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Which fence?

Discussion in 'Fencing, Housing, Manure Management' started by kdogg331, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Oct 13, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    Which of these fences should I use for goats? Or should I use something else entirely?

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/feedlot-panel-cattle-16-ft-l-x-50-in-h

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/welded-wire-48-in-x-100-ft

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/non-climb-horse-fence-48-in-x-200-ft

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/red-brand-goat-fence-48-in-x-330-ft?cm_vc=-10005 (or other "sheep & goat" fencing, they have a few)

    I have heard that the horse one is the best for them but I also can't really justify spending that kind of money when the welded wire is so much less and/or the other fences are way more wire for the same amount. But I will if it's really the best or only option. I have also recently heard that welded wire is not recommended for goats? Why? It says they can bust through it? Is that always the case? I would likely be getting 2-4 wethers. Probably either Nigerian Dwarf, Alpine, Oberhasli, Toggenburg, or Boer.
     
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  2. Oct 13, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Welded wire is pure crap. I wouldn't have it if it was free. You hear welded and we all know that welds mean strength, but NOT in this case. It breaks easily, dogs can bite through it, goats or sheep would destroy it. It is crap, I can't stress that enough.

    We fenced out place in the horse wire. We have 3 horses, 10 sheep, 3 dogs, a bunch of chickens, and several ducks. Yearly, we have feeder pigs. My animals stay IN and everybody elses's stay OUT.

    We put up field fence at our old place and the horses pawed big holes in it. We sure didn't make that mistake again.

    Cow panels are wonderful, we have some and make quick temporary pens, loading chutes and half a panel will make a passable gate. But my lambs can walk right through the 6"x6" holes and baby goats can too.

    The goat and sheep fence has 4"x4" holes and it is good wire. The word to look for is woven wire. Woven wire is knotted where the wires cross on another. It is strong and doesn't tear up like field fence and welded crap wire does.

    So in my opinion, either the 2"x4" non climb horse wire or the 4"x4" sheep and goat wire would be a good wire for you to fence in your goats.

    How much land are you going to enclose? Make it as big as you can, or plan to add onto it. Goat math will kick in and you will need more room. LOL LOL
     
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  3. Oct 13, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    Wow definitely won't be going with welded wire then! Thanks for the tip. My brother just recently fenced their yard and I think they did use welded wire but they also only have 2 dog in a suburban setting and the dogs don't even go near the fence cause the yard is big and they would prefer to play, sniff, eat stuff, etc. So it works for them but I can see why it would not work for goats or horses, etc. So that it is out. Although, does it keep predators out? Was considering using it to expand the chicken run but now rethinking.

    Is the sheep and goat wire good wire? I feel like the horse wire would probably be the best choice but it's just so darn expensive for so little wire. I was thinking just sort of like a dry lot type deal I guess? Thinking maybe 25' x 25' or 50' x 50' with a run in or barn or something inside or attached or something. But I might make it bigger. The area I am thinking of is wooded. We have also been thinking of fencing in the yard though for the dog but we weren't originally planning on fencing in the whole thing, just the backyard, but maybe we should fence the whole thing. The front yard is huge though. We have 2.51 acres but a lot of it is wooded. I will have to get pictures of it. But I was thinking I could let them out supervised or take them on walks to eat brush because we have a lot of areas I would like cleared and my brother does too.
     
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  4. Oct 13, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    Need to find the backyard ones or take more but here are some of the front. Also need to find some of the hill cause I'm thinking of putting them up there somewhere

    20171103_170255.jpg 20171103_170852.jpg 20171103_170907.jpg 20171103_171039.jpg
     
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  5. Oct 13, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    OK, based on those pics, I can tell you your goats are going to (LOVE you!) spend little time munching grass and most of their eating is going to be along all those edges where they can eat leaves, bark, pine needles, twigs, decorative plants, flowers, shrubs, etc. Sheep like grass but will browse. Goats love browse but will eat some grass/graze. Until you have your goats "trained", do NOT let them out on their own to wander. If you do, you will be chasing them cross country. I use a 25 foot "lead" with clips at both ends and when I let them outside the pasture fence line, I always clip two of them together. They will invariably find a vertical item to go on either side of, making it easier to catch them should they not wish to return to the pasture. If you decide to "stake them out" make sure you get the heaviest stake you can, and turn it into the ground all the way. You'll be surprised how much power a goat has when scared or startled and takes off running. They break collars, collar "D" rings, lead clips, and bend the stakes as well as pulling them out of the ground.

    Welded wire as fencing for large livestock is a joke. They climb the fence and break the welds. They rub on the fence and break the welds. The fence will rust out on you and the welds will break. It's cheap stuff and you get what you pay for. Since you'll only be doing a small area, spend the little bit more and get high quality fencing that you can depend on for many years to come. If you're making a "pen" that will be temporary, then I'd suggest using cattle panels. They are very heavy duty, 16' long by 50" high and at ~ $20 apiece, it will be about as expensive as the most expensive woven wire fencing (2x4 no climb horse fence). Since you're talking about "containing them" up in the woods, the cattle panels are much easier to move around so you can move them to different parts of the wooded area much easier than with a long stretch of woven wire fencing. You just pick the panels up and move them to form the pen in a new area.

    I use the 2x4"x48" sheep and goat fence as perimeter and pasture fencing as the babies can't fit through it. Babies CAN fit through the cattle panels above the bottom 2 horizontal runs of wire.

    Just remember, fencing is your most important investment not only for livestock containment, but for keeping predators out. One of the biggest killers of small farm livestock is the dog... strays, the neighbor's, and YOURS! Be prepared and keep your animals safe!
     
  6. Oct 13, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    Thanks for all the info, latestarter. Really useful and a lot of good ideas. The cattle panels do seem like a good option but around here they seem to go up in price every time I look at them :/ or at least like every year or few months. They're at $24.99 now :/ kinda crazy. I seem to remember them at $21.99 not long ago. So idk why they keep increasing. But I may have to go to another store or state or something hah but at that price it's hardly cheap. :/ but they are certainly convenient, especially in the woods. Speaking of which, do you think I could use the pine trees as the fence posts? Wrap the fencing around the trees or something? Of course stapled in. Also we have a lot of wooded area so maybe that would be better to fence in instead? Since you mention they don't really like grass much. At least in the woods they'd have a lot more browse. Also have some areas I'd like them to clear anyway. Although I do wonder if sheep wouldn't be a better choice with all the grass we have? But we do have a lot of browse to clear too so idk. And this may sound weird but I just thought of it and was wondering... we get lots of wildlife here being set back in the woods like we are and I like the deer so do you think the goats would compete for the browse if I let them browse the woods? Maybe I shouldn't cause I like seeing the deer. But I guess that's kind of stupid. Especially since the deer have plenty of other places around here to go. I also never realized goats were so destructive. Is it just cause they're so big and strong? Or is there something extra special about goats? Cause I'm used to big and strong - Gator (the dog) is 140 pounds. Maybe more atm. He's a little chubby. But very strong so I'm used to strong. But now he's getting old and sick (myositis) so I don't think he'd harm goats. But of course wouldn't be allowed near them unsupervised. But he's half Black Lab, half Great Pyrenees. We do have fox and coyote too but I think I would go with a locking shed maybe. We have raccoon, turkey, hawk, chipmunk, squirrel, skunk, song birds, etc. But I figure none of those are threats to goats.
     
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  7. Oct 13, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    And sorry it is all one massive paragraph but I am tired and didn't feel like separating it all right now. But I might try to edit it later
     
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  8. Oct 14, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    OK, lots to cover there... Do a search for cattle panels and select the cheapest then see if they have a store near you. Down here TSC has them on sale about once a quarter for $19 and change each. Otherwise they are in the $21-23 range. Not a substantial difference when you're only purchasing 4 or 5 panels... $15? really, not a big deal. If you were purchasing 100, then yeah, a buck makes a diff.

    Another option you can check into that many use is electric net fencing. Many here have the one from Premier one https://www.premier1supplies.com/ Of course there are other brands as well that are a bit "cheaper" (less $$ and less quality). But it is a pricey option... Probably much, much more than you wish to spend, but in fact would be the BEST choice for in the woods. It comes in I believe 160' lengths and it is light (roll it up) and easy to move. Step in stakes hold it in place, so no need to damage trees with nails or staples with regular fencing.

    You'll need to move it frequently. Goats will clear that sized area in less than a week, and I mean from the ground up, to as high as they can reach standing on their hind legs. They will chew the bark off young trees, effectively girdling them and killing them.

    Deer present several issues... Some here don't like the deer around because they carry parasites that can infect your goats. I DO LIKE the deer around because I enjoy watching them and when in season & properly seasoned, they are very tasty. :drool Having said that, I haven't killed a deer in many years and may never again. Nothing sentimental, just don't need the added work of processing it. Deer carry meningeal worms which can be deadly and hard to get rid of. IMHO, it's kinda senseless to fret about it since the deer have been all over your property and if they are there, they're there. :hu Can't kill off all the deer to protect a few goats. Nor can you "sanitize" your entire property or where the goats will be to kill any/all parasites. Just not realistic. You deal with issues as they worm their way into your life. Since a deer calls an area of about a square mile home, they won't strip/destroy the browse on your property. The goats will because they are confined to just that area, hence the need to move that woods enclosure about every week... give the forest time to re-grow for the next time they feed there.

    Goats aren't "intentionally" destructive... What they're doing isn't destructive to them... That's a term we assign to what they do. They are hairy and live outdoors. They get itchy. When you get an itch, what do you do? Scratch it of course, and so do they... on the fencing, by leaning into it and walking, which stretches it and will eventually break the welds on welded wire. When the cookies you want are on the top shelf of the cupboard, what do you do? You reach up to get them and if you still can't reach, you get a step stool or chair to climb on. When the goat (or some sheep) want those tasty leaves above their heads, how are they gonna get to them? well, why not climb up that fence right there to make reaching them easier? Or... HEY, what's THAT I see way over THERE -----------> Maybe I can get a clearer view by climbing up this fence here... Which will break the welds on the welded wire.

    As for predators, nothing smaller than a coyote would normally be an issue. I say normally because when a "pack" of little dogs gets together, they are just the same as a pack of big dogs and will take on the same target animals/prey. A group of small dogs can and will kill a goat. Also, a fox or smaller predator will go after and kill/eat kids (baby goats). A coyote (dog, deer, etc) can jump right over a 4' fence, including electric. They (anything/one) only get zapped if they are in contact with the ground and fence simultaneously. That's why birds can sit on a live electric fence and NOT get zapped. Need to be in contact with the ground to complete the circuit. The fencing is primarily a deterrent... It won't stop a determined killer from getting to your goats. Goats do jump, but most walk up to and press against things long before considering jumping over them. Once they do this and get shocked, they will generally not challenge the electric fence a second time.

    Having a lockable shed/barn (with plenty of proper ventilation) to keep them in at night is ideal for safety and shelter. Not everyone does that but of course they should have SOME sort of shelter from the elements, especially when it's cold and wet. If I recall, you live in PA or MA, or someplace where you get cold and snow.

    I think I've cover most of it...
     
  9. Oct 14, 2018
    kdogg331

    kdogg331 Loving the herd life

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    Thanks again for all your help latestarter! Very informative! I'm not even really sure where to begin replying but it was all helpful so thank you! The electric fence does seem like a good option but is expensive. And does the fence have to move or could I just do like a permanent dry lot type thing and just take them on walks or something? Or have a permanent one and a movable one? And I guess a few dollars doesnt make too much of a difference, you are right, but I think it's more the fact that I have watched it climb so much in price. But I did find a store in Rhode Island that had them for like 21.99 right now. And my store has them 23.99 cause they're all $1 off right now. Tempted to go to RI though. Or NH. NH is 23.99 too but no tax there. And I am in MA so definitely lots of snow. Although if I recall correctly last year or maybe the year before was pretty mild and so far this fall has been too but now it is getting colder. I think I will go take pictures of videos of the property. It may help.
     
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  10. Oct 14, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    You'll spend more for the gas than what you'll save, driving long distance to get them... If you didn't know better, you might think the powers that be designed it that way... :confused:

    You can do what I do when I take mine outside their pasture. Get a 25' lead from the pet dept/store with clips at both ends. Either stake them out within reach of the treeline edge, or let the lead drag as they meander through the woods eating, but of course you'll need to be with them when they're doing this. Or connect a goat to both ends of the lead (I generally do this with my "wildest" goats... the ones hardest to catch.) When I take mine out, I have a staff and stay out there with them as they feed. Generally they only need about two hours and they're full and head back inside the fence to get their water for a drink. I close the gate and take the leads off and good to go. If you stake them out, you MUST leave water within reach so they can get a drink. Make sure it's at the end of the lead or they WILL tip it over and spill it all.

    You can do these things as easy and inexpensive as you want, or you can make it very expensive. I would recommend a simple full time pen and shelter for them. Where they'll learn to be at night and when they want a drink. This is the place they'll head to if startled, scared, thirsty, at nightfall. They'll need to be there for at least a month to pattern on it in that way.
     
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