You’ve Got My Goat
When my son Daniel was 11 he announced he was getting goats. “You’re doing what?” I exclaimed. We had recently moved to a house on four acres in Massachusetts. He was looking at about two acres of grass to cut and being an entreprenuer at heart, he was determined to figure out the fastest solution to getting that job done. After much discussion, we headed to Crystal Brook Farm in Sterling, MA so Daniel could apply for a job. Ann Starbard the goatherd hired him. How could she resist when he blurted out “I want to work for you and you don’t have to pay me.” That was the beginning of our life with goats and it all started with twins: Mr. Tumnus and Sherlock Holmes. Of course before he brought the goats to their new home he needed a shed and a fence to keep them in.
Then Ann gave Daniel a female goat for his birthday and no one bothered to tell me that she was pregnant! And true to many goats she had triplets: Amos and Andy and Abigail. And then there was Roo. Twelve years later we still have the original twins. Fencing them in and keeping them in has had its challenges through the years. Goats do roam and love to do it. They ate all my David Austin roses, our nice big strawberry patch, and my holly bush with the most berries ever one Christmas. We found the weirdest streaks on our truck last winter: they had been licking the salt off the truck. I came home late one afternoon to find them playing in my neighbor’s front yard. Have you ever tried to get seven full grown goats home? Without the neighbors hearing you? Not an easy feat. To a goat, the grass is always greener on the other side, especially after a New England winter.
Why fence goats in? There are two things you must accomplish with fencing in your goats:
- Keeping the goats contained so you don’t lose your roses or your neighbors or expose them to potentially harmful shrubs such as rhododendron.
- Keeping your goats safe from predators: coyote
Things to Consider:
- Type of fencing
- Land area you want to fence
- Size of your herd
- Your budget
- Do it yourself or hire someone
What are my choices for wire mesh fencing materials?
Are you thinking about getting goats? Do you already have goats in your life? Just remember one of the important things Daniel learned: A good secure fence is a necessity.
Keystone Steel & Wire manufactures Red Brand Sheep & Goat Fence in the USA. This is a strong woven wire fence. Galvanized 12-1/2 gauge wires are woven into a 4"x4" mesh. A third wire wraps each joint securely with a "square deal" knot. Stronger 10 gauge wires are used as the top and bottom wires. Woven construction gives the fence some flexibility, making it easier to erect on uneven ground. This fence is made with both class 1 and heavier class 3 galvanized coating.
Sheep and goat fence is strong enough to safely contain your animals. It also provides protection from predators. There are no sharp edges anywhere on this fence to cut animals or people. Galvanized finish resists weathering and gives the mesh a long life. It is available with both standard class 1 finish and heavier class 3 finish for even longer life. The 4"x4" squares are the perfect size for containing sheep and goats. The strong mesh design provides safe confinement and discourages animals from putting their heads through the openings. The fence is flexible and minimizes potential for injury by flexing on impact.
Rolls come in two sizes: 48"x100' and 48"x330'. Sheep and goat fence can be stapled to wood posts or hung on studded T posts. It can also be used for dog runs as well as yard and boundary fences.
Read our February 17, 2009 video blog for information about how to install woven wire fence.