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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not a goat person. Don't intend to become one. But I'm about to become a caretaker for a couple of small goats. And I need some advice. I thought this would be the place to get it.
I just moved to a new place in the country. 3.5 Acres. Fallow for 20 years. 3 acres totally overgrown with weeds, brush, and small (2" dia) trees interspersed with mature Hardwood. No fencing, no pasture. Do not have the funds or desire for permanent fencing.
I am retired, so rotating a temporary pen as often as necessary is no problem. Solar electric is too expensive. I have found 6 ft tall chain link panels which can be connected to make any size enclosure. The goats will be temporary visitors, until they help get the brush under control. Discussions with neighbors say there are no known Predator problems in the area. Not even large free-roaming dogs. But no one nearby raise goats.
I know I have to supply freshwater and some sort of shelter from the weather. My question. What size enclosure do I need for this situation? Would a 20 ft by 20 ft enclosure work?
 

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Welcome here! So, you want the goats to do a job for you, and then you want them to get out of your life?

If the vegetation is vivid, I think it might be a big job to put up a fence between smaller and bigger trees again and again. Were it me, I would try a fence all around the area I wanted cleared, and then hope for the best. - But maybe your finances do not allow that much - what did you call it - chain link panels? (To me, that sounds much more expensive than an electric fence.)

In my phantasy, I can "see" two or three goats thriving nicely in a pasture 100 x 140 meters, full with tasty weeds and brush. Never reaching the end of the area. If your goal is to really clear the place, I wonder, is it maybe someone in here knowing of a Not SOOO Far Away goat farmer, who could lend his/her entire flock over the summer?

Since Xerocies does not really like the goats as such.

Afterwards, it might be a thought to let a group of pigs do the same job; they do not ring bark trees like goats, but they do dig a great deal under the surface.

To your questions. A goat needs food, which hopefully is there already. But check that the herbs and trees are not toxic! Water of course, as you mentioned. Protection, yes, against both large predators, and against small ones like flies and mosquitos of different kinds, as well as against heat, sun, wind, cold, rain. If you are in a rainy area, do remember that they will get hoof problems if the surface around the shelter is often wet.

Goats also need company, often they are pleased with their flock, but some individuals need their human also, which is a problem if you do not really like them. (And if they are not so human-loving, then it might be a problem to handle them! Just imagine to handle a gallon of water with a net!)

If the rain gets heavy, they will need some hay to dry up their rumens. Salt and minerals for free.

And, do not forget to make them believe you are a good person, by giving them some treats from your hand now and then. You will be astonished, what a difference this makes when it comes to loading them for leaving your place!
 

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A 20 x 20 foot enlosure would work, for a day or two. What will you do with the goats while you are moving the pen? Do you have plans for a shelter to be in the pen with them?
Three more panels would allow you to "leapfrog" the pen around your property, moving just three panels per moving day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, you want the goats to do a job for you, and then you want them to get out of your life?
Since Xerocies does not really like the goats as such.such.
Trollmore, you make me sound pretty cold. But you're right of course. Just as I hired an electrician to rewire my house, I paid him and wanted him out of my life. Ditto with the plumber. After the goats have performed the service, I will sell or give them away, hopefully to someone who will cuddle them every night.
in the meantime I don't intend to be cruel or even ignore them. I foresee daily interactions with watering and moving their pen. I like animals and have numerous livestock already. They will get care and attention. But I don't see them becoming permanent members in the family.
Short of permanent fencing which is expensive (I invested $1300.00 in building a chicken run and coop for six chickens), labor intensive, and otherwise not feasible in my situation, I see my choices as solar electric or chain link panels. I've done my homework, and solar is definitely more expensive. In addition, because of the mature Hardwoods, solar cannot always get sun exposure it would need.
Bottom line, because I DON'T want to mistreat these animals, I just want to find out if a 400 square-foot area is sufficient for Two Goats if I'm willing to rotate their forage up to daily if necessary.
 

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Overgrown field, trees, saplings, briars and vines, acre or so. Divided into 8 sections using handy panels (sort of like cattle panel: different square size measurements) and metal t post. The t post are a permanent fixture and the panels get flipped on 3 sides to create a rotation into different sections. Two sections are set up at a time, one to use now, one to use later. I made shelter using 50 gallon barrels, these are lightweight enough to move into each section as they are being used. Also, they are not left in this area 24/7, they are led there for part of the day depending on the weather conditions, led back each evening. The goats have a dry lot as well, with a goat barn for shelter. They spend every night and bad weather days in the dry lot. I do not have what could be called a pasture, more closer to paddock areas and a dry lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A 20 x 20 foot enlosure would work, for a day or two. What will you do with the goats while you are moving the pen? Do you have plans for a shelter to be in the pen with them?
Three more panels would allow you to "leapfrog" the pen around your property, moving just three panels per moving day.
Thanks dwarf dad. Portable shelter is already arranged for. The extra panels do sound like a good idea. Each rotation should only take a few minutes and I planned wide leather collars and horse leads for the transition periods.
 

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Yes, 400 square feet is adequate for two goats for one day of heavy forage. It's better to do this small pen system than to fence the whole area you need cleared, because they will be much more selective of what they browse if given a larger area.

Have you looked into welded wire panels instead of chain link? They would be less weight for you to move but would need some type of frame. Here is what I like for temporary pens, but they are 48" tall so you need to make sure your goat visitors are not known jumpers: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/feedlot-panel-sheep-goat-16-ft-l-x-48-in-h?cm_vc=-10005
A Google search for "sheep tractor" will give you some ideas, but it sounds like the mature hardwoods will get in your way for a rolling system. A "leapfrog" system mentioned above where one wall stays in place and 3 walls are set up at the next section, where you always have a surplus of 3 walls may be easier with the trees.

As for shelter in your moveable pen - one idea is to use one of those panels I linked above, created an arched roof with it and zip tie a quality tarp over it. I've used this style for my pastures that don't have shelter.

You must excuse Trollmor - his native language is not english.
 

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No, not cold. Just not interested in the individual goats! I say, let us be individuals! And I always try my best to understand the person I am talking with! :)

I think I did say Welcome? Here, most of us really love the goats, but more than one is making a living, or part of a living from the goats, so here are not only pets!

I think you will be good enough for the goats. But, maybe, just maybe, it would be a thought to try to hire the caretaker as well? For if you buy some random goats, you might "buy" lots of diseases, parasites, and other problems as well, not having a chance to even understand it, before it is too late.

Northwest South Carolina, do we have any members there?

Aha, you already have animals? May we learn what kinds?

I also wonder, if it might be easier for us to help you to a good solution, if you could publish some photos of the fallow? Just HOW much growth is there?

Because I wonder how fast the already pastured area will grow into thickness again, if there are only 2 goats there. For the aim of this temporary goat husbandry is to get rid of weeds, bush, and wood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trollmor. I've been here since February. Most of my time has been invested in upgrading the house. So far I have chickens and rabbits and dogs. I don't want to overwhelm myself by expanding too rapidly and not being able to give proper care to all my wards.
I would be happy to include pictures, but site says I can't post pictures until I have made three posts. Sorry.
And yes, my aim is to eliminate, or at least get under control, the underbrush. If it were thinned to a manageable level, I could and would personally clear it.
Thank you for taking the time and interest to try helping me.
 

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To me it sounds very clever not to overwhelm oneself. A house is a challenge, and every animal species also. Goats in addition ... ARE there really no members in South Carolina?

And thank you for taking the trouble to spell my nick correctly! :)
 

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Have you looked into premier 1 fencing? It's easy to move and quite reasonable. I've used it when my fencing was damaged by severe weather. You can get it on Amazon or directly from Premier 1. For shelter a couple of igloo dog houses are easy yo move around and great for goats. Here's what you're looking for...just a thought. They're customer service is really good too if you call with questions.
 

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As someone who tried the portable fencing, Good Luck! I would recommend 16' cattle panels ($20-$22 each) with 3-4 t-posts per panels. I would avoid electric netting (LIKE THE PLAGUE). I bought about 500 feet of the stupid stuff...I HATE it...

Make sure your property is clear of mountain laurel and azaleas. Highly toxic, but apparently tasty. I would keep milk of magnesia and activated charcoal (found in vitamin section) on hand just in case of poisoning.

Enjoy the little hellions! They are addictive.
 

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With putting in a shelter for them and it being where they would always be 24x7, I'd do 30x30. Buy 4 sets of dog kennel panels. Set 3 up and use the last set to "move" your pen. I can move those panels by myself and they can be used for other animals when the goats leave.
 

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Have you looked into premier 1 fencing? It's easy to move and quite reasonable. I've used it when my fencing was damaged by severe weather. You can get it on Amazon or directly from Premier 1. For shelter a couple of igloo dog houses are easy yo move around and great for goats. Here's what you're looking for...just a thought. They're customer service is really good too if you call with questions.
Warning for that model! I have lost more than one goat in that fence. There is a similar kind, just a little more expensive, with hard plastic bars for the vertical "threads". This works much better.

But I think I saw an entry where the thread starter stated that electric fence is too expensive for him. I got the impression that it was the apparatus, which here costs several thousand SEK, corresponding to several hundred dollars.
 

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We use the netting a lot around here and it works really well for us. But it does take time and prep to use. We use a deep cycle battery on a drag around cart that goes with the fence for the charge. The thing with the netting is the prep work... it takes a while cause you need weed eat around where it goes because every blade of grass that hits the hot reduces the bite of it. Paul actually disconnected the bottom hot to help with this.

He recently had been looking at a galagher fence.... https://www.gallagherfence.net/prod...Wyg86mEotzTfI27baAoZtBBDLG4EoE0BoCS8AQAvD_BwE

But he made his own pretty much. He has a reel and tposts and uses high tencel wire. It is much easier to move our bucks for him now. This set up is not horribly expensive and one should do for two if you do not mind movin frequently. If you want to move less frequently two might work better. And still paul uses the same battery and cart. It is not solar so you dont have fret over no sun just need remember to check the voltage often and charge it when needed.
 

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We use the netting a lot around here and it works really well for us. But it does take time and prep to use. We use a deep cycle battery on a drag around cart that goes with the fence for the charge. The thing with the netting is the prep work... it takes a while cause you need weed eat around where it goes because every blade of grass that hits the hot reduces the bite of it. Paul actually disconnected the bottom hot to help with this.

He recently had been looking at a galagher fence.... https://www.gallagherfence.net/prod...Wyg86mEotzTfI27baAoZtBBDLG4EoE0BoCS8AQAvD_BwE

But he made his own pretty much. He has a reel and tposts and uses high tencel wire. It is much easier to move our bucks for him now. This set up is not horribly expensive and one should do for two if you do not mind movin frequently. If you want to move less frequently two might work better. And still paul uses the same battery and cart. It is not solar so you dont have fret over no sun just need remember to check the voltage often and charge it when needed.
Hum..the Gallagher looks interesting. I need to do the bottom 3acres and that might work well too. Thanks :)
 

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Hum..the Gallagher looks interesting. I need to do the bottom 3acres and that might work well too. Thanks :)
Paul made his own cause he is cheap lol! And it is much easier than the netting to set up. Mostly less prep time involved. So long as they are familiar with hot wire they should be good. :).
 

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Do we understand that the area in this thread is full with smaller and bigger little trees, that have to be cleared before putting up any fence of any kind? Maybe in addition hilly and / or full with stones? The Gallagher systems work fine on flat grassland, if anyone knows, it's me! But in forest land ...

Please, @Xerocies, do share a photo of your land!
 
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