How to build a goat fence with a shelter in 3 days
We literally had 3 days to build a fence and shelter before our new baby goats arrived. We thought we had several more weeks, but got a text from A Better Way Farms and surprise!!! After jumping onto my Goat Pen Pinterest Board and searching through the designs I had pinned, I sat down and used my favorite elements from each one and designed my own fence and shelter. I made a material list and Sam and I headed to Home Depot (after building the house, we have our own parking space there!). Once we got all the material and tools together, we got started.
Yes, that's Coco in the hole. I got ready to drop the 4x4 post in the hole and luckily noticed her in there. She was almost a permanent fixture of the fence!!!!! That fur baby is a mess!
So, here is the material list followed by detailed instructions for building the fence. The material list/instructions for the shelter is not included in this post. That post is next.
Live and Learn: We want the ability to expand the fencing so we initially didn't concrete in any of our posts. We did go back and add concrete to the three posts at our gate section because after about 2 weeks, it wasn't as tight as we wanted it to be. If your fence is permanent, you might want to concrete all of the posts in.
For each panel (we had 11 plus the gate section), we used the following material:
Wood and supplies per fence panel:
1/2 (6') ea - 4x4x12' pressure treated lumber for the post at $6.74* - half of a 4x4x12
5 ea - 2x4x8' pressure treated lumber at $3.47 - $17.35
1 ea - 1x4x8' pressure treated lumber at $4.17
1 ea - 4'x8' piece of steel welded wire at $6.39 (100' roll will cover 12 panels)
about 18 - 1 1/4" galvanized fence staples at $7.92 per box (each box will cover 2 panels)
roughly 50 - 2" galvanized gun nails at $25.98 per box (each box covers 20 panels)
roughly 8 - 3" galvanized gun nails at $26.98 per box (each box covers 125 panels)
roughly 8 - 3 1/4" deck screws at $11.58 per box (each box covers 10 panels)
Gate Section - add:
2 ea - 2x4x8' pressure treated lumber at $3.47 ea for the gate
1 ea - 4x4x6' pressure treated lumber at $6.47 ea for the middle post
1 set of hinges, a handle and a latch at $21.87
6 ea - 2x4 L angle at $2.21 ea for the backside of the gate
6 bags - concrete at $4.80 per bag
post hole diggers
nail gun (not necessary but highly recommended) ours is a 21 degree gun
tamper (we used the end of a small rake)
gloves (or lots of band-aids)
The total cost for our 26'x26' fencing and gate section:
6 ea - 4x4x12' pressure treated lumber for the posts at $13.47 ea - $80.82
1 ea - 4x4x6' pressure treated lumber at $6.47
1 ea - 4x4x8' pressure treated lumber for gate at $7.37 ea
1 ea - 2x8x8' pressure treated lumber for the gate at $7.88
62 ea - 2x4x8' pressure treated lumber at $3.47 ea - $215.14
12 ea - 1x4x8' pressure treated lumber at $4.17 ea - $50.04
100' roll - 4'x8' piece of steel welded wire at $76.62
5 boxes (about 50 staples ea bx) - 1 1/4" galvanized fence staples at $7.92 ea - $39.60
1 box (1,000) - 2" galvanized gun nails at $25.98
(or 6 boxes 8 penny hand driven galvanized nails at $5.25 - $31.50)
1 box (1,000) - 16 penny nail gun galvanized nails at $26.98
(or 2 boxes 16 penny hand driven galvanized nails at $5.25 - $10.50)
2 box (about 80 per box) - 3 1/4" deck screws at $11.58 - $23.16
1 set of hinges, a handle and a latch at $21.87
3 ea - 1x4x8 board to cut up for blocking (totally worth it) at $5.72 - $17.16
string line at $13.45
grade stakes or metal stakes at $3.98
6 ea - 2x4 L angle at $2.21 ea - $13.26
6 bags - concrete at $4.80 per bag - $28.80
Total damage: $662.36 plus your local taxes
It's hard to say what each section of fencing costs because of packaging. For example, one roll of welded wire will cover 12 panels so there would be a lot of leftover if you just made one panel. We estimate that each panel costs about $55.00 to make.
Let's get started...
1) Prepare the posts: Cut the 4x4x12's in half until you have enough posts for the project.
2) Setting a post: Dig your first post hole (a corner post), 24" down and drop in your first 4x4 (make sure there are no dogs in the hole). There should be 4' above ground. Add a little dirt and tamp it down (tamp: with gloved hands, set the post in the hole and lift the post up a few inches and bring it back down hard. Repeat this several times to even out the ground.) Place the level on two adjacent sides and adjust it until both sides show that the 4x4 is plumb (level vertically), fill it in with dirt (or concrete as per directions) and, using a stick or the back end of a rake, pack it down until it's good and tight, occasionally checking for levelness both ways.
Coco doesn't care for the post hole digger much...
3) Run a string guide: Measure out that line of posts and dig all the postholes. Each 4x4 post should be 8'3" apart from each other (keep in mind that a 4x4 is only 3 1/2" wide, making it 8' 6 1/2" center to center of post hole).
Set the end post (see step 2). To align the interior posts, insert two nails into the outer side of each end post; one 4" from the top of the post and one 4" from the bottom of the post. Leave the heads of the nails sticking out 1/8 inch from the posts. Run one string on the upper set of nails and the other on the lower set of nails. Be sure both strings are pulled taut and 1/8" away from the post. To set the interior posts, position each post in its hole, keeping each post 1/8 inch away from both the top and bottom strings. If you maintain a 1/8-inch gap on all of your posts, your fence should be in line with the two corner posts. Now, drop your 2nd 4x4 in the hole but don't set it quite yet.
4) Assemble a fence panel: Assemble each fence section on a flat area (driveway, flat ground, piece of plywood, etc). You will need the following 2x4's for each panel: one - 96" (trim it off to that length - a 2x4x8 isn't exactly 8'), two - 89", two - 48", and two - 46". You will also need one piece of wire fencing 95" x 48"and one - 1x4x96" (again, trim it off to that length).
a) lay the one - 2x4x96" upright (2" side facing up)
b) lay the two - 2x4x48" upright (2" side facing up)
c) now, the four remaining pieces need to be 3/4" inset. That's where the pieces of 1x4 come in. Lay those pieces down under the remaining four - 2x4 pieces to raise them 3/4". Lay the two - 2x4x46 and the two - 2x4x89. Nail it all together using the 2" galvanized gun nails and/or 8 penny galvanized hand nails (being sure not to nail the pieces of 1x4 together).
d) cut the steel welded wire to 4' x 95" and it across the two 89" and two 46" pieces and secure using the galvanized fence staples (we use about 5 across the top and bottom and 4 on the sides).
e) lay the 1x4x96" across the bottom 89" board/two 46" boards and secure using 2" galvanized gun nails. This piece strengthens the frame and keeps the critters in.
f) flip it over on it's top and bend the wire overhang over. You can secure it with more staples if you want to. we found it makes it easier to move around when installing the panel.
g) go get something to drink and celebrate your first panel!
5) Secure the panel to the first post: Line up the panel between the two posts (being careful not move the set post). Raise the panel level with the top of the 4x4 and be sure the sides are flush and 1/8" from the string guide. Secure with four 3 1/4" deck screws on each side. Check to be sure everything is level vertically and horizontally.
6) Drop the 2nd post in the hole: Secure the panel to the second post(after looking in the hole for critters playing hide and seek). Lay the level on top of the panel and lift or lower until it is level (we used a steel steak and a piece of wood as a fulcrum to lift the panel). That will tell you if the 2nd 4x4 needs to be higher or lower. Add or remove dirt as needed to the post hole (tamping each time) until the post is level with the fence panel. Once the panel and 4x4 are level and flush, make the sides flush, make sure it is 1/8" from the string guide, and secure the panel to the 2nd 4x4 using four 3 1/4" deck screws on each side. Check level on all sides. Once the top and sides are level, add dirt to post hole, tamping the dirt down as you go.
7) Make the corner: Repeat step 3 setting the end post and creating a string guide.
8) Continue that process until you get to the gate section.
9) Gate Section: The stationary section is built the same way as the other panels except the 96" top board is 44 1/2" and the two 89" board are 37 1/2" and the wire is 44" wide (still 48" height). Dig a post hole in the center of the gate/stationary section. Attach the gate stationary section to that 4x4 post and the existing 4x4 post.
10) Gate: The gate is assembled with two 2x4x47", two 2x4x29", two 4x4x44", two 2x8x40" and a 39" x 43" piece of wire fencing. Use 6 angle brackets to tie the pieces together from the backside.
11) Hang the gate: Attach the gate to the 4x4 post using the hinges, being sure to leave room for the door to open and close. Then, attach the handle and latch.
12) And finally... Go get some goats!
I hope this inspires you to go out and build a fence and fill it with fur babies. You really don't need much room to own a couple of goats and they are So. Totally. Worth it!