Fence Ignorant - Need Advice

Aunt Angus

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I tend to overthink these things, so I could use some more experienced, less paranoid people to chime in.

I currently have 4 doelings. They are in our chicken pasture now, but they are getting mighty big and the chickens are judgmental divas, so we're fencing off another area of the property for them.

We have coyotes - not in abundance, but enough to make me jumpy. There's also a wolf who passes through (she's closely tracked by USFW, so we kinda know where she is). And we'll shut the goats in at night - easy to do since there's only 4. I called a few places nearby that keep goats. Most say 6' will do it without hot wire if I lock them in at night. But as aforementioned: I can be paranoid.

But I am having a hard time finding 6' woven wire locally. If I have it shipped - even to the store - it'll cost me more than I care to pay. Looking at doing 5' woven wire with hotwire above it to equal about 6' of vertical fencing. Also putting hotwire down low and in the middle, too.

My question: Is that enough, or do I need to go higher - like 6' woven wire with hotwire above so it's more like 7'? Or am I overthinking things again?

TIA

Edited to add:
Found 78" fencing @ TSC that my cheap-a** can pick up at the store. However, the openings are 6" wide, but graduate from 3" at the bottom of the fence to 8" at the top. Are those openings too big for goats? My girls have their horns.
 
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Aunt Angus

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The holes are too big. They will stick their heads through and get stuck. I like your idea of 4’ and hot wire. Make your own 6 foot fence.
That's kinda what I figured about the holes. Thanks!

Okie dokie! Gonna get started on that fence first thing in the morning. Shouldn't be too hard. This'll be their "home" paddock, so it won't be a huge job. We have plans to use them for weed control in a couple of trouble spots on the property.
 

Aunt Angus

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Alright. If I run electric inside the fence @ shoulder height, will is "discourage" the goats leaning on the fence? I hear tell that they'll push t-posts over. This is a small area - I'm thinking just a couple thousand square feet. I just don't want to have to build the thing twice. Know what I mean?
  • 60' woven wire fence?
  • 8' t-posts every 8 feet?
  • Should I put treated wood posts, too? Or instead?
  • 2 strands electric on the outside, 2 over the 5' woven fence, 1 inside to stop goats?
  • H-corners with treated wood?
  • Buried no-dig apron?

I am really fretting over this. It's probably not healthy.
 

Alasgun

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As a retired Machinist in the trade over 4 1/2 decades; i understand “over think”. However some of my most memorable non-sleeping nights were wiled away over thinking everything or anything you can possibly imagine.
it’s not a disease or an affliction as some would imagine in fact id rather spend an evening in deep spirited thought than to count sheep or some other equally ignorant activity.
typically, by morning; i’ll have all the bugs worked out and be certain of my path forward, then evening rolls around and i get to do it all over again.
After several days of mental back and forth a better idea will smack me in the face and i begin the process all over again.
At some point along the way a favorite saying will come to mind.
”Make a decision, right or wrong, the road of life is paved with flat squirrels who could not make a decision.😳
 

Baymule

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Flat squirrels! Hahaha!

Run a hot wire about mid shoulder height to the goats, that will keep them off.

You don’t have to bury the apron. Just lay flat. Time and grass will bury it for you. Hog ring it to the bottom wire of the woven wire.

You can use T-posts for the long runs, wood H braced corners.

Stop fretting, you got this.
 

Aunt Angus

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Flat squirrels! Hahaha!

Run a hot wire about mid shoulder height to the goats, that will keep them off.

You don’t have to bury the apron. Just lay flat. Time and grass will bury it for you. Hog ring it to the bottom wire of the woven wire.

You can use T-posts for the long runs, wood H braced corners.

Stop fretting, you got this.
You folks are great! I really appreciate it!

One escaped from their fenced area (my gate was not goat-proof - she squeezed out). She ran straight up toward the highway. I chased her and scared her away from the road. Chased her up a steep embankment onto a levy, and down again. Took me about 2 hours to finally wear her out and grab her.

Well, my fence didn't turn out great. I didn't get it tight enough. It bows in places. And if you push hard on the t-posts, they bend. I used 7 ft t-posts pounded 2 ft in with 48" woven wire. I haven't added the electric because after I fell down that embankment (yes, I fell about 20-30 feet), I feel like I've been through the spin cycle.

I've since replaced the gate. I've added extra t-posts. But I am now TERRIFIED to let them in their yard again. Absolutely TERRIFIED. I've been keeping them in their shed for the most part. They seem to be doing fine, but it is NOT a good situation at all.

QUESTION: If I add cattle panels behind the woven wire, do you think that'd work to keep the sides from bowing too much? I can't have another chase scene. I almost died. Literally.
 

Baymule

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Put the electric hot wire up before you let them out again. One strand close to the bottom, one at nose height, one at the top. If you are really scared of them getting out, put an extra wire below the nose height.
 

Aunt Angus

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Done! And the little darlings haven't even tested the fence. Better safe than sorry, though!

Never having had goats, I'm learning as I go. They are absolutely adorable with great personalities (although one has a problem with one of the others). We are keeping them in a smallish area for now, mainly so they learn what "home" is. We put them indoors at night. Don't want to have to hunt them down at night in order to get them in the goat shed. They'll get the full use of the pasture (minus what's being reserved for rotation) soon. And not a moment too soon! The blackberries and poison oak have begun their hostile takeover!

So far, so good!
🤞
 
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