Have you ever been to a petting zoo or hobby farm to visit goats?
You probably noticed the fencing was low enough to reach over and get a good pat.
You also might have seen some goats lounging up high as they love to climb.
In addition to climbing, goats have serious jumping capabilities.
You might be surprised to learn some goats can easily outjump Javier Sotomayer, the world record holder of the high jump at a little over 8′ feet.
The average goat jumps approximately 5′ feet. They can leap anywhere from 4′ feet to 12′ feet high. The larger size of the goat, the higher it can jump. Goat breeds kept as pets or on a farm jump in the 4-6′ foot range. Fencing 6′ feet tall is ideal for a goat enclosure.
While a 6’-foot tall fence is recommended, a happy goat will be safely enclosed in fencing as short as 4′ feet.
Anything less than 4′ feet is an invitation for your goat to show off their jumping skills and escape.
Why Do Goats Love Jumping?
Regular goats love jumping.
It is a trait domesticated goats have retained from their mountainous ancestors.
Jumping, for a goat, is as instinctual as it is entertaining.
Baby goats, also called kids, jump around to play with their peers and burn energy, much like kids of the human variety.
They also climb and jump to establish their place in the herd.
Leaping is a way for them to communicate too.
A good jump says, “I’m so fast and strong! You evil predator won’t be able to catch me.”
If it’s an older goat bounding around, especially if a potential mate is nearby, they are looking for a friend.
If it isn’t mating time, an adult goat will leap from its enclosure to investigate anything that piqued its curiosity.
How High Can Pygmy Goats Jump?
As smaller goats, Pygmy goats only jump around 4′ feet high.
Larger goats get the extra foot or two.
Pygmy goats are a popular choice for a pet.
Goat owners love this goat breed for its personality, cute look, and small size.
Learn more about Pygmy goat cost in our article.
Stopping a Goat from Jumping
There is no way to stop a goat from jumping, nor do we want to inhibit their instincts.
Jumping is essential to a goat’s wellbeing.
Here are 5 steps to ensure their jumping stays within your fence.
- Provide a playground for your goats. Give your goats toys. Set up climbing structures. Place items, like construction spools, for them to jump on. Keep any climbable items at least 8′ feet away from fencing. Goats can jump as far horizontally as they do vertically.
- Provide proper nutrition and give an occasional treat. A goat will forage better food if they aren’t getting the nutrients they need. They will do anything to find greener grass on the other side.
- Provide proper shelter. A shaded concrete slab is a bare minimum your goats need to keep them happy. The shade provides relief from the heat, and the concrete gives a moisture-free space for rest. Without these things, your goats will be ready to find a more suitable spot.
- Consider the breed before you buy. Certain breeds are more prone to jumping. Smaller-sized goats tend to have more energy and will be more likely to find a way over or through your fence. Larger breeds tend to be gentle giants.
- Don’t let them be lonely. Goats are herd animals and need at least one partner in crime. Two goats will keep each other happy and entertained, making them less likely to attempt an escape and become destructive.
How Tall Should A Fence Be For Goats?
It is best to have a 6’-foot-tall fence height to keep your goats enclosed.
Anything taller than 6′ feet could result in your goat getting injured during an escape attempt.
Fencing as short as 4′ feet is acceptable.
A 4’-foot fence will discourage most goats from leaping to the other side and keep predators out.
If your beloved goats are still clearing your 4’-foot fence, consider attaching electrical fencing to the top, adding another 2′ feet.
What Type of Fence to Use?
The gold standard of fencing type for goats is woven wire no more than 4″ inches square.
A goat enjoys pushing their head through any kind of fence.
An opening larger than 4″ inches high and wide will be big enough to allow such activities.
A goat will get stuck if it pokes its head through, which is exceptionally dangerous to goats with horns.
A second-best option is cattle panels.
The caveat here is kids or baby goats will happily hop right through.
This is preventable by installing a line of chicken wire across the panels.
Be extra mindful of the bottom of this type of fence for goats.
Any space between the ground and fence invites your goats to crawl under.
Cattle panels are raised from the ground to allow easy opening of the gate.
Goats will push out and through the bottom-level chicken wire.
Wood is the least desirable material because goats are tough on fencing.
They like to rub against it and chew on it.
Wooden fencing will not stand up long to goat’s teeth.
This is not to say wood is unusable; you’ll just be replacing parts more often and risk frequent escaping.
Electric fencing is worth considering.
It’s easy to set up and is affordable.
On the other hand, an electric fence can short out and requires a lot of landscaping, as tall grass will make it ineffective.
You will have to train your goats with this type of fencing, and training a goat is cumbersome as they are willful creatures.
How Much Space Does a Goat Need?
Keep in mind, you will want a minimum of 2 goats.
One goat needs at least 250′ square feet of space.
This means 2 goats will require 500′ square feet.
To give you a visual, 500′ square feet is a little bigger than a two-car garage.
The more space you give your goats, the happier they will be.
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