Shelter & Fencing

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Wags, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have decided on Nigerian Dwarfs and have found a source for obtaining them that is just a couple of miles from us. Dh tried some goats milk from that source and totally loved it and as a result is finally supporting my desire to get goats.

    Shelter: I know the Nigerian's can be housed in large dog houses, but I really want a barn so I can have an indoor milking room. Would it be better to build a seperate goat barn or build a combination goat and horse barn? It will be awhile yet before we get the horses and they will be on the smaller side. (under 15 hands).

    Fencing: I have been told that no-climb horse fence is the best fencing to get - would you agree with that? Is there something cheaper that would work as well? Have 3+ acres to fence in for them and the horses.

    Any other suggestions for a complete newbie? Things you wish you would have known in advance or done differently. I'd rather take my time and get it set up right the first time than jump in and get critters before I have a proper place prepared for them.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

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    Congratulations!

    If you're building a barn from scratch, I would just combine the goats and horses. You can keep the goats in a regular size horse stall, and have your milking parlour in another - or build it however it suits you. My barn has four stalls - goats are in two, chickens and ducks are in one (although they will be moved, and goats going in there) and my milking parlour/feed room is in the fourth. The horses live outside :p - they have a large run-in shed if they want it - and mostly they don't.

    As for fencing - don't let the goats out with the horses, they might get hurt. My horse used to be boarded where they had a pygmy goat that ran loose - he did not like that goat and would run him out of the paddock, and he's generally an easy-going guy. Goats aren't great for eating grass anyway, just give them a nice sized run - at our last place it was about 25'x75' with a small barn in the middle and they were quite happy with that. Fencing - we had a combination of the 2"x4" wire and chainlink, both used. Two sides had board fencing, so I just stapled the wire to the wood, and the other two sides I used T-posts, with wooden posts at the corners and for gateposts. Just make sure the wire is close to the ground or they'll go under, especially babies! This way, you can fence your horse paddocks with something easier/cheaper. I don't have the goat run built here yet, but I will do the same - a small area enclosed by tight fencing.

    Power and water in the barn! I had to haul buckets down an icy hill all last winter - not fun, especially when I slipped, dumped the bucket all over me, and nearly slid into the pond. We ran an extension cord out to the barn and had lights, but now that we're in the new place and have "proper" wiring and running water, life is much simpler! I want to completely enclose the stall I'm using for a milking parlour so I can keep the flies out - I think that will make life much nicer for me and the goats - no hooves in the milk pail.

    Are these Nigerians used to being milked? I have five Nigerian does (and one buckling), none of which have ever been milked - the two younger ones are going to learn when/if they kid this year. I have larger goats for milk, a Saanen who is just drying off, and a Nubian cross who is due to freshen in two weeks.

    A milkstand is a wonderful thing - if you're going to stick with Nigies, build it to suit their size. I have to use mine for both sizes (I use it for hoof-trimming the little goats) and it's not a great fit for either.
     

  3. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes - everything including fencing will be from scratch. I would like to have electric, but unless I change where my barn will be it would just be too expensive to run it the 200 ft. But water is a little more doable and I do plan to have that at the barn. Spent my childhood schleping water to the horses - at least it was downhill but not fun when it was icy!

    We will probably get kids, but their mothers are all milking stock - and the breeder specifically breeds for the best milkers with the longest teats. :)
     
  4. judysfunnyfarm

    judysfunnyfarm Member

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    Hi we are new to this . we are also raising goats. we just put up elec fence. but the man of the house can not get it to work. it is solar kind but will not produce a zap, can any body help with this problem.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I just put up some electric tape for my cow and my goats get zapped and still want to get through it and eventually do. There is eletrified netting that probably would work better for goats as far as that goes. You can get a solar charger for the same price as an electric charger if it is for a smaller area. I paid $100 for a 3 mile solar charger which is more than sufficient for the area the cow is in- and I can still expand. No climb horse fence is pretty expensive- there is a Red Brand field fence for goats that is probably more affordable.

    judyfunnyfarm if your fence isn't charged it is either shorting out on brush or some other noncondusive material or it isn't ground properly.
     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Electrified netting does NOT work better for goats, at least in my experience. When we were using it, they quickly figured out that if they got their noses under the bottom wire (not hot) they could lift the whole thing and slip out underneath with hardly a shock. They are also prone to getting tangled up in it if the charge is weakened for some reason (such as being inadequately grounded -- which may be the reason why judysfunnyfarm is having trouble with her solar fence. Or there could be a bad connection, or . . . ).

    Kathleen
     
  7. goatedintoit

    goatedintoit Truly Gems ADGA Nubians

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    Electrified tape and/or rope do not carry the ZAP that 12 gauge hi tensile will carry.

    We have a six strand hi-tensile fence that is 170x170. The cost was just over $1000.00. I am very pleased with the asthetics as well as the ZAP that keeps my goats safely in and other critters out.
     
  8. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Ooops! Thank you for the correction. It looked like a good thing. After two experiences with electric, I don't care for it.
     
  9. dbarjacres

    dbarjacres Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have Nigerians and Mini Manchas and our fencing for them is hog panels (16' long by 32" high I think) with a hot wire about 6 inches above it. Works great, but panels are $16 each on sale. The big pasture is made of Field Fencing, 38" with electric wire on top again and then about 8 inches off the ground inside (no predator problems here do to heavy hunting of them, or I'd have more electric outside too). The Field Fencing is $99 a roll for 330 feet versus $110 roll for 100 feet of no climb - just bought more last week to do the donkey pasture so goaties can go out there too. That's a big difference in price.

    Solar fencers are interesting to say the least. You must have it grounded with rods in the ground, same as an electric one. And even with completely trimmed grass and installed correctly, it only shocks a quarter of our big electric one.

    Something to consider for housing your goats are calf hutches and then just make a small milking/feed room combo in a building for your horses or even buy a nice yard barn to keep it in if you don't have barn $$ right now. We use the 8' diameter round Poly Dome hutches and they work great, even in winter in Wisconsin they stay cozy.
     
  10. billooo2

    billooo2 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have had good luck with the calf hutches. The only drawback is when you have a cold rain....and leading the goats back and forth for milking. :shrug:

    I would also say "amen" to the "water and electric on the barn. I would think that running electric to the barn would be cheaper than running water to the barn. You might even be able to run the wire in the same trench that you run the water.

    Just run wire heavy enough so that if you ever want to have a miking machine it will be able to carry the amps required. I am upgading mine now. I will run it off a 60 amp breaker in the house, and I will have 2 breakers in the barn (one 40 to run a 1 hp motor and one 20 for the lights, etc.

    You will be very glad for those lilghts and outlets when you have the does with a difficlut delivery at 11 PM at night.
    Bill.......who originally thought that flashlights would be adequate to do things at night :nerd:
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    My goat shelters have to be temporary structures (because I don't own the property), so I haven't been able to run electric or water to them. What I use for light at night is an LED headlamp -- it works great, and the batteries last for a couple of months even with daily use.

    The best goat fencing I've found is cattle (combo) panels, though they'd be expensive for doing a large pasture.

    Kathleen
     
  12. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay - let me see if I have this right. Field fencing will work and if I need addtional insurance add a hot wire? Field fencing is much more in my price range and would mean I would be able to fence at least three acress for the goats/horses.

    Think we are going to go with a 24x36 pole barn - eventually. Just got some free fill dirt to level out a place for the barn. Yeah! But until then I will investigate the calf hutches. My source for the nigerians is sold out of kids this year - so I get first pick of the does next year. That will give me more time to get things in place.