for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Hello! I am a "newbie" in waiting. We are on a waiting list for 2 Nigerian Dwarf Wethers this coming Spring! We are so excited we can hardly stand it!!
Anyway, to my question:
We have finished our barn and are now going to be working on the fence.
I have read through a TON of discussions and haven't read anything about the fencing we are looking at. We are planning on using galvanized welded utility fence with 2" x 4" squares. The building supply store sells it for $41 for a 5 foot by 50 foot roll. This seems much much cheaper than the cattle panels and goat fencing at Tractor Supply.
Has anyone else used this type before? Is it strong enough or are there other problems we should be thinking about with this type of fence?
Any help would be greatly appreciated! We dont want to get off on the wrong hoof....I mean foot :)
Hello Jenny, and welcome to the world of nigerian dwarf goats. I understand your excitement! They are such precious critters indeed :)
There are pro's and con's of most fencing. 2" x 4" welded wire is lightweight, inexpensive and will hold a Nigerian Dwarf goat in well. It does have it's limitations. Over time, like most goats they will at the very least put their front hooves up on the fence or rub along the fence. We have some of this fencing at our place, particularly in the birthing part of our barn and over time with the goats putting their front feet on the fence to say "hello," their weight can bend the wire down. Also even if the fence is put up tight and they rub on the fence, over time they can bow it a bit. Now if you choose to use this fencing, you could also consider putting up an electric wire or two to keep the goats off the fence all together. Starting at the shoulder height of your goats. But that entails further expense and an electric fence charger, wire and insulators. Another con about this fence is that if you have several hills, valleys at your place it doesn't do well at contouring to those either. Cattle panels would have the same problem too because of being so stiff. But many members here have good luck attaching cattle panels together and moving them around their pasture for the goats to take advantage of good browse that is available.
Regular goat fencing is the best, but again more costly, labor intensive, needing to put in heavier posts in the corners, stretching it, etc. But it is made where the wire crosses itself it is knotted in a certain way so that the fence can move and follow the contour of the ground, were as cattle panels and welded wire is fixed and can not. Another thing to consider is that even though the welded wire is galvanized it will eventually rust, because its galvanized dipped only. Also the goat fencing at TSC is Redman brand I do believe and it will eventually rust in about 5 years too.........sigh. The fence we would eventually like to get here for our place, is Stay-Tuff brand fence, it's a high tensile strength wire, but pretty expensive. I still haven't been able to save up for it......lol, one can dream. Here is their website - http://www.staytuff.com/
In addition to Debbie Lynn's very accurate overview, I might add that the welded wire also frequently separates at the welds. I have a good bit of this and really like working with it in certain areas and for certain things but it really isn't very sturdy for a lot of purposes. In a number of places were the goats push on it or rub on it there are large areas were the wires have separated from each other.
My very favorite thing: My livestock panels: I love them!
So, that said I can make a suggestion that may help and has worked very well for us. If you choose to use the welded wire 2x4 what you may consider is using something different only in the areas likely to take the most punishment. We have pens that have welded wire around all the backs and some sides were there is nothing interesting on the other side. The front sides where we stand to visit and enter and the shared fence lines between pens are livestock panels. That way they are stronger and have holes big enough to place their heads through for snacks, petting and nuzzling with other goats and for the little dogs who watch over them and other critters like the cats and chickens etc to go from pen to pen visiting.
Just an example of how you may can cut some expense but also add some extra durability were you need it most. I also try to make all my fence lines in 16 foot increments ( but I place my post at 8' spacing) just so I can replace any section I choose with a livestock panel at any time with out much effort. That way if part of the fence is damaged to bad I can cut that section and put in a panel. Hopefully one day it will all become panels. Once again...one can dream!