As I’m researching goats for my homestead, I’m constantly hearing goat owners talk about how their goats keep jumping the fence. To me, it seems like a lot of work to go herd them back in so often. So, is this really a thing? Can goats jump fences?
You may be surprised to hear that a goat can jump 5 feet high and an average fence is only 4 feet high. In your mind, you might be envisioning goats leaping over fences effortlessly. However, this isn’t the case as their front legs are weaker than their back legs and they often need assistance from humans in order to make such acrobatic displays of athleticism possible.
It is important to know how likely your goats are to jump a fence. You should also consider what their jumping ability and distance are, as well as if there is a way to stop them from jumping the fence in the future.
Can a Goat Jump a 4-Foot Fence?
A 4-foot fence is great for housing sheep, alpacas and other smaller livestock but it’s not ideal for some goats.
Some goats are able to easily jump fences that stand at 4ft. This is especially true for pygmy or dwarf breeds of goat, who will often use other animals and structures as a ladder in order to get higher. Ensure you check your fence line regularly because these little creatures can be very sneaky!
Goats come in various breeds and heights so the ability to jump a 4-foot fence varies depending on its lineage or what it has been fed for most of its life. This makes sense when you think about how many factors can affect their weight: genetics, diet regimen during growth periods like weaning time in terms of food type and quantity as well as snacks they have had some access too throughout childhood will all be playing an active role in determining just how high up off the ground that animal could go with ease if given enough room at hand—or hoof?
Since smaller goat breeds are a popular choice, many homesteaders have to invest in better fencing and measures to keep them in. Larger goats weighing a couple hundred pounds will naturally not be able to jump as high, but can do more damage to the fence due to their heavier weight.
How High Can a Goat Jump?
Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats are two of the most agile breeds in all of goat-dom, to say the least. Their tiny frames make them light on their feet while also allowing for fast climbing! You won’t be able to keep these little guys penned up too well though; so it’s important you have a proper fence with an adequate height that’ll stop any pesky jumping off from happening.
Some homesteaders say that it’s very easy for them to hop over a 5-foot fence, while others say theirs can even jump higher than this! There are many different breeds of goats and they each have their own unique personality. Generally speaking though, 4 foot fences should be sufficient enough if you’re not too worried about your goat being able to escape from the property. However there is usually one standout among the herd who may need an extra measure in safety: Nigerian or mini Nubian breeds tend to display greater jumping ability more often than other types of goats do; so keep this in mind before deciding on what type of fencing will work best for you and your livestock
It’s very important for you to try and anticipate obstacles in order to avoid any mishaps with climbing onto something or escaping over a fence.
How Far Can a Goat Jump?
You may be thinking that your goat will never escape the paddock as it is fully enclosed. But, if they can climb over a fence, then surely they can also jump out of their enclosure! Make sure to remove all climbing structures before locking them away in their space because there’s no telling how far up and across the terrain they could go.
Jumps of up to 10 feet are possible! Some goats can leap their way out and into any situation that may be within proximity. Watch your goat for signs they’re trying to escape, like jumping over trees in an adjacent field or fences nearby-the distance they jump will depend on the breed. As a general rule, the smaller breeds will have more jumping potential. Nigerian and pygmy are good examples of this but there is no such thing as too small when it comes to jumpers!
The paddock may seem like a safe place for your goats to wander around, but you’ll be doing them an injustice if they are not able to roam in peace. If any obstacles between 9 and 10 feet of the fence exist, create space by removing or blocking it off so that there is no chance the goat will end up hurting themselves on their own attempt at escape.
If you want to reduce the frequency of your goats trying to escape from their pen, try giving them more comfortable living quarters.
The Best Types of Fences to Stop Goats From Jumping Over
You might be feeling like a 4-foot fence is not going to cut it for your goats. After all, you probably don’t want them escaping from their pen! But there are different types of fences that can have success; so what should we use? Let’s take a closer look at the best type of fence for goats.
There are three types of fences that you can use to keep goats from jumping over: electric, woven wire, and sheep fencing. When building your fence make sure the posts are 8 feet high or more for wooden ones and 2 feet deep at minimum for metal posts; then place a corner post on both sides outside each end of the section near where it connects with another part. Be sure to drive them in about 2 feet so they don’t move around when an animal pushes against them
There are many benefits to placing the corner posts on the outside of a fence. For example, it prevents goats from climbing up them and is important for keeping your animals safe! Aiming for a height of at least four feet can be helpful but five or six will work best depending on what type you have. If they’re smaller breeds like 200-300 pounds jump higher so focus less about height and more about stability if this applies to you. It also make a more durable fence which will last longer before needing replacing or repair.
For maintenance-free fencing, woven wire is the most popular option. These fences are often pricey but they’re very reliable and fairly easy to install too. But beware of getting one that has a 4 inch opening – goats will get stuck!
Barbed wire is not the best option when it comes to keeping goats in, as they will try climbing over and get their face cut up with a barbed wire fence. They won’t learn from this experience either, continuing to climb the fences looking for an escape route. For your own convenience make sure you don’t use barbed wires!
If your goats are determined, they will find a way to escape. You should be sure to keep fences fixed that can bend over or fold easily as you don’t want them leaning on it and escaping
As always, many people opt for electric fencing. We recommend that you install the bottom wire of your fence hot and closer to ground level because goats often go under fences. Aim for an electric fence with 4-5 strands and a voltage between 4500-9000 volts so it can be more effective in keeping out cattle as well!
The goats can somehow seem to sense when the electric fence is on or not. If there’s an outage, they’ll likely try and escape from it. To prevent this during power outages, you might want to get a solar charger for your energizer in order to ensure that it will continue working until the storm passes over and restores electricity back into parts of town
Of all the fences, sheep fencing is one of the most expensive but it’s also very effective. It looks nicer than other types and can be installed quickly, making it a good choice for people that are running low on time or money
Tips to Stop Goats From Escaping Their Fence
The importance of having a proper fence to prevent your animals from escaping is often overlooked. But it’s also important that you make sure not to overlook other precautions as well, like knowing how these tips can help reduce the chances even more:
A sturdy fence is a must if you’re raising bigger goats. Keep in mind that bucks can weigh above 300 lbs. A flimsy one can be easily damaged by the animals, and escape attempts will not only become more frequent, but also successful in loosening your goat’s enclosure.
Take note if any areas are worn down and have potential weak spots. This includes mildewed wood or untreated nails where they meet posts -Fixing them will go a long way in reducing escape risks for your farm animals -If strong winds come up, double check fences that may be vulnerable due to gaps (like holes in wire fencing)
The more your goats are comfortable, the less likely they’ll be to try and escape. When a goat is comfortable it’ll often want to stay put because life on their homestead can be pretty great! Here’s our list of ways you can make your happy little goatherds more content:
- Food – If there’s an abundant supply of hay and food, you’re more likely to see your goats take up on the same spot. You don’t want them wasting time looking for food or grazing on your garden.
- Comfort – Remember that a goat will actually be less likely to try and escape when they’re warm and cozy! If they’re too cold or too hot, their instincts could lead them to seek out more comfortable climates.
- Happiness – No matter what size and breed of goat you have, make sure it loves life on the farm. Whether it’s enjoying a fresh patch of grass, or playing with its favorite toys. Make sure you give your animals the love & attention they deserve, to keep them happy and stop them from trying to escape.
- Water – A good water source is crucial for any livestock. Even though your goats might not be swimming in your pool, they’ll still need to stay hydrated. A large water container is necessary for any livestock. Make sure the container is leak proof.
- Shade (and sun) – If it’s a sunny day, and the weather is warm, make sure there’s a shady place for your goats to chill in. If there isn’t enough shade (or your goats are too hot), they might want to try and find relief from the sun by leaving their enclosure.
- Shelter – It’s always a good idea to provide a small shelter for your goats. They can use it for protection from the sun, or to place them out of the rain. Just make sure they can’t escape it!
- Goats in the herd – Goats are social animals so you will want to make sure you have more than one. Lonely goats will also try escaping more than if they were in a sizeable herd. Because of this, it’s important to have at least two goats together to prevent loneliness and depression. However, if you have a group of goats, make sure to provide enough space for all of them. If they are too crowded, they might get squished -This often leads to stress in the animals and tension between their owners. However, if the area is just right for them and their needs, they’ll be less likely to try and escape!
- Pasture (and pasture-rotation) – If you have a good size pasture for your goats, make sure to keep them rotating so they never feel as though they’re settling into one spot too long. Make sure the area where you intend to put your goats has been free of chemicals and fertilizers for at least two weeks before letting them roam (this is important because chemicals can harm their footpads).
- Attention (from you) – Be sure to take some time to spend with your goats. Babysitting them once in a while will help them feel loved and give them a sense of security which will go a long way in preventing them from trying to escape!
It is not uncommon for farm animals to escape their paddocks or pens. However, if you provide them with everything they need in order to be happy and healthy, then there might be less of a chance that your goats will attempt this type of behavior again.
It’s important to keep your goats safe during loud events like fireworks on the Fourth of July, but you can make a few small changes in advance that will help them stay calm. A simple one is bringing their barn inside for these times or keeping it nearby so they have somewhere familiar and quiet to go if things get too noisy out there.
Goats are amazing animals that really want to be free. They can and will jump over your fence, especially if it is 4 feet or under. For best results, use 8-foot posts and drive them 2 feet into the ground then add six more inches for good measure! Remember that fences need to evolve with time as well so make sure you keep up on repairs when needed – goats love escaping from their enclosure even in emergencies.