Goats are often full of fun and personality. They’re one kind of livestock that tends to blur the lines between friendly pets and farm animals. It’s their playful personality that often makes containing these animals a little more challenging. While many farmers prefer field fencing, adding electric wire can provide a cost-effective, flexible fencing option that keeps predators out and goats in.
Woven wire field fences are generally the most durable option for most uses on the farm, including goats. The only problem is that goats can really put them to the test with climbing, pushing, and jumping. Adding an electric fence to the mix helps enforce respect for your fence boundaries, among many other benefits. Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider adding electric wire to your goat fence.
Electric Fences Provide Flexibility
Goats are as well-known for their extensive grazing habits as they are for their playful demeanor. Anyone who has kept goats will quickly notice their uneven eating habits, demolishing the tastiest plant varieties and quickly overgrazing a pasture. This leads many goat farmers to use pasture rotation to keep their animals healthy. While this may address nutritional needs, it also presents a new problem—you’ll need twice as much fencing. Electric fencing can serve as a semi-permanent or temporary option that provides the flexibility to move and rearrange pasture space as needed to ensure that your goats are getting proper nutrition.
A Quick Shock is a Good Way to Keep Predators Away
Goats have plenty of predators. Depending on where you live, you might need to consider how to keep coyotes, foxes, bears, and bobcats away from your animals. Even a stray dog can be a nuisance for your herd. For most predators, an electric fence powered atop your woven goat fence with somewhere between 6,000-10,000 volts of electricity is an effective deterrent and can keep your livestock safe. Keep in mind that fence voltage can be affected by vegetation along the fence line, the length of the fence line, and the materials used.
Goats Respect Electricity
We haven’t met an animal yet that doesn’t respect a quick shock from an electric fence. The zap of electricity is a strong enough deterrent that most animals won’t try it twice. Since goats are otherwise pushy animals with a bit of a destructive side, a woven fence with the addition of an electric wire can provide a welcome reinforcement for farmers who grow tired of replacing worn, trampled goat fencing.
Electric Fencing is a Cost-Effective Option
One of the top reasons that many farmers choose electric fencing often comes down to cost. When compared to all the fencing materials on the market, electric wire is very affordable. If you’re looking for a permanent fence option with a little more durability, we recommend combining a woven wire field fence with reinforcement using electric wire.
An Electric Fence is Quick and Easy to Install
Another reason that electric fences are an attractive option for goat owners is that they’re relatively simple to put up and just as easy to move around. While many breeds of goats are fairly small in size, these farmland creatures climb, jump, and push their way around. If there is one animal that has boundary issues, it’s definitely a goat.
A simple combination of steel t-posts and five or six strands of electric wire is generally sufficient to temporarily contain goats. We recommend that the bottom wire is about eight to ten inches off the ground to prevent smaller goats from escaping under the fence. The total height should extend up to at least 46 inches.
For a permanent fence, use woven wire field fence reinforced with one or two strands of electric wire running just above the top of the fence line.
Electric Fences are A Good Tool for Effective Pasture Management
As a goat farmer, there are several reasons to practice pasture rotation. The first and most obvious is overgrazing which can happen quickly when a herd establishes a preference for a certain variety of plants. While rotating pastures helps support balanced nutrition, it also directly affects your operational costs by reducing feed requirements.
The second is to control the parasite load among the herd. Any time animals are kept in confined areas where fecal matter and grazing occur, parasitic transmission is a problem. And among herds, the heavier the infestation, the bigger the problem. Pasture rotation helps break the cycle, giving goat farmers a fighting chance to treat parasitic infections and restore a healthy balance to their herd.
To make pasture rotation feasible, you’ll need a cost-effective fencing material that is relatively easy to install. Again, this is where a woven wire field fence supplemented with one or two strands of electric wire can make keeping goats a little more practical.
Final Thoughts on Raising Goats with Electric Fence
Goats can be a little tricky to confine. Yet, these playful farm animals have several natural predators making it necessary to find a safe and effective way to keep the herd contained and protected from the local wildlife. In both cases, electric fencing can be an effective material offering both flexibility and durability. It’s affordable and easy to install, making it an attractive fence option for many herds. Red Brand is a reputable livestock fencing provider with more than a century committed to providing quality materials. Shop our goat fence products today.