NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Dwarf goats and daytime predators  (Read 282 times)


  • Joined Jun 2019
  • Virginia
Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« on: June 25, 2019, 04:24:37 pm »
Hi everyone, new goat owner here. We brought home two young wethers almost two weeks ago. They are about 12 weeks old, and Nigerian Dwarf goats, so quite small still. We built them a sturdy shed that they get locked in every night, as well as a small pen made with t-posts and combinations of wire (some hardware cloth, some welded wire, some old dog fencing, etc.) It is sturdy enough to keep them in, and I am home all day and can keep an eye on them. In a couple of weeks, our fencing guy is going to build them a nice size paddock, about 1/2 an acre with three board rails and no-climb horse fencing.

I thought all was well until yesterday our neighbor came running over with his .22 saying he saw a fox "terrorizing" the goats. He chased it well into the woods but was unable to catch it. He did fire warning shots though and the goats are unharmed. I was inside at the time, my boyfriend was outside when my neighbor came up to tell him. I am unsure what he meant by terrorizing; I don't know if the fox was simply watching the goats, actively trying to get in the pen, or what. Next time I see him I will ask for clarification.

Well, now I'm really stressed about keeping them safe during the day. Even once they get their new paddock built, it will still only be about 4ft high and won't deter foxes, loose dogs, bears, coyotes, etc. Even though most of these predators are typically active at night vs. the day, we have seen everything (except loose dogs, knock on wood) during the day. In fact, most of my chicken losses over the years happened in broad daylight. So what are my options here? Are electric strands at the top and bottom of the fencing the only viable solution? I was very surprised at the cost of the electric fencing with the capacity to stop bears, but of course the expense is worth it if it's the only good solution. We are hoping to get standard donkeys in the future, as well as LGD, but for the time being that is not an option and right now.

How do you keep your goat kids and dwarf goats safe from daytime predators?
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 06:29:57 pm »
Not sure you have asked on the right forum.... no bears etc here in the UK as yet, so biggest threat is usually stray dogs, or badgers wrt kids but more during the night.
Sorry no idea how to keep bears away and what kind of fencing you would need.

There are loads of people keeping goats where you are - I would check for specific facebook groups.


  • Joined Jun 2019
  • Virginia
Re: Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 06:41:42 pm »
Oops, I didn't realize this forum was only for members in the UK. Shall I delete? I will check out facebook for some good goat groups. Thanks!


  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 08:28:34 pm »
No need to delete. Most forum members are in the UK but there are some from further afield and those who have lived abroad, so you never know. You might not get an answer to this question but it is a good forum for goat keepers. Welcome  :wave:


  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 08:34:50 pm »
I have friends in Canada who use guardian dogs along with electric reinforced fencing but without knowing the specifics of your circumstances and area it is difficult to advice.  Is there a local goat keeping club near you that may give advice?  Alternatively, could the breeders from whom you acquired the goats provide some advice on local practices?  Good luck with them; I'm sure they'll be great fun once you sort out the practicalities.

As an aside, for those in the UK.... I think the next "big issue" for us after badgers is likely to be the sea eagles, particularly when you see what's happening with lambs on the Western Isles and West coast of Scotland!
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.


  • Joined Jun 2019
  • Virginia
Re: Dwarf goats and daytime predators
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 09:04:09 pm »
Thanks everyone!

I am not aware of any local clubs and their breeder is actually new to goats as well, but she has her goat pen inside her large garden, which has 10ft perimeter fencing that stops pretty much anything. I did join a few groups on Facebook and I'm sure I'll find some good info there.

The more I research, the more I think electric fencing is the solution, I just never expected it to be so costly! If it helps, we live on 13 acres in thick woods in the mountains. We share this area with tons of wild animals: black bears, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, possums, snakes, bald eagles, hawks, etc. I have two pet dogs that will chase away the small critters, but they do not roam free all the time, only when I'm outside.

Despite this recent stress, they have been so much fun to have around. They are incredibly sweet and playful, we're so happy to have them in our little family.


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