I’m excited to talk to you about the 6 reasons that a pallet fence makes the best fence for small livestock! Below you will find pictures and instructions on how the pallet fence was built.
Also, please enjoy all of the other resources on my Raising Goats resource page.
I have come to love the pallet fence we built for containing our goats. For the most part, it keeps in our chickens as well, although a few do have to test the boundaries and fly over. This fence has held up really well for almost five years now. It has been a great long-term-temporary-fence. We plan to replace this fence but while we gathered supplies and the time to work on the fence, it has been perfect for our setup.
Here are a few reasons that I think pallet fencing makes the best fence for small livestock!
- FREE. Pallets can usually be obtained for free. At least in our neck of the woods.
- FIXABLE. If a goat were to bash into a board and break it or if a fragile board were to break when you crawled over, there are always more pallet boards to replace the broken ones.
- SIMPLE. It is incredibly easy to screw the pallets together and also to take them apart. Which works great when you need to clean the pen with a tractor.
- STURDY. Pallets are strong and were originally made to hold loads of weight, a goat standing on a board to look over doesn’t faze it a bit.
- NON-PERMANENT. The steel posts are very easy to remove. So if you don’t quite like it, move it around until you do!
- EFFECTIVE. There is nothing better for a selling point than it actually working. The goats are unable to get out unless the gate is left open!
You can find a lot of articles here on “A Life of Heritage” that will teach you about goat care and be sure to check out The Goat Health, and Information Bundle--it’s full of to-do lists, checklists, record keeping sheets, and resource pages that will get your new (or old) goat herd off to a terrific start!
Before you leave this page, don’t forget to sign up for this free course: Prepare for Goats. It’s a good one! And will completely prepare you for owning goats.
This is how I built my pallet fence:
- Locate pallets We were given three or more huge piles of pallets from some friends who buy and sell feed in bulk. So all of my pallets were the same size. Having them all the same size really makes a difference in ease of putting them together and how it will look in the end. I also pick up the discarded pallets from the feed stores.
- Buy or gather steal posts. You will want to pound in steel posts every 2 or three pallets apart. The farther apart the posts, the more likely the pallets will begin to lean in the wind and animals standing and leaning on them. If I were to do this again and start over, I would probably put the steel posts only 2 pallets apart instead of three. But we didn’t plan to be using this pallet fence as long as we have.
Another option is using 4x4 square posts and putting them in between each pallet and screwing the pallets to the post. This would be more permanent but would look really nice. Using a wood post would also ensure that the pallets don’t start to lean.
- Screw the pallets together. Screw the pallets together three or four times. The hardest part about screwing them together is getting the drill into where you want to screw.
- Place Gates. Hang your gates and double-check the latch will stay hooked despite prying lips, horns, and shenanigans. Goats have a real knack for using their horns and lips to unlock gates. They just have a knack for getting out. So make sure that the hinges will withstand them standing on it. And if you have kids in the future, make sure that the boards are close enough so the kids can’t climb through.
** Always investigate the health of the goats in the original herd. ** If you are also bringing home a buck, the fencing you have between the does and bucks should be put together well and secure enough to keep them apart. If possible, have a space between the does and bucks so they aren't directly over the fence from each other. It seems to me that when a goat is in heat...and the tip of their nose can fit through a small space, they will be on the other side of the fence. Guaranteed. ** If you are bringing home goats to an established herd, always have a quarantine pen to keep the new goat(s) in for the first several weeks. ** Also think long-term, will you be having kids in the future? You will need a separate area to wean them, so think ahead and plan for it now as you build fences.
READ MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FENCING FOR GOATS:
** Always investigate the health of the goats in the original herd.
** If you are also bringing home a buck, the fencing you have between the does and bucks should be put together well and secure enough to keep them apart. If possible, have a space between the does and bucks so they aren't directly over the fence from each other. It seems to me that when a goat is in heat...and the tip of their nose can fit through a small space, they will be on the other side of the fence. Guaranteed.
** If you are bringing home goats to an established herd, always have a quarantine pen to keep the new goat(s) in for the first several weeks.
** Also think long-term, will you be having kids in the future? You will need a separate area to wean them, so think ahead and plan for it now as you build fences.
You can see in this next picture that we used cattle panels to hold our goats while we were putting up the pallet fence. Cattle panels are a great option for fencing as well. If you have horned goats, panels may allow them to stick their heads through the fence and they may get stuck. But the pallets have never allowed my goats to stick their heads through except the very small kids. And the approximate four feet that they pallets are, also have been a good height even for my Nubian goats. They have never been able to jump over.
These next two pictures show the fence in progress. It was such a quick fence to put up! I was amazed at how easy it was for just myself to put it up. These were new pallets and were very light-colored. Now, five years later, they are very blued and gray and the boards are getting more brittle.
- By far these are the cheapest and easiest Pallet Goat Shelters to build for your goats. They are a perfect size and can be made very inexpensively and don't require a lot of room.
- Double Sized Pallet Goat Shelter
- Barns or Lean-To's
- Tarp covering cattle panels hooked to pallets
- A-Frame plywood house
- Follow this Pinterest Board for more great ideas and to see pictures of the ideas listed above.
READ MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SHELTERS FOR GOATS:
- Goat Care in Winter (Video). This video will walk you through how to care for goats in the bitter cold of winter. (And it was recorded when it was well below 0!)
- You can also read more about shelters ideas here: The Goat House
- Your goats will need shelter from the rain, snow, wind, and elements. Goats, out of all the ruminants, struggle the most regulating their body temperature.
- Pneumonia Treatment and Signs (Video). Careful thought about shelters will help keep your goats warm and dry, which decreases their risk of pneumonia (Post), which is the leading killer in goats.
If you are interested in looking at other options for fencing, please read: Fencing For Goats
And also follow this Pinterest Board for more great ideas!
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