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Housing

Submitted by Teri on Fri, 10/06/2006 - 9:59am.

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Goat housing does not have to be fancy but should consist of a sturdy, dry, draft-free structure that can provide protection from the sun, wind, rain, and snow. An indoor home that has an open door to the pen or pasture is perfect.

Goats require 15 square feet of housing per goat. An example of a simple two goat shelter would be 5 feet by 6 feet (30 square feet), and tall enough for you to stand up while inside. You will need to get into the shelter when the temperatures drop to provide the goats with bedding, feed, minerals, and water. It is also easier on you when the temperatures rise and it is time to clean out the old bedding.

A good floor for a goat shelter begins with dirt because it allows the urine to drain into the ground. Provide bedding in the shelter when the weather becomes cold and wet. We start with a layer of shavings topped with a thick layer of straw. We allow this to build up during the winter, adding fresh straw as necessary. Keep the bedding clean because goats can get hoof rot if they are forced to stand on wet bedding. Remove all bedding when the temperature begins to rise because it attracts flies and is not necessary in warm, dry weather.

If you are planning on breeding goats, you will need more housing. You can have several small shelters or you may want to begin with a large barn type structure. The advantage of having a large structure is that it can provide plenty of space for additional stalls, milk area, and storage of hay, grain and bedding. Of course, with this type of structure, utilities such as electricity and running water would also be beneficial.

Want to build your own quonset hut goat shelter?

Please see our how-to article.

Our goats are located in three separate goat pens:

  • The Boer goats are using a 6 feet tall, 8 feet by 8 feet, three-sided shed.
  • The Nubian goats are using a 5-1/2 feet tall, 8 feet by 24 feet Quonset hut, made from five 16 foot cattle panels, zip ties, cut T-posts, and two heavy duty tarps.
  • The buck pen is located in another pasture and they are using a 5-1/2 feet tall, 8 feet by 12 feet Quonset hut, made from three 16 foot cattle panels, zip ties, cut T-posts, and one heavy duty tarp.