Pack Goats and Predators
Pack goats and predators are genetically engineered adversaries. This article will help you prevent any issues from happening before they occur. Because this predator/prey relationship is predictable we know how to be mindful of our goats in the pasture and the back country. First thing to remember is that the number one predator of goats is the domestic dog. I have found that, over the years, breeds that are close to their “predator roots” are the most dangerous. Examples are any kind of hunting dog and huskies in particular. For some reason that breed is a constant culprit.
That said, any large enough domestic dog should be viewed as a possible killer of your goat. You need to be concerned about them both on the trail and in your pasture. Many dog owners walk their dogs off leash despite the law being contrary to that in most places. As far as the other predators in North America… bears, coyotes, wolves and cougars, I will speak to them as well. Honestly these wild predators are of much, much less concern than domestic dogs in terms of frequency of encounters and deadliness of those attacks.
Prevention at home
An ounce of prevention goes a long, long way in the world of pack goats and predators. That goes for all of them, but especially domestic dogs as they are the number one killer. This is especially true based on the frequency of goats and dogs encountering each other. So, rule number one is to limit or eliminate encounters and you’ll have the ultimate winning strategy. In the pasture that is done with a fence a dog can’t dig under or jump over. So, you may want to dig your metal fencing 12 inches into the ground all around your outside parameter.
I like chain link the most as goats damage it the least and it’s the toughest. You can often get chain link from craigslist or Facebook Market Place as people are often selling older fencing at a high discount. Also, I think your fence should be a minimum of 5 feet high, 6 is better. It should also be very low, and secured to the ground through staking or burying, to keep dogs out. Electric fencing is a great solution to keep goats in and dogs out. The best design will need an additional bottom strand 6 inches off the ground on the outside to deter dogs.