Keeping animals contained is a top priority for any homesteader. Their safety is an important part of raising livestock responsibly. This article on the different types of Electric goat fence will give you an overview of our favorite type of fencing.
There are many goat fence ideas; this list is the electric options to consider.
Anyone who owns goats knows how challenging it can be to keep them from escaping and causing mischief. They are curious and agile creatures that can jump, climb, and break through traditional fencing with ease. That’s why electric fencing has become a popular and effective way to contain goats.
Knowing the different types of electric fencing available and how to select the best fenc for where you live will help you to prepare a setup that will last years to come.
What is the minimum height for electric fencing?
When setting up a fence for goats, you will want to keep in mind the fact that they can jump. I have found that a good rule of thumb is to have a fence that is at least The minimum 4-5 feet tall. If your goats are taught to respect the electric current in the fence, you will have fewer issues with your herd trying to get out. Training is key to a fence doing its job, and we will discuss this more in a bit.
Types of Electric Fencing for Goats
There are three primary types of electric fencing that work well for goats: woven wire, poly tape, and electric netting.
High Tensile fencing is made up of sturdy strands of wire that stretch between large secure poles. This is a permanent fencing option and is used mainly for large pastures. This type of fencing will work well with goats, sheep, cows, horses, and pigs.
Not all strands are electrified, usually just a few key strands. For goats, you will want to ensure the lowest strand has electricity so your goats are not able to go under the fence.
If you have smaller goats, you will want to ensure the lowest strand is closer to the ground. This will keep your herd safely inside, even the goat kids. You will want to be aware that having the fence closer to the ground will require you to keep the grass trimmed to ensure the electricity flows without interruptions.
- High Tensile Roll
- Spinning Jenny
- Wire Strainers
- Strainer Handle
- Wire Twisting Tool
- Brace Pins
- Post insulators
- Fence Posts
- Post Digger
Installing a high tensile fence is best done by someone that is knowledgeable. We hired a local crew to do our fence. Yes, it was an investment, but 8 years later, that fence is still holding strong without any issues.
If you want to install your own high tensile fence, you can read how to do so here.
An electric wire fence is a smaller version of high tensile. You can install t yourself and it can be moved it needed.
- Wire – Galvanized steel or aluminum
- T-post insulators
- Corner post insulators
- Electric source or solar box
- Grounding rod
T-posts should be placed about 16 inches apart and driven securely into the ground. You’ll want to have all your posts in and set before adding your wire. String your wire on using the insulations to attach to the posts.
Continue adding the wire until the area is completely fenced in, minus the gate. Once finished, attach the power source and make your fence hot.
Electric netting is a flexible, lightweight material that can be moved, allowing you to rotate where your herd grazes. It is sold large rolls that are usually 160 feet or longer and can be easily installed alone. Every strand is electrified, ensuring everyone in your herd is contained safely.
This type of fencing is temporary and not a good option for year-round use if you live in an area with snowfall.
- 1-2 rolls of fence netting
- Power source
- Grounding rod
Mow down the line where you want to have the netting. Start at one end and push the first stake into the ground. Move down the line unrolling the netting as you go. When a stake comes up, push it into the ground. Continue working until the entire roll is installed. If you are using more than one roll, be sure to attach each roll to the other for a solid flow of electricity.
Once finished, attach the power source and make your fence hot.
Tips for Selecting the Best Fence
When selecting an electric fence, there are several factors to keep in mind.
- Goat Breed – Consider the size of your goats to help you choose the best fence. Larger goats need a higher fence, whereas smaller breeds will need a fence closer to the ground.
- Temperament – If you have particularly stubborn or adventurous goats, you may need a more robust fence to keep them contained.
- Size – You will also want to consider the size of your property and how much fencing you will need. The bigger the area you plan to fence in, the more cost you will have and the more time you will need to install the fence.
- Power – Will you be using battery or solar power? You can run any fence with solar power, even high tensile. If you have electricity in your barn and plan to connect that barn to the pasture, you may be able to use that as your power source.
- Budget – How much are you able to spend? If your budget is low, you may want to start out with a less expensive option and work your way up from there.
Training Goats to Respect Electric Fencing
Electrifying your fence won’t be enough to keep your goats contained. It’s essential to train them to respect the electricity so they won’t try to push through or jump over the fence.
Training Tips for Goats
- Begin by allowing them to get close to the fence with supervision.
- Let the zap happen. I know this is hard, but it is an important part of training the entire herd effectively.
- The electricity will hit the goat’s nose first, and that is a good thing. The more sensitive the area, the better the lesson will take.
- Usually, just one zap is all you need to train most, if not all, of your herd.
- Stay near the power source when training. This way, if there are any issues or a goat gets tangled, you can stop the charge quickly.
- Once your goats understand the fence is “hot,” they will be less likely to challenge it.
The Right Height for Electric Fencing
When it comes to electric fencing, height matters, especially with goats. Goats are skilled climbers and jumpers, so you’ll need to make sure your fence is tall enough to keep them contained. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your fence is at least 4 to 5 feet tall. If you have athletic goats, you may need to add a top rail or increase the height of your fence.
You will want to have at least one gate to your fenced in area. If your pasture is larger, consider having two access points that are large enough to allow a tractor to fit through. You can make a gate for smaller pastures or purchase a gate for larger setups.
No matter which type of fencing you choose, maintaining the area around the fence is crucial to operating correctly.
Daily – Check the power to ensure it is working properly before letting your herd out to the pasture.
Weekly – Trim the grass at the base of the fence to ensure the current can run without interruption.
Monthly – Walk the fence line and look for any issues that may need to be repaired.
If you’re homesteading off the grid and want to use electric fencing, solar-powered options are available. These fences are easy to install and operate, and they don’t require a power source. Solar electric fencing can be the perfect solution for homesteaders who want to reduce their reliance on traditional power sources.
Keeping goats contained can be a challenging task, but with the right electric fencing, it can be done efficiently and safely. Take the time to evaluate your goat’s needs and your property before choosing an electric fence.
Proper installation, correct fence height, and training your goats to respect the fence will ensure a successful containment. If you keep these tips in mind, your goats will be safe and secure within their designated area, and you can enjoy peace of mind.