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, careful planning and research are essential. Whatever type of fencing you choose, make certain that it is properly installed and that it is regularly inspected for damage or wear. With the proper fencing, you can establish a safe and comfortable habitat for your goats to thrive in.