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GOATS and fences or chains

 
Posts: 158
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Heard that you need really good fences for goats. Dont have
the money for those fences and was thinking that I could get
those 25 foot chains that are attached to a lazy susan type
screw that is pounded into the ground. that way the goat
can munch all day and not run off or get caught in the chain.
Someone told me that you cant chain up a goat like that.
Would like to know if it is true or not.
I thought it was a good solution.
 
pollinator
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If 3 guys can pull it up then one goat can.
If the goat can reach another goat or a 2 foot nerb/shurb/tree it will get tangled up.

You might one to try one of these move electric box fence thingy.
You can get a big one and more it once a week or a small one and move it every day or feed hay.
 
Karen Crane
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Looked at the Gallagher Smart Fence thing you suggested. Loooks like the
posts are just "stuck" into the ground with body weight. If a goat could uproot
that screw thing that is pounded into the ground, So why
wouldnt the goats be able to push those posts over?
Also the company is in New Zealand! Probably could not even afford shipping!
 
S Bengi
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That particular brand is in NZ but evrey country have a local version of it. The reason why they will not knock it over is because it will shock them.
You have to train them to be afraid of the shock. Add some peanut butter/something on the wire but it at max current and then encourage them to eat it...Shock.
After about 7 times they will be very afraid of it.

http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?species_id=2
 
Posts: 146
Location: Southern Appalachia
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I tethered 3 goats all through the summer. I generally tried to tie them to trees without other trees nearby, I also used a tire weighted down with rocks, cinder blocks, etc. You definitely have to watch them, and stay within earshot, but it's workable. I'm sure relative intelligence of your goats will determine how dangerous their entanglements might become.

good luck
peace
 
S Bengi
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It is completely doable to chain the goat, just be aware that the goat is more likely to die of strangulation.
And to minimize that you are going to have to keep the goat within sight (200ft) and also physically check on it every 3 or so hours.

While this is doable for 1 animal once you have three or so its too much.
With a fence you would be able to keep 6-7 animals in a 1/4 acre for a week hardly every needing to visit them.
 
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S Bengi wrote:It is completely doable to chain the goat, just be aware that the goat is more likely to die of strangulation.
And to minimize that you are going to have to keep the goat within sight (200ft) and also physically check on it every 3 or so hours.

While this is doable for 1 animal once you have three or so its too much.
With a fence you would be able to keep 6-7 animals in a 1/4 acre for a week hardly every needing to visit them.



I think goats need daily human contact no matter how good the fence. When we had them they were part of our family. Even with close proximity we lost one to dogs and one to a deer hunter. We, at first, were able to let them free range so that it made it more difficult to fence them...they were constantly testing the fence and getting out. We never tried tethering but friends have successfully, and as Osker said you just have to check on them..they are really smart animals.
 
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Chaining out a goat is a bad idea, unless you are with them the entire time you have them chained. Can you guarantee that a neighbor dog isn't going to stop by and take a bite out of one. 14 ga electric fence is good and it isn't expensive. T-Post and wood posts... You could have a nice enclose built very quickly for less than $200. Maybe even less than $100. You do have to make it 7 wire to keep the goats in... ground, hot, ground, hot, ground, hot, hot. The first wire goes directly on the ground go up 3 or 4 inches for each wire after that...
 
Judith Browning
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I can see using a tether briefly for supplemental feed with close supervision but not as a permanent solution. I guess the big problem would be the area they would prefer to feed would be shruby and prone to entanglements. I'm not totally sold on electric fencing...mainly because it depends on a power source.
 
Chris Griffin
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Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
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Judith Browning wrote:I can see using a tether briefly for supplemental feed with close supervision but not as a permanent solution. I guess the big problem would be the area they would prefer to feed would be shruby and prone to entanglements. I'm not totally sold on electric fencing...mainly because it depends on a power source.



Our power source is a 15w mono-crystalline solar panel and a small deep cycle battery. It works very well, but with the extensive grounding system (that we have) it is a very bad experience for someone to touch the fence. A goat has a very small ground footprint, so they don't get near the shock that a person gets. I also range horses with the goats on occasion and they won't touch the fence but one time.

We went through a lot of fencing before finding the cheapest most effective fence is an electric one. Goats don't really require high tensile fencing, but for visibility reasons I use the 14 gauge wire which has a 70,000 lb tensile strength. It is also much easier to pull by yourself. We started with the expensive goat and sheep fencing, but they (the goats) eventually figure out that they can climb it and you end up re-stretching fence way to often. Hope this helps.
 
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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I use 14 gauge aluminum wire and an electric fence charger. One is solar and one is 12 volt battery (that one works best and is cheaper) that needs to get recharged about every 6 weeks or so. I use 5 wires strung between t posts with plastic insulators. The top 4 are hot and about 8" or 10" apart and the bottom is a ground about 2" off the ground and 4" from the lowest hot wire. Grounds are very important. I drive a 6 foot galvanized stake near the charger and a 6 foot galvanized stake at the far side of the fence connected to the bottom wire. Aluminum wire on fences should not hang too loose but shouldn't be tight like steel wire. I just pull mine hand tight. Don't use tensioners. You can price all that stuff at Tractor Supply Co. or Blain's Fleet and Farm or Mills Fleet Farm. I don't tether my goats but I know a lot of people who do.
 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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I've kept goats in a 3 wire electric fence without issue. The key to it is to teach them the fence when they are already confined, like in a pen. Once they know that fence bites, they won't touch it. In fact, an electric fence is the only fence I can count on with goats.
 
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Paul has a video of a lady who used pallets to fence in her goats and pigs. I'm guessing you can find free, used pallets somewhere.



 
Abe Connally
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my goats would never stay in pallets, too easy for them to climb on and over. If you had pallets with a hot wire on the top, then it might work well. But then, a 3 wire electric fence is a lot easier to put together than a bunch of pallets.
 
Judith Browning
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Abe Connally wrote:my goats would never stay in pallets, too easy for them to climb on and over. If you had pallets with a hot wire on the top, then it might work well. But then, a 3 wire electric fence is a lot easier to put together than a bunch of pallets.



Ours would not have either but this has got me wondering what breed of goat everyone has. Our's were Alpine and started off a little wild, we let them have the run of a lot of woods before we tried to fence. I guess some of the short legged breeds would be a whole lot easier to keep in.
 
Doug Mac
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I have Kiko does, a Nubian buck and two milk cross brush wethers. I run mine in forest and forest edge areas and they get most of their food that way. That means I have to move fence sometimes, but I put them in large areas, so not to often. I like 14 ga. aluminum wire with a 12 volt battery run fence charger. I use t posts and I nail to the backs of the neighbors wooden posts.

If you can arrange it so they eat mostly browse, they will be healthier and you'll save a lot of money NOT buying hay. In the long run, good fencing with browse saves you money over hay. I have some weeds that are reported to be 'toxic' on some web sites. The goats seem to know what to eat. As long as you don't leave them with nothing else, they eat around the bad stuff.
 
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We've tried electric fencing (really dense and strong), didn't work. The goats just went under the fence faster And we've tried many other sorts of fences too and the goats always either broke the fence somehow or climbed over it.

The only thing that works for us is our dog who chases the goats back to their area. Our dog is a giant schnauzer, very smart and it was very easy to train her to chase the goats to their paddock.

The paddock is next to their stable. They can go in and out of their stable into their small paddock as they please. The gate is always open and the goats sneak out whenever the dog is not around or is not looking. So they can get out of their paddock and eat some fresh grass and leaves until the dog notices them. Then she chases them back to the paddock.

I only have to make sure that my vegetable garden and anything else I want to save from the goats is far enough from the goats' paddock and fenced just to make sure they don't run over anything too valuable in case the dog chases them the wrong way (it happens sometimes, our dog is not a pro at herding, just a very enthusiastic beginner )
 
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It's funny, the different solutions everyone has. Probably what you need to do is find out what works for you and hope your garden survives while you do Here's mine - I can't do only electric, they just learn to scoot through faster. However, I have some pretty marginal woven wire that, with a couple strands of electric run along it, works great. It keeps them from jumping through long enough to get shocked. I also tether for 12 hours at a time during the summer - babies stay in, mamas come out for the day to browse. They keep my fenceline clear of blackberries. Mamas get miked, go back in with babies for the night. I have swivels on each end of their tethers, they have to be where they can't reach each other or a tree and they do pretty well. We have a pretty safe area, predator-wise and I'm always in earshot. However, I wouldn't tether 24-7. They seem to be happier with a break and I would worry at night. Also, they are pretty sure they will melt if they're stuck out in the rain...
 
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Yes, goats all think they're sugar and rain will dissolve them!

I have nubians and they don't try to escape, even when they can. Well, the female gets out whenever she's in heat but she only goes on the front porch looking for us. Her main paddock is wood planks and woven wire, about 4 feet high. Toward the farther edges it has big gaps under the woven wire, and in the back she could go through the wood planks (she knows it, does it when she goes on hikes with us) but she doesn't usually want to walk that far to come out. My baby goats can jump their fence but they only do if it's close to feeding time and i'm taking too long to bring the food. They're in a 3 foot high flimsy fence. They like to be "home" in their paddocks and when they are out and the dog is trying to play with them too much they seem happy to go "home" again.

I've read that the fainting goats are even easier to contain.

Right now I'm bringing the food to the goats. For some reason whatever branches I cut and bring to them are *so* much more yummy than the ones they could walk over and eat themselves. But since I'm trying to clear out the bush honeysuckle I don't mind... yet.
 
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chain is a lot more expensive than simple fencing. You don't need a ton of fencing, just a willingness to move it around and keep the goats happy. The fist reply with the electric net fencing is a good idea, do a couple minutes research before dismissing ideas
I would never tether my goats, mine have used electric net fence, mostly they are just behind a simple field fence with no electric though

making sure fencing is done right the first time will save so much time, money and headache
goats are smart, they will teach you how to build a good fence set up- and tell you when they are unhappy with what is left in their fenced area too
 
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I have seen lately some electric net meant just for goats/sheep, meaning there is good clearance off the ground for the bottom wire. A problem I have had with the 150m of poultry type electric netting I use is shorting out to ground. To get the goats to respect it means getting a really strong energizer which then means a pretty good size deep cycle battery.

If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten the netting for sheep/goats, but at the time it wasn't available in Slovakia and I also wanted to have chickens mixed in (as well as pigs). Likewise with pigs the shock needs to be real strong, otherwise they tend to scoot under the fence. Also, it is important for the netting not to sag, otherwise one of your cheekier goats will decide to jump it, and once she jumps it the others may decide to go as well.

However, it works better than tying out. If you do tie out, get the goats a good, wide collar to attach to. I lost one goat who just had a rope-- I thought I was pretty clever in tying a loop on the end that wouldn't tighten up as she pulled to reach some branches, but I didn't count on her getting spooked during a sudden thunderstorm-- when the rope pulled on her running away she kept trying to pull away, and due to the small area of the rope, even though it didn't tighten like a noose it still choked her and she happened to pass out in such a way that pressure was maintained on her neck, suffocating her. I am fairly certain that had she been wearing a wide collar (2 inches, stiff nylon) that she couldn't have exerted enough force to collapse her windpipe, though I could be wrong. I hate even mentioning my tragedy, as it was my fault through inexperience, but just to warn-- the same would also be the case with a chain around the goats neck.

Sometimes now I do tie out the billy goat with a proper collar and the other two goats and two sheep I currently have hang around him, but it is really unideal because he ends up getting tangled up and then not eating as much as the others. Anyway, this is now just for at most a couple of hours if moving the fence is for some reason involved.

One of my neighbors has his goats and sheeps trained to a three wire fence, though its running on a plug in energizer, so perhaps a really strong shock.

Now I am planning a permanent fence for our land (high tensile electric)...
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Andrew Ray, so sorry about your goat. My mums goat is in the same boat as your late goat. My mums goat has his chain stuck underneath a thin layer of skin on the top of his neck. He has a hard thingy that looks like a mass but I don’t really know what you would call it. I’m so scared for him because this is the first time it has happened. I found out from my mum that it’s caused by him pulling on the chain and yanking on it. I feel so heartbroken right now because I’m not an expert or known much about goats except for them needing their coats groomed, fresh water and lots of food (grass). Once the vet looks at him hopefully tomorrow, I will make sure to build a fence around his area around the backyard to ensure he never gets chained up.  
 
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Hi Zanden,

Welcome to Permies.
 
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I trained mine very hard to respect a very hot single strand of polywire. It can be done. Makes rotational grazing a lot easier. They have plenty of forage, they know that thing hurts, and they want nothing to do with it. 120 mile fencer (6.7joules) on a fence much much shorter than 120 miles. Deep ground rod.

Started them out with one hot strand just under my knee and one ground strand (connected DIRECTLY to the fencer) at mid thigh. Kept it tight so their hair wouldnt push the poly away from their skin. They went in between and boy did they scream. They only did it once. Especially the ones who got a foot tangled in the hot wire and dragged it along with them for a couple of shocks. They were completely traumatized. But now they respect my boundaries.

Or you could train them like Texan goat rancher Ben Habig, who rotational grazes large herds of goats with two strands of poly. Look him up on YouTube.
 
Sean Govan
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If that hadn't worked, I would have tried it again within a physical enclosure like a woven wire fence, until they decided that it's impossible to go through an electric fence and the only way to go when you get shocked is backwards.
 
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I find It’s best to start with a good fence that will hold the goats.  If you get into a cycle where they they break through and you fix it, and you carry on with the cycle, the goats are being trained to go through fences.

If you acquire a goat who doesn’t respect fences, they will teach the rest of the herd.  Goats are compiling a lifetime of experience.  I have found it easiest to work WITH them on that.  I don’t take an adversarial stance with them.  I teach them what I want them to know.  The occasional individual who just can’t accept fences, or training, or manners on the milk stand gets culled.

The amount of grain appropriate to goat digestion is the amount they can get foraging when grasses are setting seed.  I think it is the concentrated carbohydrates that are the problem…  on the milkstand, mine get sun flower seeds.  

My goats like salted or unsalted roasted in the shell peanuts, which they eat shell and all, and other various nutritious ruminant-appropriate snacks.  I try to have a few with me all the time.

Teaching them the electric fence bites works well, and if they learn that when the electric fence is not what’s holding them in , it goes much faster, as there is no reward for accepting the shock.  Some goats who have experienced getting out, and getting rewarded with delicious and novel foods, will willingly accept being shocked as the price.  They are entirely capable of doing a cost benefit analysis and DECIDING it’s worth it to break out!  And the other goats learn the behavior.

If you do need to stake goats out, a tether on a back foot works well for many people, and increases the territory available to the goat on the same amount of rope or chain.  I find tending them when tied far preferable to leaving them on their own.

Goats are a lot of fun, if you value them for their attributes.  If you just want compliance, they might just be an eternal source of frustration and problems .
 
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