for people who love the littlest dairy goats
Recently I've been asked a LOT about my movable pens, so I thought I'd start a discussion forum about this and help explain better, that way people have a place to refer to.
First off, here is a picture of my famous fence (thanks to my engineer dad!)
This pen is made of four 16ft cattle panels purchased at Tractor Supply or TSC. We've also gotten some at Farm N Fleet (not sure how popular that store is!). Three corners are wired together with heavyduty wire and the fourth corner acts as a gate. There are two clips, top and bottom, and that keep the pen connected.
For rotation, I usually move the pen far enough so the pen is filled with grass. This will feed four goats for a while and if not, they usually stick their heads out the holes and either eat or move the fence. The pen is light and easy to move daily but requires a group to move it a long distance (voice of experince here).
The great thing about the one open end is that you can easily add to the pen to make something bigger. Check out this hill picture below!
You can add panels and surround a weed hill and you've got an instant pen that'll feed your goats for days! When you're done, simply unwire or unclip, and pull you four panels away! It's that simple!
The panels easily "fold" for winter storage. You just fold them into each and you have a pile of four panels, in the length of one. Use a tractor/mower/truck/group of friends, to move this to a convient place and you're ready for winter time! And then you can do this!
Hope this helps!
I don't have a catalog handy and can't tell for sure which one it is on-line. Can you give me a description like maybe are they 4x4 openings and 16' long etc. something along those lines? I do use the regular livestock panels which have holes that are to big for babies. I have no problem whatsoever keeping my adults down to about 6-8 month olds in them and they are 4' high. I have one big doe in them with her 5 day old babies and it is just lined on the bottom to 1 foot high with 2x4 welded wire to keep the babies in and is working great so far.
The panels have 1" square tubing frame around a heavy 6 ga. wire panel with 4" openings. They are expensive ($150 each for 60" tall) I want to be sure they are strong enough that my Nubian wethers will not bend them (they like to Rub" on the fences) and little Nigerian babies can't get through.
I had the same problem with movement/collapse/mobility... can't wait to hear what the solution for the corners is!
Well, I just typed ya'll several good fixes and ideas for this. LONG REPLY and something froze reply would not print. Sooo short version--- BEAR with me and I am going to get you all pictures of a lot of solutions and ideas of what to do with stock panels. I only have 8 now but I love them! They are just about all you need here were it is warm for the goaties. Very little else needed. I'll show you. I'll try to build ya'll something every week or two. I love this stuff. I'm doing a fence made of FREE shipping pallets to block herd from Hubbies garden cause they are eating it through the wire fence.
Traci, the answer to your corner problem might be what I do for my chicken yard fence. I use aluminum electrical conduit tubing which comes in 10-foot lengths. For the chickens, I cut it in half though for the goat fence, I likely would cut them eight feet long and pound them a bit deeper (a regular hammer or framing hammer will do that) and use the "waste" of 2 feet in the garden for other projects. If you do this, be sure to buy a tubing cutter also; it is so much easier than trying to saw it. Although I am using 1/4-inch (or 1/2-inch) conduit, I would definitely use 1/2-inch (or 1-inch) for the goats. I really like the aluminum conduit because it pounds into the ground easily and pulls up even easier. For good reinforcement, I would likely put one on each side of the ends (four in each corner).
I like the idea of four 8-foot panels and am going to use that. Even though it will be wasteful, I think the first couple of times I set it up, I'll use zip-ties until I am certain what other fasteners might work well. However, I did get cattle panel connectors from Hoegger's that I might try first; they have nuts on the end of the curved bolts so the goats will not be able to figure out how to open them until they develop opposable thumbs and learn to use a socket set. As smart as they are, Mother Nature is on our side on this one.<g>
LOL, Glenna, I use a lot of those clamps myself and I use lots of double ended hooks also. (cheaper at trac. sup. in packs of 6)I love them too because they are quick and easy to close up my opening with. I can hook one end to a piece of chain and the panel so it stays attached and doesn't get lost and the other end I can hook two pieces of panel together with for easy opening and closing. Oh, and I almost always use zipties on everything to start with. I am the "Zip Tie Queen"!
So, Margaret, you agree that Mother Nature is on our side?
Not being familiar with the double-ended hooks, I would love to see a photo of them and especially with the chain. I may feel silly when I see them and really do know what they are but this will help. If you want to send the photo directly, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am happy about the suggestion of the 8-foot panels; I was going to try to bend them at 8 feet which would still leave them a single very heavy and awkward panel for me to move by myself.
Does anyone have any suggestions about cutting them? My lineman pliers are not big enough to go around the wire and the tubing cutter would be too big for the opening so I was wondering about a metal blade on the saw. I'm open to all suggestions!
I am setting up panels to devide a stall inside my barn. The Panels need to be strong enough to keep my 2 big Nubian wethers out and my Nigerian babies in. The panels in question are offered in the Caprine Supply 2012 catalog on page 61. Description: 1" square tubing frame around a heavy 6 ga wire panel with 4" x 4" openings. Built in pin system. They come 48" 42lbs. or 60" tall 50lbs.. Either size is 8 ft. long. . My questions: Is this panel strong enough to keep the Nubians out, are the 4" openings going to keep newborn Nigerians in? Is there something less expensive that will do the job better?
I have regular livestock panels that are 16' long x 48'' (maybe 46 or so but I think 48) high. They work fine with all of mine down to about 9 months (and when they were
about 6 months). The holes are to big for babies but you can line them across the bottom with smaller holed wire. I use 2x4 welded wire but you could use chicken wire or whatever and I attach it to the panels with zip ties.
Now, GLENNA, PLEASE DO NOT get out your saw to cut panels. I need you to stay alive so I have hope of meeting you one day! I am not saying that because I am afraid of saws, Oh Contrar! I received my first saw about 25 years ago for Christmas from my hubby, because I REQUESTED it and it still works and has been used a whole lot. It is just not the right tool for the job you will hurt yourself bad doing that. There is a much better tool.
Here are ya'll some pictures that aren't so good but I will get ya'll some more stuff together later. You can use other similar materials of course. I just looked around my yard til I found something shaped right but don't run out and buy stuff cause I have other ideas I will show you when I get a chance.
I have a pic of a piece of pvc with chain through it and a double hook on each end attached in the corner of two panels that would help to stabilize the corners from collapse , a closeup pic of the hook end, and a pic of a pair of bolt cutters that cut through things with amazing ease and won't take off your arm like a saw, and in this pick you should see a wire clamp laying by the bolt cutters that can be used to attach panels (takes a little longer to put on and off).
Wow, Margaret, thank you! Now I feel foolish for not having thought of bolt cutters. When my lineman's pliers (which my son says are not) wouldn't fit around the wire, the only thing I could think of was a sabre saw (jig saw) with a metal blade but was concerned about holding it steady. My son said I could lay them down and use a chisel to cut them - not what I would prefer on a 16-foot panel. I also wanted to bend them at a 45-degree angle so I am so glad to see others have cut them to 8-foot lengths, makes much more sense to do that and fasten them as you have. One of the things I like about the way you have done it is that they don't have to be square, triangles or hexagons will work as well.
Thank you ever so much for the photos (and the bolt cutter suggestion!).