Goat Fencing 101, Everything You Need To Know

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If you are looking for the best goat fencing for your herd, I am going to cover three today. Yes, there are more options out there, but these are the ones I have tried and my findings with each one.

This a great guide to help you choose your best goat fence ideas as well as a resource you may want to keep in your homesteading library. 

goat fencing 101

Goat fencing is an important part of owning animals, especially when it comes to goats. Knowing what is out there and what works in each situation will not only help you save money and time but will keep your animals safe as well.

One of the most common questions I get regarding goats is:

What kind of fencing do I need for my goat?

The best fencing for a goat all depends on your budget, the size of your herd, and where you live.

• If you have a small budget then you will want to fence in a grazing area that is smaller. This will keep the cost of the fence down to a more reasonable amount.

• If you have a large herd, you will want to fence in a large grazing area so your goats have plenty of room.

• If you live in a wet area, you will want to use a fence that is movable so you can keep your herd on dry ground.

For us, we tried a few different options with our herd. This helped us to know just what would work best for our situation. Use this article to help you choose one to try out with your goats.

Before we get started, there are a few goat fencing tips to remember.

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Goat Fencing Tip#1

If you think your goats will not be able to get out of a fence…..they will.

I know this for a fact.

If they do not want to be fenced in, they will work hard to find a way to get out. Your goal with fencing is to prevent that from day one.

For example….taller is better when it comes to fencing for goats.

It’s true goats can jump surprisingly high if they want to but luckily many will not. Unless they are frightened or feel they are in danger. In all the years of raising goats, we have only ever had 2 that jumped the fences. To keep them in we doubled the height of our fence, and that kept one of our goats in, but the other was still able to jump out.

My advice is to do your best to use a setup that will keep everyone in your herd safe. 

Goat Fencing Tip#2

On the opposite side of the coin, not all goats need to be fenced in.

I have a couple of goats that I can let roam around with me while I am working. They are so people friendly they will stay with me the entire time we are out. I’ll even let them tag along on walks.

These are my sweet goats that are more like pets than livestock. They have a love for people and just enjoy being with me.

Goat walking outside. Goat Fencing 101

These are my easy-to-contain goats and that means not much effort is needed to keep them in a fence.

However, if they are in heat and in rut, then those same goats are completely different. During breeding season their minds have only one goal, to breed and that means they will do whatever they can to get to a doe.

If a goat is in heat and a buck is in rut you may have a hard time keeping them in unless you have a good sturdy setup in place. 

Goat Fencing Tip#3

Be flexible. Do not think your first plan will be foolproof and work perfectly.

Always be prepared to change things if needed. Remember, the main objective for your animals is to be safe at all times. That means keeping them inside and, at the same time, keeping predators out. 

If your first idea doesn’t work as expected, you may need to make adjustments or change things completely. The good news is, there are so many options out there for fencing you can incorporate multiple fences to keep things secure. 

two goats behind an electric fence

SLCG Pro Tip: If you bring in new goats your herd will help them to understand the fence. New goats tend to follow the lead of the herd and that means if the herd respects your fence setup, there is a good chance that any new goats or kids will respect it as well. 

Goat Fencing Tip #4

Is there such a thing as escape-proof goat fencing? 

You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence? I think that phrase was first said by a farmer with goats.

For some unknown reason, goats believe the best grass is on the other side of the fence. And they will look for weaknesses in the fence giving them a chance to get out. Because I know this I check our fence frequently to make sure there are no gaps or cut lines. Every few weeks I walk my fence line checking the integrity of the fence. If I find an issue, I take care of it right away.

It’s important to remember that once those goats get a taste of freedom they are a bit harder to contain. Not impossible but they seem to be a bit more determined. 

Goat Fencing Tip #5  

If you want to know how to keep goats in an electric fence, keep it trimmed and free of long grass. This task should be on your monthly to-do list no matter which fence you use.

Keeping weeds and grass trimmed from the electric areas will always ensure an effective fence. We have found that weed-whacking the grass down to the ground buys us more time, so we are not trimming things so often. 


a trimmed fencline boardering a pasture

Goat Fencing Ideas that you can use on your homestead. 

Each of these ideas have all been used with our own goats so the information you read is accurate from our viewpoint.

Goat Fencing Option #1.  Steel panels

>>> Before we get started, it is important to note. If you have goats WITH horns you will NOT want to use this option. Goats can easily get those horns stuck in fencing, so unless your steel pannels have very small openings, I would skip this option altogether. 

young got bucklings inside of a barn

This type of fencing is a one-piece welded steel panel that comes in sheets that can range in different lengths. These panels are easy to move and simple to use. They are flexible, sort of lightweight can be cut to fit, and if installed correctly, can keep just about anything in.

You can trim the fence panels down to the size you need using heavy-duty fence cutters.

How to Install Steel Panel Fencing

Goats will stand on this type of fence and push with their natural weight simply because they like to be up high. Having the stakes on the outside will give extra support to the overall fence.

A buck standing on a steel fence panel

Steel goat fencing panels come in different sizes.

  • Cattle Panels are 4-5′ high by 16′ long.
  • Pig Panels are just under 3′ high by 16′ long.
  • Goat or Sheep Panels are 4′ high by 16′ long. 

Even though there are steel fence panels made specifically for goats, I prefer the taller cattle panels. These come in quite handing when you have a goat that likes to jump. I also prefer these fence panels for containing my bucks. Since they are higher they are better able to keep my boys in even when my gals are in heat.

Another plus to the cattle panels is the spacing is much closer together at the bottom and can easily keep small kids contained as well.

young goat kids sticking their heads through a steel goat panel

SLCG Pro Tip: If you need a taller fencing option and only have the smaller pig or goat panels, you can stack one fence on top of the other and attach them with zip ties making a much taller version. I have done this in several instances on our goat farm, and they hold up surprisingly well. 

Remember those does in heat I warned you about?

Stacking fence panels is one way to keep the does secure until you are ready to breed them. The sturdier your fences are, the fewer accidental breedings you will have.

Remember, it is best to wait until your goats are at least 10 months of age before breeding. If you raise larger goats such as Nubians or Alpines, wait until your does are large enough to withstand the weight of your buck. This will prevent injury to your goats.

A fenced in area for goats in a barn

You can find these fence panels at your local feed mill, or you can find used panels for sale on Craigslist

Bottom Line: A good and inexpensive option that is very sturdy and can be used successfully to keep goats contained. This option may not be the best if you have a larger area you hope to fence in. 

Goat Fencing Option #2.  Electric Fence Netting. 

This is the fencing I started out with, and I still use it today simply because of its durability, ease, and effectiveness.

Electric fence netting is a woven electric fence that comes in lengths up to 160′ long. I have several sections of this electric fence netting, and it has lasted me 7+ years without any problems.

If you do not have a source of electricity, you can also purchase a solar box for fencing. This is not the exact one I used, but it is similar.

The solar box attaches easily to the fencing using clips. We have an older version that still works perfectly, however, they have redone the boxes, and they are much nicer looking now.

This is the older solar box that we are using to keep our fence hot. As I said, even after all these years of rain and heavy snow, it still is working great. 

A solar box charger for electric fencing for goats

An electric fence netting is easy to use and also store if needed during the winter months.

The trick to storing a fence netting without it getting tangled is to fold the fence by a panel like an accordion and then wrap it around a piece of plastic pipe. We use PVC pipe and find it works great.

You can then tie the netting down and keep it in your barn or basement. I have used mine throughout the winter with no problem.

Rolling up electric netting to store away for the winter

If you choose to keep your electric fence netting out year-round, you will want to watch for snow build-up. The weight of the snow can apply pressure to the lower strands that can stretch them out and weaken areas that may allow your goats a way to get out.

This netting option is a bit more expensive than the steel panels, but I believe it is easier to use and more secure at both keeping goats in and predators out. I have even had great luck keeping bucks in rut contained which is a huge benefit to keep in mind.

This type of fencing is also easier to move than the other options. If you live in a wet area or use rotational grazing, this type of fence is a great option.

goat netting lying on the ground in a pasture

I also found it quite easy to train my goats on this electric netting and it is my preferred method for training my kids.


How do you teach goat kids to stay away from electric fences?

  1. Wait until goat kids are over six weeks of age.
  2. Put them out into the fenced area.
  3. Allow them to explore the area.
  4. Supervise to ensure there are no injuries.
  5. You want your kid to get zapped, as this will teach them to stay away from the fence.
  6. Usually, one zap is all you need to train a goat kid on electric fencing.
  7. If you have a group of kids you train all at once, you only need one or two to get zapped. This will most likely be the braver kids. The more timid kids will learn by watching.

A point to remember when training on electric netting is little goat kids are super curious, and sometimes they will try to stick their heads through the electric netting to nibble at the grass on the other side. When this happens, and they start to feel the zap, there is a chance that rather than “pulling back” away from the fence, they instead jump forward. If this happens, they can get tangled in the netting.

The reason why you want to be near the solar box is so you can disconnect the electricity quickly, reducing injury if this happens.

I now have several sections of this net fencing and use it to section off my pasture for rotational grazing. I also use it for my bucks so they can graze away from my does, reducing the risk of accidental breeding.

two male goats near electric fence netting

New this year is a poultry fence around my garden that works brilliantly and keeps out deer and rabbits.

Bottom line:  Electrical fence netting is easy to move, sturdy, and easy to store in the winter months. It works effectively to keep goats contained and predators out. A cost investment but a good option for a more secure pasture.

Goat fencing option #3 High tensile wire.

High-Tensile fencing is made of high-carbon steel. The higher the carbon content, the stronger the wire is. It has 5-6 wires that are attached to wooden posts. The wires are electrified giving a very secure option for fencing.

This is a permanent method of fencing and works well with large sections of pasture. I feel this is the most secure fence option, not only with goats but many livestock if you happen to house them all together. 

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We installed our first high tinsel six years ago, and I am happy with its effectiveness. We paid to have our fence installed to ensure it is done correctly so it is able to withstand our intense winters and snow here in Pennsylvania.

In our area, this type of fencing adds to the value of your home, which is a good thing to keep in mind. Even though it is a high-cost investment knowing you will make your money back if you sell is a good thing to keep in mind. 

Yes, you can install high-tensile fencing yourself, but I would not recommend it unless you know what you are doing. The trick to this type of fencing being effective is to tighten the lines properly, and you need special equipment to do this. 

goats playing on a small hill in a pasture behind a goat fence

High-tensile fencing needs a gate for not only your animals but for people as well. The size of the gate will all depend on what you need to get into your pasture. We have a larger gate so we can get our tractor in and out of the pasture as needed.

For goats, you will want to have the first strand of wire lower to the ground. Ours is set at 9 inches and ensures even our goat kids stay inside.

Bottom line:  A good option for permanent fencing that is sound and secure will safely house goats, horses, and cows. A more expensive option that will contain an animal of any size. 


So many people have heard stories of goats and how hard they are to contain. Don’t let this rumor deter you from getting your first goats. Goats are funny, loving, entertaining, and very rewarding. I love my goats and can’t imagine my life without them.

The trick to raising goats or any animals for that matter, is to start out small, so you grow with your herd.

Do your research so you are not jumping in unprepared, and set your property up so you can house your animals safely and effectively.

The purpose is not only to keep your goats in but other animals out as well.

goats grazing near electric goat fencing

Now that you know the 101 on Goat Fencing you are ready to set up a grazing area for your goat herd.

More Goat Care Resources:


  1. This was a great read and thanks for the information. I just adopted two Nigerian dwarf male goats and now a third! They come next week. I am having a 6’ dog eared fence put around the entire property plus building a goat pen for them when I’m not home. I am using 4×4 poles in cement for my base and 4’ high 1”x2” wire so they don’t get their little horns stuck. I’m trying to make it really cute because it is my backyard .

  2. The electric net fencing is great for cleaning up brushy areas. We use it a lot to clear sections of the property that aren’t fenced but could use a good trimming. However, one of our goats thinks nothing of popping out to get to that green grass on the other side. She is also the reason I have heavy 4′ high woven wire goat fencing and a top hot wire around my main pasture. That top hot wire would be my one additional tip, it will keep them from climbing the fences too much and keep a bouncy goat in.

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