Goat Fencing Question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BobDFL, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. BobDFL

    BobDFL The High-Tech Ludite Supporter

    Messages:
    925
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Central FL. Zone 9b
    I'm in the process of putting up perimeter fence on my property, and I'm wondering:

    What post spacing should I use for a Field Fence ( Woven ) wire fence? :shrug:

    My neighbors is anywhere from 11-13 feet, but they only have a couple of Nigerian dwarf goats and horses. I'm planning on having only 3 does ( I have a billy I can have them visit when the time comes ), a Boer cross, a Nubian cross ( for milk ), and my daughter wants a Myotonic ( Tennessee Fainting ).
    I'm also planning on having Katahdin sheep and a couple of Dexter Cows. :confused:

    I was thinking of every 8 ft. with 6.5 ft 3.5 in. line posts, but if I can get away with farther spacing that could save me a ton of money on fence posts.

    Thanks,

    Bob D. in FL.
     
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

    Messages:
    1,198
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Lexington Texas area
    The larger the pen or area enclosed, the less the goats will test the fence. So the further apart the posts can be spaced. In a small pen, the posts have to be close together because the goats will be standing on the wire all the time, on a large fence around the pasture, they will not. In a large enclosure, you just want the fence to be strong and tight and up well. It also depends on your soil type. We live in sand and a post hole can be dug in just minutes. In a rock hard soil, we would be inclined to put in fewer posts. Costs would be another determining factor. The horse should not test the fence. Most horses can be kept in with a very weak fence...some with just one wire.
     

  3. BobDFL

    BobDFL The High-Tech Ludite Supporter

    Messages:
    925
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Central FL. Zone 9b
    I'll be fencing in 2 approx. 1 acre pastures, with eventually an additional 2 acres when the house is complete.

    Does this help with the equation?

    Thanks,

    Bob D. in FL.
     
  4. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,042
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    PA
    Well you ask a kind hard question.
    First how likely are you to get the cow? Fencing for a cow must be really strong or bite (barb or electric). The fencing for the goats with a 10' spacing should do fine. They will "test" the fence more where you feed and water them. So you might take that into consideration. I've found that the goats don't try to push the fence over as much as try to climb on it or over it.

    Now if you plan on a cow I'd put some electric at nose hight for the goats and an additional hot at nose hight for the cow.
     
  5. BobDFL

    BobDFL The High-Tech Ludite Supporter

    Messages:
    925
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Central FL. Zone 9b
    Stan, cows are a ways down the road, the goats and sheep are first.

    I'm also planning on putting hotwire around the perimeter when money allows. By going with 10 ft spacing I'll be able to save about 20+ posts, that works for me. Just not having to dig 20 more post holes is a relief let alone the savings.

    The area were we are going to be feeding won't get fenced for another couple of weeks since we still have some heavy equipment that needs to get in through there still. But there will be a number of gates there so I could easily go back to an 8 ft spacing along there.

    Thanks,

    Bob D. in FL.
     
  6. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Earth
    Bob
    Why don't you just go ahead and put up the electric fence?
    1) If you're starting from scratch with supplies/material, electric will be half the cost of woven wire.
    2) you won't have to re-do the fencing later
    3) If you do it right the first time (I learned this one the hard way), you won't have nearly the issues that you would have with field fence
    4) You would be providing predator protection as well as boundary fencing for the livestock

    The only downside to electric fencing is the electric... If you lose power, you lose the bite in the fence. However, if your livestock is properly trained to it, after about 3-4 weeks they probably won't test it anyway. My goats won't go within 2 feet of the fence and the sheep won't get that close. My pigs will occasionally get popped, but I believe that it's simply that pigs have terrible eyesight. I've inadvertantly left my fence off for a couple of days several times and have never had an escapee. And if you're concerned about power issues, you can use a solar charger (you're in a great area for that one!) or use a battery backup system.
     
  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

    Messages:
    52,969
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Location:
    Eastern North Carolina
    Anyone who lives in Florida should have a backup generator. It can power your fence too. But its true that once the animals are trained it doesnt have to be on all the time anyway. I used 6 strands of aluminum wire, 12 1/2 gauge, and spaced the line posts 50 feet apart. If you have access to used telephone poles they can be cut 8 ft long and put 4 ft deep and you wont need to build braces. Just tamp the soil tighltly when you backfill. Our local utility company sells them for 35 cents a foot. Its a little more work digging the holes but in Central FLA it should be mostly sand anyway. Take the money you save on the fencing and get a STRONG charger and it should be fine
     
  8. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Earth
    One of our utility companies was replacing poles along a highway that was being widened. I simply stopped and asked the guy in charge of the crew if I could have some of the poles. He asked me how many, I said whatever a typical load would be and they delivered them to my front yard. They wouldn't even accept $20 for a case of beer... And yes, they are heavy - but well worth the effort when planted correctly. And even at 35 cents a foot they're a bargain!

    Also, your line posts now can become metal T-posts which are driven into the ground - much easier/faster than digging for wood posts. You can actually use plastic/fiberglass step-in posts if the ground is level.
     
  9. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,801
    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    oklahoma
    i have to add that i'd definitely string a strand of electric around the inside of that field fence. goats tend to enjoy rubbing on things, especially fence, and they'll rub along that woven wire until it's sagging and useless. the electric for an acre or 2 the wire around here would cost about 20-25, insulators another 10-20, charger-you can get a solar for 100 a battery for 75 or so, and a normal plug in for 25. the initial cost will be worth the savings on your nice woven wire fence, and that boer won't get her horns stuck in the fence if there's an elec on it at about knee height.
     
  10. BobDFL

    BobDFL The High-Tech Ludite Supporter

    Messages:
    925
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Central FL. Zone 9b
    Thanks y'all I went with 10' spacing and I'll be putting hotwire at 6" and then 2 more higher up on the inside of the fence to keep them off it.

    And yes I have a portable backup generator now, but we are building a new house on the property and are planning on adding a whole house generator with automatic on switch.

    My other concern was with DOGS. It seemswe have some neighbors who let their dogs run free, and there have been some issues with other neighbors. The other issue is with the 600 acre cattle ranch behind me. My dog ( a 100 # Golden Retriever ) thinks all that he can see is his and they will shoot any dog on site on their property ( I don't blame them they have lost calves a number of times to packs of pitbulls ).

    Again thanks everyone who responded it really helped.

    Bob D. in FL.