Five years ago when we moved out here, the only fence on the property was a barbed wire fence around the perimeter. The house sits on the right of the driveway near the road with a huge lovely live oak in the back yard. Beyond the house is the shed and behind that is the barn. Our horses moved here with us so the first order of business was to build some cross fences to make pastures. We left the barbed wire on the perimeter and added fences to make four connected pastures. Our horses had never lived with barbed wire so I was initially concerned about their safety. We made the pastures wide enough and had few enough horses in each pasture that I didn’t think it would be a problem. It hasn’t been.
We built goat pens behind the barn in an area that used to have raised garden plots. I left all the overgrowth so the goats would have some browse and they loved it. We used no-climb horse fencing with a top board for stability, just like the pasture fences. The goats couldn’t use the horse pastures since they would be able to get through the barbed wire but they had a nice shelter and a safely fenced off area of their own.
Over the years we have added fences here and there. We fenced off the back yard, added an arena and connected the goat pens to the other pastures. This spring we finally added the safe no-climb horse fencing to the entire perimeter. Now the fiber animals can safely be put in any of the pastures with no danger of getting caught in or cut by the barbed wire or worse, getting loose.
Our last bit of fencing has connected the pastures on the outer perimeter of the property to the barn. I’m not sure why we didn’t do that in the first place. Well, actually I do know why. I wanted to be able to drive around the barn. It’s useful to be able to do that but it means there is no moving animals into the barn without herding them or haltering and leading them. The horses are easy to halter and lead. The goats are easy to herd, particularly since they will follow you anywhere if you have treats in your hand. The llamas and alpacas are a whole different story. They are difficult to catch and don’t lead well. They are terrified of being trapped so they ought to be easy to herd but they are very fast and once they figure out where you want them to go, they go anywhere but there.
I had built a connection from the goat’s pens to the barn with moveable panels and it works great to move animals into and out of the barn. Unfortunately, the panels are pretty much stationary. It’s difficult to move them enough to get the tractor in there to mow and driving through there is impossible. I’m excited that we have finally replaced my panels with real fences that have large gates. Now with the gates closed, the pastures are connected to the barn and with the gates open I can drive around the barn. Cool.