Keeping goats on your land can be a worthwhile endeavour for a number of reasons whether you keep them for their meat, their milk and cheese, or simply as hairy lawnmowers. However, these beasts can be endearing and inquisitive in equal measure, so when it comes to choosing a suitable enclosure for your goats, you will want to ensure that their fencing is strong, yet safe for the animals themselves.

When it comes to combining durability with safety, one of the best choices you can make for goat fencing is woven wire mesh fencing. However, not just any old wire fence will do; to ensure maximum safety and comfort for your goats, ask yourself the following questions before purchasing wire fencing for their enclosure;

How is the wire woven?

Most wire mesh fencing chosen for agricultural purposes has horizontal and vertical wires that intersect at 90 degree angles, which when woven together make a continuous fence with quite large, square gaps between individual wires. However, this type of fencing is not ideal for goats; the gaps between wires are generally large enough to fit their heads through (a particularly hazardous prospect for horned goats who may not be able to remove themselves), and the horizontal wires present an attractive chewing target which can badly damage a goat's teeth.

For extra safety, consider diamond-woven wire (often referred to as 'chicken wire') instead. This type of wire fencing is much less chewable, and the small gaps between wires ensure even the most diminutive goat will not get into difficulties. However, this type of wire fencing is generally more expensive and can turn fencing a particularly large enclosure into a prohibitively costly endeavour.

Is your ground suitable for wire fence installation?

While wire fencing is enormously versatile, one of its few drawbacks is that it can be difficult to install over rough, uneven ground. As such, to ensure maximum security you may wish to have your land levelled (either by yourself or professionally) before installation begins. You should also bear in mind the overall makeup of the soil that your goats will be grazing on, as it must be able to securely hold fence posts in place. Particularly hard or rocky soils can be a nightmare for fence post installation, so in these cases it is often easier to excavate the area under the post and have it filled with cement instead. 

Should the fence be electrified?

Adding one or more electrified wires to a wire mesh fence can be very useful, providing a stern deterrent for potential goat escapees while keeping them safe from external predators. However, adding electrification to your goat fence will naturally increase its cost and also requires you to pay for the power required to run it. 

You should therefore ensure that electrified fencing is necessary for the well being of your goats; if your goats are particularly small and harmless or living in an urban area with little to worry about in the way of predators, you may feel safe going without it. If you do feel that electrification is necessary, choosing battery or even solar-powered electrified wires can help to offset their running costs.