Pen sizes and fences.

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by Goatflakes, May 28, 2009.

  1. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    And so the goat newbie begins the tidal wave of questions.
    For Nigerian Dwarfs, about how large should the pen pasture be for four? I have a 30 by 80 rectangle planned for their pasture. It looked a decent size when I was planning, but I keep looking at it and second guessing myself.
    Is that way too small for four?
    I can drop it down in an L shape with another 30 by 30 square, but there used to be a patch of english ivy there, it's still clinging to a tree there(it's tall, but with no branches a goat could reach, so it's not a problem), and I heard ivy's toxic for goats.
    It's old stock too, with some of the vine branches a good seven or so inches around :shocked: , but I might be able to get it off the trunk.
    What are your thoughts? Should I only get two goats? Should I expand the pasture? Or both?

    Second question, fencing. If I used wood slat fencing about 6-7ft tall do you think that'd keep them from jumping out or is that a little bit over kill? I want to keep them in, because there's a fairly busy road nearby and I've heard many tales of Houdini goats so I worry.
     
  2. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    That sounds like plenty of space. you will still need to offer hay and such to balance out their diet. If you can give them more space and you dont mind losing it to them then go for it. As to the fence you will hear lot on height but usually no one seems to go higher than 5' so you are good there. I would be careful with the slat spacing. it you have horned goats no more than 4" or they will get stuck and hurt themselves. The ivy I am not sure about tho sry.
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    hmm dont know about the ivy but the pen size sounds good and plenty big enough. 5' is usualy high enough so anything higher then that is sure to be fine.

    Not familiar with the type of fencing you are suggesting.
     
  4. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
  5. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    Thanks for the confirmation on the pen size. It's difficult for me to judge some times, I grew up on a beautiful 100+ acre farm, so starting my own on less than 1 is quite a challenge. :sigh: I miss that place.

    I kind of figured I'd need hay. It's good to know about the ivy, I can rework my plan a little.

    As for the fencing, I think I'm going to do a bit more research on that, I just noticed there is actually a building section on this board. A little bit of reading and I might get a better idea or what I should be doing. There's 3' tall chainlink there right now, which I look at and see them climbing over easily. Can they climb chainlink, or am I overthinking it a bit?
     
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    chainlink would probably be hard for them to climb up and over but goats will be goats..........they love to surprise.

    I have a 3 1/2 foot fence that only 2 goats ever jumped out of and both times because they were board and wanted to be with me. so if you keep it interesting in there for them they are more likely to stay in their pen. :thumbup:
     
  7. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    It might work to keep them in for a bit, but I went out again today and looked over at the "neighbor", the perennial field for a garden center and pictured them going to play in the flowers, eating them, probably getting sick, and causing a whole bunch of havoc.
    I'll probably put up some kind of tall, solid fence along that corner, especially since they get a lot of city people shopping there during the summer/fall and the last thing I need is some ignorant folks thinking that they can feed my goats some random junk and getting sick.
    Oy, here I got, thinking up the worst possibilities again.

    Though, now that I think of it, I do have this funny trend where every time I get a set of animals one is always lazy and cute, and the other's always a crazy daredevil. Like the cat who loves to lay on top of doors. I would end up with an escape artist goat, my luck. :wink:
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    you are smart to be thinking of these things - goats certainly are in the business of driving their owners crazy with just abotu anything
     
  9. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    I like to be prepared. Safety, happiness and health are tricky things to balance when dealing with adventurous and/or intelligent animals. Gotta look at every angle.
    Or maybe I'm just a little bit detail oriented. I'm never sure. :)
     
  10. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Well ...Goatflakes......you are... a very good person......there should be more people ...such as you.. :love: ....you care....and that is something to hold onto.... :hug: ....

    Goats are very cleaver... :help: ..and if you aren't on top of things ....they can be little boogers... :doh: .......being detail oriented is a good thing.... :wink: :thumbup:
    Great planning..... :hi5:
     
  11. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    Thank you, I do make an effort too. :) I try to give the best care possible to any and all of my animals. I see it as my responsibility as their 'owner' to make sure their needs are met, and that they're happy and content.
    I've done a bit of cat rescue, so I've seen, on a slightly smaller scale, just what happens when people fail their animals, it's a depressing sight.
     
  12. ChestnutGrove

    ChestnutGrove New Member

    265
    Apr 29, 2009
    Tennessee
    Right now I have horse no climb fencing (4', 5', and 6') and goat/sheep fencing (4"by4" squares) that is 4' tall. 4' tall is plenty for goats - the one paddock I have that is 5' it is because it is next to the road which is built up and if I did not have it 5' you would be able to jump into the pasture from the road. The down side of the goat/sheep fencing is that baby Nigerians can go right through it when they are young. I have that fencing as our boundry fencing (we have 48 acres) so it is a non issue with the Nigerian babies since they are not going to be out there till they are bigger.

    Think about putting a hot wire on the top of your fencing so if people go the reach over they will get shocked. This is what I have on my fencing next to the road (plus it keep the horses and the goats off my nice fence so they are not leaning and pushing it down). If you want to use your current fencing - a hot wire would keep the goats off it. In all my years of owning goats I have not had to many jump with out touching the fence - so putting a hot wire on a 3' fence could be a good way to go. I have found Nigerians love to push under fences more than they climb (the standard dairy goats climb and break the fencing down more). I know a person who's goats stay behind a 3' hot wire fence (I think it was just two wires). The key to hot wire is keeping it hot so the goats always respect it.

    I like your idea on stockade fencing since people will not be messing with your goats - while more in cost it may help prevent problems in the future - I think it is a good idea.

    Deidre
     
  13. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Deidre, the hotwire is an excellent idea! Would surely keep curious hands from touching!

    My goats do have pens made from goat panels but my does have a 4 strand, all hot, 2 1/2 foot "pasture"...and yes they learned very quickly to respect the boundaries! I do think that mine are too bottom heavy to want to jump....the added plus of having short goats, especially the pygmy /nigi crosses, their barrels are very deep so even if they wanted to go over the bellys would hit!
     
  14. Goatflakes

    Goatflakes New Member

    11
    May 26, 2009
    NY
    Hot wire, hm... Now there's an idea. I'll have to got find out if I'm allowed to put that up. Thanks for the idea.

    If I can't, well, my idea right now is a stockade fence on the two sides where other people would be able to see the goats and a lower, slightly opened fence so they can see the back yard and my house. The hope is if they did get out, the less adventurous ones might stick to playing where it's familiar. Whether or not this works depends on the goats, I guess.
     
  15. Well, sounds like you have gotten on the right path. Not much I can add to this but have fun raising goats!
     
  16. BeeLady

    BeeLady New Member

    The first week I had my Nigerian Dwarf goats one of them climbed over my 4' chain link fence, caught her foot and was hanging upside down when I found her. Fortunately she wasn't hurt, just sore for a couple of days. I think the issue there was more that these were bottle baby goats, not use to being put in a pen away from people and the goats panicked when I "abandoned" them by going in to the house.

    Now my goats just hang around the house and stay within sight. I do have a large dog that deters coyotes and I do pen them when I am not at home. But if you get the right people-friendly goats they'll probably want to stay on the porch and on the lawn more than anywhere else and have no desire to escape or run off, although the road and neighbor's dogs may be a problem. You may need to worry more about keeping dogs out than goats in.

    Now that I'm going to have two bucklings to pen up, I will put a hot wire, a really hot wire, along the top of the chain link fence and keep my fingers crossed. I'll also build a couple of semi-portable pens made from steel posts and 4x4 panels. I don't want any area where I keep the goats to become totally dirt so I will have to figure out how to move them around some, even maybe using some electric net.

    Once you have your goats, I think your plans will evolve to fit the goats. For now, the preliminary plans sound good.
     
  17. lupinfarm

    lupinfarm New Member

    I think that fence height is too high. If you get snow in your area, the snow load on that will pull it down in just under a year (I know, we have 5ft fencing 3 rail wood in our horse pasture that didn't fare so well this winter).

    Fias Co Farm suggests using electric, I've read that many have had success with young goats introducing to electric, but also older goats. Our 2 Pygmy/Pygmy X does will be introduced to electric fence as soon as the pasture is ready, but I will also have a back up of wood buck fence (split rail) to be sure of a lack of escape.

    I passed a small farm today that had goats, most were on the correct side of the fence, 2 were on the opposite LOL, they were fenced in with paige wire.