A Goat Fence

An author never knows how much she is going to earn on a book. Usually it’s not much. The publisher pays me an advance against future sales. Out of that, I pay the photographer, the indexer, and my grocery bills from all of the recipe testing. It’s rare that an author “earns out the advance” and makes anything beyond the first payout. Still, it is a fine thing to deposit that check. I recently did so (an advance for the upcoming Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook.) I decided that I had just enough for one splurge.

Some women would buy this.


I bought a goat fence.

The goats have a small permanent paddock that you see on the GoatCam. Behind the barn is a grassy mound that I like to call a meadow. For the last four years, I’ve used an electric fence.



The good thing about the electric fence is that I can move it about, so that as the goats graze down one area (as seen here) I can move it to the proverbial greener pastures. However, there are times when the ground is too hard to push in the stakes and it doesn’t get moved. Also, I’d like to let the goats into edges of the woods, but it’s too rocky to install the fence there. In the winter, with ice and snow, the fence gets taken down and the goats are limited to their paddock. So, with my advance in hand, I called a fence company.

It took two men two days to put up the permanent steel wire fence, during which time, the goats were closed up in their paddock.



The goats were disappointed not to be able to assist the guys. But the men brought a boom box and listened to loud rock music. The goats enjoyed that immensely.



The goats wagged their tail with glee when their gate was opened to their reconfigured pasture. There were all sorts of plants to eat that they had only been able to eye in the past.



If you’ve noticed in the last week that their bellies are particularly rotund, now you know why.



  1. Nothing like a good fence to make us animal lovers happy! Not to mention the lucky animals……I can feel their glee from here!

  2. Brilliant! Electric fencing is only a partial solution isn’t it, especially as the grass keeps growing and shorting it. That handbag was too small for a sack of layers pellets or a hay bale anyway. Sorry to ask a daft question, but is this fence tall enough to keep the goats in?? I have seen some quite incredible YouTube clips of Houdini goats.

    • Not a daft question. There’s an expression “if the fence can’t hold water, it can’t hold a goat.” There is nothing for them to use as a ramp nearby, and my goats aren’t exactly athletic, so they’ll stay in. Hopefully.

  3. The boys look as if they think it was worth the wait. Too bad you don’t have any Ross stores in your area. You can get MK bags at a fraction of the retail cost….

  4. In that last picture, he’s totally saying….”Mom, put this one on the blog so they all know how much we loooove our new fence…look, I’m smiling!”

  5. Theyre smiling again! Looks great and now we know why there were strange men lurking with the goats…..

  6. My husband had goats a long time ago, and he couldn’t figure out how they kept getting out. One day, he witnessed it. One goat stood next to the fence, and the other two hopped up on his back and right over the fence! There is pretty much zero chance I will ever get goats… I’ll have to get my goat love with Pip and Caper! :-)

  7. Happy goaties! They think that it is only fitting that the Goat Maid would spend her allowance on them. You can only eat a purse once…a meadow can be forever. :-)

  8. The far reaches of O’Hare Airport (Chicago) and now a Nature Preserve place in Schaumberg, Il. are all renting goaties (and an assortment of other animals at the Airport) to take care of the weeds, etc.

  9. Who needs a fancy purse…..it is so much better to make someone or “some goatee boys” happy. I don’t really know you Terry but I think I know that this makes you as jubilant as the boys! Wonderful thing to see as I sip a great martini on our porch listening to the rain and the river.

  10. Those lucky goats!
    Here’s a link to a site with some very interesting PDF’s about how pasture animals learn what’s good to eat and what isn’t: http://extension.usu.edu/behave/
    (I’m taking an introductory Animal Science class… getting some hands-on experience with goats! So far it’s just cleaning up the pen)

    • What an interesting lot of information and research on this link. Thank you for posting it! Fascinating stuff. Enjoy your studies!

  11. I would have done the same Terry. I know nothing about fancy schmancy hand bags, I guess I’ll have to google the handbag info from the photo to learn more! The boys sure look happy and healthy!

    • Update – this bag is very expensive and after a chat with customer service, it is imported from China.

  12. We are kindred spirits Terry! I take my earnings to do things like buy horse fencing, hire a tractor guy foy the day, get my house cleaned! The goats look happy!