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Movable Enclosure for Goats

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  • Movable Enclosure for Goats

    I'm in desperate need of a couple of goats to keep the brush and weeds down in my front field. I would need to keep them in some sort of enclosure which I can easily move every day to new forage. The enclosure is necessary because of the local coyote population. Electric fencing won't work -- I've got too much vegetation to deal with, which is why I want the goats in the first place!

    Does anyone have plans or links to plans for such a mobile enclosure? I have to be able to move it on my own.
    My Equestrian Art Photography page

  • #2
    Saw something at a mini horse farm the other day that could work for this if your area isn't too hilly or full of trees.

    They had a chain link enclosure about 6 ft high and 12 x 12 ft square. It might have been a prefab dog kennel. On each corner they had attached a 4 inch caster wheel and they would put a mini in it each day in a different section of their large unfenced front yard. Not sure if they had a way of anchoring it but some sort of stake would probably work if necessary.

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    • #3
      I hope it was anchored. The way goats drag themselves across fence, that sucker would be be halfway to the Gulf of Mexico by now.
      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
      http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        I was wondering myself if there was something out there like that. I would really like to have goats help eat down some of the overgrowth on my place, but our fences won't keep a goat in.... and because of the huge drainage ditch and flood gates on the property, we can't just replace the fence with something goat-friendly..
        Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

        Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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        • #5
          You could try making something out of hog panals- 3' tall by 16' long or cattle panals- 4' tall by 16' long. Make a square, use something rigid- wire run through it like a corkscrew- in 3 of the corners to keep it connected and use the 4th corner as your "gate" and secure it with double end or "O" ring snaps. You could use plastic or fiberglass T-post made for electric fencing on the sides to keep the panals from flopping over. I don't know if they would be heavy duty enough to hold up the corners. The dang pen would be pretty heavy to move by yourself each day so it might not quite work out....unless someone could create skids to use with it.

          Good luck with the goats. They sure are fun creatures.

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          • #6
            Buy a brushhog. We tried that with our goats and it was so much more work than they were worth.

            However, we did make an enclosure we could move (and so could they) out of dog fencing panels which we just strapped together with heavy duty zip ties.. Our goats are giant nubians and what they couldn't go through they would go over. And what they couldn't go over, they would get under. Or they would stand there and bleat pitifully until we brought them into the barn.

            Yes, they ate some, but unlike the horses who will graze for several hours at a time, goats sort of pig out for 20 minutes and get full, then go chew their cuds for several hours and they want to do that in the shade. Preferably with a fan and some nice cocktails. And they are surprisingly fussy about what they will eat. Elderberry? YUM. Geraniums - extra yum. Lots of other things, eh, not so much.

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            • #7
              Premier One has several options and they do understand fencing

              http://www.premier1supplies.com/fenc...p?species_id=2

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              • #8
                I use the premier electric netting for my goats. It kept them safe from the coyotes all winter. There were tracks right outside the fence several times.

                Coyotes can easily jump 5 foot fences.

                I tried a hog panel pen two years ago. What a pain and nearly impossible to try to move!!!!!!!

                If I need to clean up a fence row I put one section of netting on one side of the horse fence and another section of netting on the other side and have the ends meet at the horse fence, that way the goats don't escape through the horse fence. I hope that makes sense.

                It's nice to have two sections of netting so that I can make a bigger area and not have to move the goats every two days. Or I can have them in one section, set the next up and just herd them over to the next area.

                My goats have done some amazing work in reclaiming some weedy areas. I have some nice stands of grass were before it was weedy.

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                • #9
                  I use cattle panels, but to make the sections more manageable, I cut them in half (8ft sections). I tie them together with baling twine - easy to cut apart for moving, easy to replace often. They are still a pain to move, but it works. Except my goat have learned to jump on the panels and push them over enough so that they can jump out.

                  I've actually found that the best management technique is for ME to cut the brush and give to the goats to eat in their permanent pen. I have two goats and 5 acres of sagebrush and knapweed so it is easy to cut a wheelbarrow full of weeds 2x/day. The goats clean up and I get exercise.
                  Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                  Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                  Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                  Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Murphy's Mom, your suggestion sounds great for winter, when goats couldn't graze. Something like Premier fencing that Coyoteco suggested might work for the other three seasons. I'll see if it's available in Canada.

                    Thanks, and further suggestions welcome.
                    My Equestrian Art Photography page

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by draftdriver View Post
                      I'm in desperate need of a couple of goats to keep the brush and weeds down in my front field. I would need to keep them in some sort of enclosure which I can easily move every day to new forage. The enclosure is necessary because of the local coyote population. Electric fencing won't work -- I've got too much vegetation to deal with, which is why I want the goats in the first place!

                      Does anyone have plans or links to plans for such a mobile enclosure? I have to be able to move it on my own.
                      Ever tried MOWING that field?

                      They sell the lighter chainlink panels as dog kennels in some farm stores and Home Depot/Lowes type hardware stores.
                      These panels are very light and easy to move yourself around, practically taking the whole thing here and there by pushing them around, or taking them apart, easy to unbolt the two connectors between each and moving them one piece at the time.

                      You can resell them when you are done with them.
                      Look on your local Craiglist, you may find some for sale there.

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                      • #12
                        One caution about goats. They are very destructive to trees if they have access to them. They also have their own set of health care needs - so there is an education process when you get goats. They aren't the tough little animals you might expect.
                        Look around premier one. They have a lot of good products and I have been told that they are very knowlegeable in answering questions.

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                        • #13
                          Don't forget: fence that's easy for you to move is even easier for a goat to move. My goats also make short work of baling twine and will rip straight through zip ties. I could see the electric working if the charge is strong enough. They aren't just trying to get out. They drag themselves down the length of any fence. Our RedBrand no climb has a permanent sag just at goat body height, the top and bottom are tight as a drum.
                          Personally, I do what Murphy's Mom does. It would be nice to have them roaming around eating weeds, but they won't. They roam around on the deck, on my truck, on the front porch. They can spend hours trying to get into the chicken run for feed (it smells so much better than weeds). They knock over chopped wood and lumber piles, if you're not careful they'll even get caught in them. I've seen a nearly 100 lb goat try to squeeze itself through a duck sized hole in the fence, because waterfowl food is just so intriguing. It's like releasing a Vandal hoarde on your property.`
                          "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                          http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                          • #14
                            "It's like releasing a Vandal hoarde on your property."



                            So true.

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                            • #15
                              Galagher Smart Fence

                              I was at Southern States the other day when they showed me this new Galagher Smart Fence they are now carrying. It would work perfect for my goats, horses, or any of my animals that I want to keep separated or put in an area where there is no fencing available. For what it does, I thought the price was also pretty good and it is really easy to use. Here is a link I found about it. Hope this helps.

                              http://kygraziers.com/kgshop/product.php?xProd=305

                              I think on youtube they also have a video showing how easy it is to use.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                Ever tried MOWING that field?
                                No tractor, no riding lawn mower, no funds to hire someone with a bush hog.
                                My Equestrian Art Photography page

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                                • #17
                                  Speaking of Exercise

                                  I have an old fashion Scythe in my basement that I am keeping for future use. It would be slow going, but good exercise.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by x-rab View Post
                                    I have an old fashion Scythe in my basement that I am keeping for future use. It would be slow going, but good exercise.
                                    I'm a fan of scythes, too. I have a very nice one, which I use regularly. However, it's not good for cutting the woody stuff (buckthorn, aspen, etc.). It all got ahead of me when I got seriously ill a few years back. I'm trying to play catch up now.
                                    My Equestrian Art Photography page

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                                    • #19
                                      DD, it may be easier to get a cow or two (or more) depending on how large your field is. Also, a riding lawn mower can be found around $250US used. Just to try to help you. Between the cost of the goats, fencing, and your own frustration it may be more worth it.

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                                      • #20
                                        Sent you a pm!
                                        GP

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