If you have trouble keeping your livestock inside the fence, you probably are not feeding them enough. Sheep, goats, pigs, and even horses, donkeys, and cows will fly the coop if you do not feed them enough. It should not take much of a fence to keep cows. Five strands of barbed wire fencing will keep cows in indefinitely, as long as they have plenty to eat. Go by an overgrazed cow pasture and you will see the fence leaning over where the bovines have pushed their heads through, trying to get the proverbial greener grass on the other side of the fence.
Use quality fence materials
Some of the best fencing is the sheep and goat fencing rolls. These rolls stretch 330 feet and have 4-inch-by-4-inch openings. This tight-weave fence is tight enough to keep goats from getting their heads through and stuck. If you use the cheaper field fence (also called hog wire), you will keep smaller pigs in, but goats will get their heads stuck if they have horns. Some goat owners walk their fence line daily to pull out the goats’ heads. Save time and frustration and prevent an animal from getting dehydrated by getting the right fencing material to hang on your wooden posts or metal T-posts. For particularly troublesome animals you may try the 2×4 wire made for horses since they cannot climb it. If you buy 2×4 wire, get the woven type not the cheaper welded version, as it will break apart after a few years. One of the best sources for fencing products is Red Brand, but the price is a bit higher than others. Make sure you keep any wire fence tight by building quality H-frame ends.
Hogs will get through any fence that is not set in concrete. If they can get their nose under it, they will push through if they get hungry. Many homesteaders build their hog pens with hog panels (very thick wire) and concrete floors.
Downsize your herd or flock
If you have trouble keeping your animals in with good fencing, you have to either start buying them hay or downsize your flock. In our area, we can have a drought from July through August and have to start feeding hay. One year, my neighbor had to start feeding hay in August and kept feeding all the way through to April the next year. One of our goats decided she did not want to eat any more of the brush we were trying to get her clear, so she developed the ability to run, jump, volley off the middle of the fence, and jump over the fence. She should have been a gymnast. We sold her the day she jumped into the garden.
Get quality fencing material (for sheep and goats) like this.