?'s on fencing, etc from prospective goat-owner

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mutthouse, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. mutthouse

    mutthouse Active Member

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    I am interested in getting a few mini goats in the spring. I would like them for brush/weed control (I have a fenced acre), but would consider a bred/breedable doe for milking, along with a wether. Nigerian dwarves are at the top of my "possibilities" list at the moment.

    So far I am at the homework stage, reading everything I can get my hands on. I have a few questions:

    1) My fence is 4' high, woven wire, and will have to be tightened in spots. Is this high enough?
    2) Is it true that they can stay in doghouses (I'm in NW ohio), or should I move them into a better shelter in the wintertime?
    3) If the fence IS too low, has anyone heard of training them to an Invisible Fence? (Already have one) I have heard of it, but not from anyone who's done it firsthand. Obviously, this would defeat the purpose of brush control around the perimeter, but I would love to have them anyway; I've always wanted goats!

    Thanks, Lin
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

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

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    Id think the fence is high enough. If youre worried it would be easy to add a couple of "hot" wires to the top. Id forget about the "Invisible Fence". They are VERY expensive and would require collars for each goat PLUS they dont keep anything OUT!!
     

  3. maryanne

    maryanne Well-Known Member

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    In some places my electric wire is only 1 ft. high and my goats(boers only) dont and will not cross it, I ran my wire with the land, so the rest of my fence is about 2.5-3ft. high. Make sure that if you want them to remain in an electric fence that you buy goats that have always, i repeat ALWAYS been in nothing but electric or you will with high probability never keep them in the fence ..I am speaking from experience.I wouldnt buy goats from an auction either, you dont know their background or fencing.Goats are very stubborn and an invisible fence isnt worth the effort, plus like someone else said it wont keep anything out..I worry much more about something getting in my goat fence than my goats getting out!!! thats why I am going to get a great pryn. dog to protect them.keep that idea in mind too, about purchasing a LGD ..good luck! i love my goats, excpet rut time thats a stinky time!
     
  4. mammawof3

    mammawof3 Well-Known Member

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    With woven wire fence, you may want to get "disbudded:polled" goats-if you are getting minis-my pygmys could easily fit their heads through the woven wire-but then get their horns stuck-ended up cutting fence b-4 to get heads out. Sometimes you can twist them out w/out cutting/but not always. You could run hot wire about a foot high around inside-would keep them away from fence. Yes, they could stay in a dog house-but in winter, they may eat less if they have to come out in the snow too eat-where as in a shed of sorts-you could have a hay manger set up-plus would be easier to seperate and observe during kidding ect. I'm w/everyone else on the invisible fence--too many things would cross right over to get them!
    Most of our acredge is 2 strand hot wire-the goats (Boer/Boer dairy) will not try it--when first introduced, a few got shocked good--some only needed one shock--most never tried it! (I think they see what happened to the ones that did-and learned..when kids are born here, sometimes they will touch the fence once or twice--usually they NEVER touch the fence at all--just automatically stay away from it!-maybe their mom's tell them about it?) When i change fence line-it takes them awhile to venture on--i think they "shove" someone through first and see what happens! :) One of the doelings was in heat yesterday--wanting in w/buck--neither one even tried the fence-(hotwire seperating buck and herd from doelings )
    What amazes me, is our stallion-staying on his side when a mare is in season-hanging on her side!! Yes, our fence is strong-i have ran into it a few times-it pops in your head! :baby04: BUT-fence has been down (Off) without our knowing it b-4 and nothing has escaped--disadvantages are--you must periodically test it, especially after a storm-you will likely have to walk fence line and remove branches ect.--after all-even if they won't cross it--a preditar could!
     
  5. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    We couldn't keep the minis in with strands of hot wire. We started with three, and worked up. Even with seven, the buck got out.

    Woven wire like you have will work, but if they have horns, they make get stuck as mentioned before. If you are around to get them out during the day, it's not too much of a problem.

    Our pen is woven on two sides, building on one side, and Kencove brand electric net on the third. The next pen will be ALL electric net. Easy to put up, and the goats respect it completely.

    Yes, they will use dog houses, both for sleeping and for climbing on. If it gets very cold where you are, put hay in the dog house for more comfort and insulation.
     
  6. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Lin, four foot fence is plenty high enough for any type of goat you intend to buy. Keep the animals well feed with food and attention and it would be unlikely that you would ever have a problem. My opinion is to build or buy them adaquate shelter to escape the elements, especially rain. The building can also be used for firewood, hay, grains, lawnmowers etc....yes they do need a structure. I just completed a 20 by 16 pole barn with two 10 x 10 pens, two gates, metal sides and roof for way under $1,000. Tennessee John
     
  7. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I think 4' would be high enough for small breeds, but personally, I would run a hot wire about nose height, and one at the top. It will keep horned goats from putting their head through the wire and getting stuck.

    I would work on a more ample shelter. It doesn't have to be fency. We also did a small pole barn, about 10 x 20, for about $400. Very easy. We do use the dog houses as well, and they like those too. But when it rains or is really cold, they definitely prefer the barn.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    If you are planning to milk, look into Kinder goats -- I've seen some Nigerians now (nice ones, too), and wouldn't have one for a milker. They are too low to the ground.

    There are two key things with any electric fence (including the electronet which someone mentioned): it has to be HOT, and it has to be well grounded. If you are short on either, the fence will not hold goats -- and it won't protect them very well, either. With what you already have for fencing, I would suggest adding a couple of strands of electric on top (more to keep dogs out than to keep the goats in), and add a strand on the inside at nose height to keep them off of the fence. Goats like to stand up on everything, including the fencing, and will quickly knock wire fencing down, or moosh the wire until it's far enough down to just walk over it. If you find you have dogs or coyotes trying to dig in under the fence, you may also have to run a strand on the outside, near the bottom.

    I know people who are going totally to cattle panels for their goat fencing, by the way.

    Kathleen
     
  9. mutthouse

    mutthouse Active Member

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    Thanks a lot, guys; lots of good food for thought here. :)
    Lin