Goats are known escape artists and quality fencing is necessary for containment. You don't have to break the bank while fencing your goats but expect to pay for some materials. Locating used materials and recycling them into your fence is also a good cost-saving strategy. Heavy duty livestock panels are the most expensive option and are not necessary for goats. Take your time while sourcing materials to find the best deals in your area.
Post and Wire Fencing
Post and wire fencing is simple and cost effective. Metal T-posts are widely available and easy to install. Wood posts are also effective and the cost is reasonable when you buy in bulk. Sheep and goat wire comes in rolls and attaches to posts with hog rings or fence nails. Add a single strand of barbed wire to the top for security. Also consider running a 10-strand barbed wire fence to contain the goats. The fence is durable and difficult to cross.
Electric fences work well for goat containment. A number of options are available but running a single electrical top wire to an existing wire fence is a cheap option. Full scale electric fencing is considerably more expensive. Electric fences are effective for predator control as well. If you live in an area with risk of predators, electric fencing may justify the expense. Use a solar charging system for long-term savings on your utility bill.
Utilizing the Landscape
Use natural features in the landscape to save costs on your fence. Run wire across existing trees to reduce the number of posts needed. Build around a rock wall or the side of a building to reduce the amount of fencing material used. Any barrier that you can work into the perimeter will save on expenses.
Building a cheap goat fence requires creative sourcing of materials. Scan classifieds and local ads to locate used and recycled materials. Check your area for wholesale lumber suppliers to find bulk deals on posts. Consider offering landowners the service of fence removal in exchange for the materials you remove. Advertise this service through free classifieds and word of mouth. Approach landowners directly when you notice a failing and abandoned fence. Salvage the materials that are useful and dispose of the remainder.
When fencing proves too expensive, consider staking or tethering your goats. Drive a metal dog stake into the ground and run a lead chain to the goat's collar. For a large area, run a cable between two posts or trees. Run a lead cable to the goat's collar and the goat will move up and down the line freely.
Staking works well but does not provide protection against predators. Build a fence in prdator rich environments.