Livestock

Fencing and control of goats

Fencing for goats

The best system is adequate fencing to allow free range grazing. Adequate fencing is sheep stock netting, to a height generally of at least 3.5 feet. This can be topped with an additional wire - ideally plain wire not barbed.

Goat fencingIdeal goat fencing - sheep netting with a plain top wire.

Some goats will be able to jump this height, and escape. However not all goats are the escape artists they are labeled as. Personally, I find that as long as they are not bored, and have enough to eat or do in their field or enclosure, then they are unlikely to attempt to escape.

A top wire of electrified fencing can be used as an additional control.

Tethering goats

The worse method of controlling goats is tethering since this is seldom done adequately. If it has to be done, then a light chain, not less than 3.5 metres long, with at least two swivels and a strong collar must be used.

The tether must be moved at least twice a day and access to shelter must be available at all times, unless the owner is on hand all day. Clean water must be available. The goat must be free in its house at night. Strict supervision is necessary as tethered goats can get tangled up and strangle. Tethering goats is labor intensive, as they need to be closely monitored.

Handling goats

Goats can be led on either collar and lead or with a headcollar. This can be easily taught in young animals, but can take a little longer in older animals.

For handling - to trim feet, milk, give medication etc - your goat will need to be restrained. It is acceptable to use a collar and lead or headcollar and tie them to a strong post/hurdle/ ringtie in a wall to do this, or it is possible to build or buy a bench to restrain them on.

Best practice is to get them used to this. Tie them up every couple of days at first, even if you only undertake something like a brush out of their coat. Doing this regularly will get them used to being restrained and handled.

Beth Fairley

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