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June 25, 2014

Fencing and Refencing

Fencing is one of the hardest jobs on the homestead in my opinion. And once they are up, they need maintenance, especially if you have animals that are hard on fences.

Which brings me to my buck pen fencing project. This guy has been in the does' pasture for the winter and spring so that he'd have company, but also because he kept getting out of his own pen. Then he learned how to climb the fence in the does' pen so he could get to the woods -- and then he'd climb back in the pen again. I had to shore up that fence to keep him in.

The sooner I could put him back in his own pen, the better. We had kids in December last year and I do NOT want winter kids again!

There are so many projects that have competed for top priority lately, but I finally had them enough under control that I could address the next concern. I went out to survey the buck pen situation and come up with a plan. I knew I couldn't use the same "woven wire goat fencing" that surrounds the does' pen, since he has learned how to climb that. I would have to use something more solid, that he can't pull down and then climb over, such as pallets or cattle panels.

The first step was to tear out the existing run-down fence, which consisted of a section of badly-bent-up welded wire fencing adjoining a section of beaten-up field fence. Did I mention that he's hard on fences? Running behind those were some old rusty strands of barbed wire from the original cross-fencing. Vetch climbed the old fencing, so I also had to pull that out. I gave armloads of the vetch to the goats in the doe pen. They liked it so much they'd stand at the fence to watch me work and beg me to give them some.

I repurposed two cattle panels from other places, installed them in the area where I'd removed the old fencing, and reworked the corner of the pen, which involved moving one t-post and driving in an additional one. I'm getting pretty good at t-post driving, as long as it's rained the day before.

A three-foot-wide section in the other corner was replaced with a pallet, turned on its site with the planks going vertically. I thought he might be able to climb the pallet if the planks went horizontally. This section has horses on the other side; they bend cattle panels so the only option in this spot was a pallet.

Then came the test: moving him into the pen and waiting to see if he'd figure out how to get out. He enjoyed snacking on the weeds and tall grass in the pen, but I could also hear him calling the girls over the fence. The two pens share a tall, strong fence, so he isn't completely isolated.

So far, so good... it's been two weeks, and he hasn't gotten out yet.

Related Posts:
Goat Fencing

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  1. Yet being the important word.

  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:15 AM

    It isn't breeding season yet, right, Michelle?

  3. Now would make Nov kids. My does will breed year round if the buck is out with them.

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead1:55 PM

    Nubians can be seasonal breeders, evidently it depends on the goat and/or herd. We had December kids last year, and it was the snowiest, coldest winter since we've moved here. I much prefer March kids.

  5. He is SO gorgeous!! Glad you've got him contained at last, LOL!

  6. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead5:34 PM

    Thank you, Rose. :-)

  7. Fencing is one of those jobs that never seems to end. Here's hoping they are safe-n-sound.


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