Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Discovering the best fence for our situation was a little bit of a baptism by fire. But we feel like we have all but mastered the best fence combination for price, longevity, durability, and containment.
We started out with a 5 strand electric fence, using the plastic fence posts pictured. Our first mistake was using a solar powered fencer, and trying to use it before it had adequate time to charge. There was insufficient voltage to keep the goats in; partly due to inadequate time allowed to charge initially before use, and partly due to, well, the persistence and stubbornness of goats. That led to our first experience in roping goats. Our second mistake was assuming that a new, higher voltage charger was the cure. However, the kids would still jump between the wires and get out. They would not get shocked, due to the dryness of the ground and their small size (no good grounding), or because they were in the air (so again, no grounding).
We’ve found through this and other experiences that the best fence is a combination of 4”x4” woven wire, no climb, mesh fence, 4’ high, with a strand of electric fence inside of that. We used the 5" electric insulators to keep it out and away form the mesh fence so it won't short out. The mesh fence keeps little kids from wandering out between the electric fence lines, and the electric fence keeps the big goats from standing, jumping, or scratching themselves on the mesh fence. The combination seems to be the trick for us. We’ve used 7’ wood posts, with pointed ends that we used a post pounder to drive into the ground. We then stretched the fence using a pickup, chains, and tow ropes. We staple one side really well then stretch it. To staple it, we have used a generator, a portable air compressor, and a crown staple gun. That works really well and is very fast, especially relative to using a hammer to pound in galvanized staples. We can do the actual stretching and stapling of several hundred feet in a matter of an hour or two.
We also used H-Braces to keep the ends from sagging. The process for this is actually quite simple. You cut a post to fit between stretches of posts. I think somewhere in the 4’ to 6’ width is best. Wide enough to do the trick, but not so wide you can’t find a post or something for it. I used 7” screws and a cordless hammer drill to screw the horizontal post in place. I did it at 4’ high to match the height of our wire fence. I then pounded a nail at the bottom of the post on the end, and at the top of the post second to the end. Then wrap high tensile wire around those, and then pound the nails over (or use staple nails). I then stretched it tight by twisting the wires together in the middle until tight. I used concrete stakes, as that’s what I had available, but any decent sized stick would work just as well or better.
Feel free to post below any thing you have found that has helped you with goat fencing.