How To Stop Your Goats From Jumping Over Their Fence
Goats are natural escape artist that loves to jump and climb over man-made and natural objects. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the reason for a goat’s willingness and the ability for jumping has to do with an evolutionary function of being able to jump and climb on steep mountains and cliffs.
If you have goats or are thinking about getting goats for your homestead you need to know the best ways to keep them from jumping over your fence, and escaping. This article will give you, straightforward advice, on how to best deal with these natural escape artists.
As was stated, goats love to jump and climb, and the goats have been known to jump even over five-foot fences. Different goat breeds have different jumping abilities which are explained below.
Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf Goats
The Pygmy Goat and Nigerian Dwarf goat, which are miniature goats, are surprisingly some of the more capable jumpers. They may be smaller, but their statue makes them more nimble and capable jumpers. These smaller goats have even been known to stand on their friend’s backs in order to make their escape.
On the other hand, larger goat breeds, as they are heavier, are not able to jump as well. No matter what goat you have though, you will still need to stop them from jumping over fences and running amuck.
Intro To Goat Enclosures (Fences and Pens)
As you have likely guessed, the best way to stop your goat from climbing or jumping over a fence is to build a better fence. However, there are a lot of fence choices. So, it can be quite confusing. This guide will help you get on track. First, I would like to briefly go over the various reasons why you would want to fence in your goat friends in the first place.
Why Fence Your Goats in The First Place?
• Safety-To protect your goats from wandering off and getting killed by predators, ran over by a car, etc.
• Predator Access– To prevent predators, like wolves, coyotes, dogs, and so forth, from at best harassing your goats, and at worst killing them.
• Reproduction Control– To separate a male goat from the female does for control of breeding reasons.
• Weed Control-Keep the goats in a desirable area where you want them to munch down on weeds.
There are several different types of fences that work for goats, and other livestock. The most popular fences and enclosures that will be evaluated here are the following:
• High Tensile Wire Fence
• Wooden Fence
• Welded Wire Fence-AKA Mesh Wire Fence Or Woven Wire Fence
High Tensile Wire Fence
The high tensile wire fence is new to the US. However, it is becoming increasingly popular. High Tensile fences are made with, four to ten strands of smooth wire, with the number of wires, depending on end upon the animal you are wanting to fence.
High Tensile wire is becoming very popular as it is known for the following:
- Easy Set Up-In comparison to other fence types, fewer posts needed to install this fence type.
- Little Or No Maintenance Needed– All you must do is occasionally, tighten up the metal strands via a ratchet.
- Costs Less– You can set up your line posts, by having a fence post, once every 50 feet. Fewer posts, mean less work and saving money by not having to buy as many posts.
- Easily Electric Conversion– A high-tensile wire fence can easily be converted to an electric fence by installing insulators on the fence wires and using an electric fence charger.
Welded Wire Fences
A welded wire fence is made of steel wires that are welded together, which results in an extremely strong fence. The welded wire fences are created by placing the metal wire in a vertical and horizontal, rectangle or square pattern. This rectangle or square pattern results in increased strength. The common metals used for welded wire fences are galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel. These fences are valued for being inexpensive, requiring less maintenance, and also having multiple uses.
Welded Wire Fence For Goats
The welded wire fence is not mentioned frequently as being used for either livestock or goats. For example, Long Fence, which sells these types of fences, never mentions their welded wire fences for livestock use. They do though state that their fence can be used for numerous other purposes.
One of the problems concerning welded wire fences being used for livestock is that the animal may get their head stuck in the fence. So, you need to make sure that the fence whole is not large enough that a goat can fit his head though. If you are able to fix the above problem by a tall enough welded wire fence is a viable fencing option
A wood fence is rustic and quite classy looking. And, with a pallet, you can make a wooden fence quite cheaply. However, a wooden fence does have some major drawbacks, with setup and maintenance being the biggest. First of all, pounding the posts into the grounds is some of the hardest work that you will ever do, and fence maintenance will be constant. Other drawbacks of the wooden fence are listed below:
• Not Goat Proof-Goats can and will chew on wood, and if you are not watchful you may wake up one morning to find out that your fence has collapsed, and your goat herd is nowhere in sight.
• Not as Durable-Unlike a steel fence, wooden fences are prone to rot, termites, and other related problems. Additionally, goats are able to recognize and exploit any wholes are weaknesses in the wood fence panels.
The goat pen is an enclosure that either partially or fully traps in a goat, sheep or dog or another animal. It is especially helpful for a farmer who has limited space or for corralling in goats for sleep during the night.
The only thing you should remember is that a goat pen’s fence height should be at least four feet high and that you should give each goat around 200 to 250 feet per square feet to roam around in a pasture or other grazing area I.E., Four goats should be given, at a minimum, 800 square feet during the day to roam. Less space is needed when they are being corralled in during the night.
Electric Netting And Fencing
Electric Netting is the same as an electric fence and they are often called the same. But they are cheaper and easier to set up and tend to be used more often by the hobbyist or urban goat farmer.
Electric Goat Fence
Electric fencing differs from electric netting, for the purpose of this article, in that you are able to convert fences like the high tensile wire, into an electric fence. The electric netting though was solely designed to be electric an electric barrier.
You might think that an electric fence is cruel. But, when properly set up and utilized an electric fence can be an excellent way for you to stop your goats from climbing up and escaping. And, being slightly shocked is a bit less cruel than being run over by a car or being a wolve or coyote’s meal.
Notes On the Electric Fence
When properly used an electric fence will serve you quite well. However, one issue is that the electric fence only psychologically and not physically stops a goat from jumping over the fence. This means that when a goat is scared it can run over the fence, ignore the shock, and escape. And, once a goat realizes this can be done, your electric fence or netting may no longer work. So, depending upon the type of goats that you are raising, your fencing should be at least four feet high.
Goats need to be trained to not touch the electric fence. This can be done by luring your goats to touch the electric wires with their nose, and after they feel the shock they will then likely be wary of going near the fence again.
Grass or weeds that covering the electric wires on the fence negatively affect the fence’s shocking ability. So, be sure to clear out and keep the fence clear from any plants, weeds, or other plants that are coving the fence.
A Note On The Barbed Wire Fence
As it will not stop a jumping goat; a barbed wire fence should never be considered for a goat fence. A goat, stuck by the sharp thorns on the wire will ignore the pain and proceed to try to get to the other side of the fence.
The best fence to stop jumping goats depends upon your budget, the number of goats, the type of goats owned, and other various factors. So, it is not a one-size, fits all solution. What you need to remember though is, no matter what type of fence that you decide upon, is that your fence needs to be at least four feet high. Additionally, you should not expect the electric fence to work on its own without you training your goats that they should not touch the electric wire any part of the fence. If you follow this advice and do your homework your goats will likely stay where you want them to stay.