Hardy Boer Meat Goats
Fences for Boer Goats and Meat Goats
Goats are more difficult to fence than most other species of domestic livestock. Fencing is one of the biggest obstacles for beginners wanting to get started raising goats. Fencing for goats is more expensive than cattle fencing. Many cattle ranchers would like to use meat goats to control sprouts and weeds in their cattle pastures and to supplement their income while doing so, but they don't have adequate fences for goats. Cattle and goats prefer to eat different forages and one can usually add several goats per acre to a cattle pasture without decreasing the number of cows per acre. Our experience has been that Boer goats are easier to fence than other breeds of goats.
Several of our friends have been successful holding goats with ten strands of barb wire. For this type of fence to work, the fence has to be straight, the barb wires have to be stretched very tight, and the corners have to be well anchored and braced. This is difficult to do in rough terrain with shallow soil. With this type of fence, the posts should be about ten feet apart with two twist on fence stays between each post. Pictured below, left, is such a fence. The two videos listed below under electric fences have good information for setting corner posts and stretching wires.
A cattle fence can easily be made goat proof by adding more strands of barb wire, but only if the original fence is straight, well built, and in good condition. Such cattle fences are very rare in the Ozarks. Forty seven inch high field wire with openings twelve inches wide and six inches high will work on cattle fences that aren't straight or in good condition. One may want to raise some of the original barb wire so one has two or three barb wires above the field wire. This is the type of fence we use at Critter Ridge and is pictured above, right.
The two types of fences mentioned so far will not hold small kids, but small kids will not go far from their mothers. These fences will also not keep out predators.
It is good to have a small area with predator proof fences to keep the goats in at night and during kidding season. Four acres works good for us with up to 30 head of does. Years ago before we had guardian animals to protect our herd at night we used to bring the goats in at night and close the gate letting them out by day. Sometimes when we went somewhere we didn't get home until late at night to close the gate. On several such occasions after we had gotten guardian dogs we noticed that one of our guardian dogs would always be positioned in the gate so now we no longer close the gate at night. We have two gates between our small predator proof pasture and our larger main pasture. One is a small walk through gate, about three feet wide, which is easy to guard and is left open all the time (except during kidding season.) The other is an eleven foot wide drive through gate which we open only when we take a vehicle into the back pasture. For predator proof fencing we use forty eight inch high sheep and goat web wire with four inch by four inch mesh. Above this we put three strands of barb wire spaced three to four inches apart. This type of fencing is very expensive. For gates we use five foot high utility corral panels with four inch by four inch mesh. We fasten them with harness snaps on each end. Pictured above are our predator proof fences and gates. For more information on controlling predators click on our predator link.
Never use web wire with a six inch by six inch mesh for goats with horns. They will get their heads caught in this type of fence and strangle them selves or get eaten by predators.
Electric Fencing for Boer Goats and Meat Goats
know many meat goat producers
who are sucsessfully using electric fences for retaining meat goats. We
have very little experiece with electric fences and currently have no
need to use them, but electric fences can be less expensive and easier
to install then regular fences.
17 Mistakes To Avoid With Electric Fencing: http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-connection/grazing/features/fencemis.htm
Make A Well Grounded Fence: http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-connection/grazing/features/ground.htm
These books on fencing can be ordered on the internet from Amason.com or from Barnes & Noble.
We are located
in north central Arkansas, twenty miles south of Missouri.
is four miles south of Yellville, Arkansas, on Highway 14.
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