Electric fence newbie questions

Discussion in 'Goats' started by wombatcat, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. wombatcat

    wombatcat Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Hi everyone,
    A friend of ours has offered us a Nubian/Angora doe and wether.
    We are not set up for goats yet, but have done a lot of reading and thinking and have determined that electric fencing for them might be the best idea. Our friend, however, doesn't use electric fence, and we never have either. So we don't know what to buy and what tools we need to install it, etc...
    So I was hoping, that some of you who have more experience with these things, could give me some help here? What have you learned that you wished you would have known ahead of time? Please, don't assume we know anything about fencing--I tend to make mistakes when I think I know what I'm doing....so be very basic and simple, that way I won't create any additional problems along the way....and please be nice to me, I'm trying to do this right AHEAD of time and don't want to learn the "hard way"...thanks everyone for all your help!!!

    GOATDADDY Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    I certainly don't think I am an expert, but, I do have some thoughts about electric fence. Someone else probably has better ideas but here goes. One important thing to do at the very beginning is to build a small area, say 8 by 8,since you have only two goats, alternate with grounded wires, build it so when they nose around or try to get out they will probably touch the hot wire and the ground wire. Make sure you buy a good hot charger. I have personally experienced a well grounded fence and it gets your respect for a long time. That's it, your done. Just kidding!! Long story short, I have learned by trial and error. After they experience the little electrocution chamber, so to speak. I have about eight acres just for my livestock. Six of these acres are only fenced with two hot wires. One about eight inches off the ground, the other maybe 20 or so off the ground. They don't even try the fence, sometimes there are delicious goodies on the other side. They are pretty well fed though. I suspect there are some hardheaded goats that this would not work on but I have found if you don't use electric fence these goats just rub and rub and rub and rub until it is junk. There is a lot more to it as far as material. I sort of got ideas from the internet, read a book of fencing sheep, talk to goat people and sort of did it my way. Biggest problem I have is when my fence shorts out where I just went alongside some barbed wire fence. Build it so you don't have much of a problem with that, it is no fun walking around and around your fence looking and listening for the short.

  3. GeorgiaberryM

    GeorgiaberryM Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    southwest AR
    Our big mistake was starting with a weak charger. We spent about $40 on one at Tractor Supply, and it just wasn't strong enough. We returned it and got one at our local feed store for $65 that will shock the beejeezus out of anything! We started out with step in posts and one roll of aluminum wire. We made a three strand fence. Then as the goats ate down that area, we bought another roll of wire, and using pvc pipe that we already had for posts, we enlarged the fence. We have spent about $100 on fencing.

    Now the fence is pretty funky, but has a strong charge, and the goats don't try to get out because they have alot to eat. And this area is right by the house so we can keep an eye on them. And they can keep an eye on us LOL. They see me through the windows and start to cry!
  4. jeffreyc256

    jeffreyc256 Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    buy the hottest charger you can afford. If possible and convienient install a discconnect means to the fence so you can isolate it during an thunderstorm. Install lightning chokes. Drive copper or copper coated ground rods to ground the charger. If you can find a naturally damp place for the ground rods all the better, say at the drip line of a roof. I would build the fence with wood corner post and braces and 61/2 foot heavy duty fence post for the perimeter boundary fence. Any inner fencing can be single strand tape fence or wire. Buy a very good quality insulator and avoid standoff insulators, the plastic will get brittle and break. For a super fence we used barbed wire and charged it. even if the charger was down sometimes the goats would hit a barb and get fooled. We had very little trouble with a charged barb wire fence. I am currently using high tensile wire for cattle and am well pleased. good luck
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    i use woven wire and also electric. it's the only thing i found reliable for goats. they are masters at getting out.

    i want to repeat what others have said, that i think are important.

    it helps if they are well fed. my goats are brush clearers only. the hardest time to keep them in, is during the change of seasons. like in spring, when they have been on hay all winter, and spring grass begins to come up. or in the fall, when they are tired of eating what is inside the fence, and there is some really ripe and ready honeysuckle or something, just out of reach. they will go through almost anything (except woven wire and electric, imo) during those times.

    and i agree, buy the biggest charger you can afford. i've have found that a 50 mile box can withstand a FEW shorted out places, and still keep the critters in.

    let us know how it goes!! we've all been there, and the best way to learn is by trial and error.