Goal: Keep your goats inside the fence. It can seem like an incredible feat, but it is possible. Training aside, it starts with a good perimeter fence.
I’ll note that it’s totally doable to raise goats without a perimeter fence, but it takes the right set up, fencing training, and shepherding to do so.
As we got started raising goats it was important for us to have a fencing set up for our goats that was secure (as it can get for goats) so we don’t have to be always monitoring its effectiveness.
We have a lot going on in our lives outside of the “farming” part of the farm: the business side of the farm (marketing, selling, and delivering meat), two little kids with their own life obligations, and my husband has his own career (though he’s a great weekend/evening farmer too!).
In the summertime we’ll graze our goats outside of this perimeter fence and it works great to help us utilize other parts of our farm, such as grazing hayfields and renovating an old oak savanna overgrown with buckthorn and brush.
Here’s what our perimeter fencing looks like:
Overall goat fencing specs
It’s roughly 48 inches high, with a strand of smooth high tensile at the top. Four to six inches below that is our woven wire (square spaces are about 6 inches wide with the top square at seven inches with each square below decreasing about a half inch with the last square at 3.5 inches tall). Below the woven wire, about 2 inches, is a strand of barbed wire.
The high tensile is the only wire electrified. This helps keep the goats from climbing up on the fence (same with the dogs), and predators from coming in. Only electrifying this wire also minimizes any grounding out from grasses.
The barbed wire keeps our guardian dogs from digging out and predators from digging under the fence from the outside.
Our posts include a mix of wood posts and t-posts. Our end posts are h-braces with wooden posts. About every 16-20 feet we have a post, more in low areas. About every 300 feet we will have a wooden post, more in some areas depending on how the land rolls or if there’s as corner or a gate.
Paddocks are subdivided with temporary fencing. Usually that’s with Gallagher’s SmartFence multireel system. We also use step in posts with poly wire to subdivide our pastures to make it easier to set up paddocks. Then we just clip an allegator connector click from the portable fence to the hot high tensile strand on our permanent fence. Everything is then hot!
Want to learn more about fencing for goats? Here are a few more related posts
- Smart Fence Review: Electric fencing for goats (post)
- Three things you might not know about raising goats on pasture (post)
- Pasture fencing for goats (post)