Raising Goats For Dummies
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Before you bring your goats home, you need to build them a shelter. Goatkeepers have come up with a lot of different ideas for goat shelters. These can range from a "Taj Mahal," if you have space and a lot of money to spend, to a very simple shelter when you don't have land or money.

Before you build your shelter, find a flat, dry area where the shelter will sit level. Don't plan a shelter next to a fence, or your goats will soon be on the other side of the fence. They love to jump on things!

Here are some ideas for simple economical goat shelters that you can build:
  • Used pallets: Build a simple three-sided shelter made from wood pallets covered with plywood. You can get free pallets from factories, building sites, large farms, and farm stores. You need to purchase two-by-fours, plywood, and roofing materials. The shelter shown here has a wood floor and a roof made from leftover metal roofing. Two to four medium-sized goats can sleep comfortably in this shelter out of the rain or sun.

    Old roofing material and pallets can become a sleeping shelter for goats.

    Old roofing material and pallets can become a sleeping shelter for goats.
  • Cattle panel and tarp Quonset hut: This kind of shelter can work well for meat goats in a milder climate. It is open on both ends. Because the heavy cattle panel is strong enough to withstand snow, this shelter could work in harsher climates if you build it next to a barn as an adjunct shelter. Directions for building one are at southeastllamarescue.org.

  • Dog run: A dog run works well for a few small goats in a back yard. You can purchase a cover made with a tarp and in colder weather you can put tarps all the way or partly around it. Or you can put in a dog house for sleeping quarters. If it is covered on top, and also because of its height, it provides nighttime security after you latch the door because other animals can't get over and into it.

  • Wood frame shelter: You can make a wood frame shelter of any size and use metal or regular shingle roofing. As long as the area has proper drainage, you don't need to put a floor in the shelter. Just cover the dirt with plenty of bedding. You can make this kind of shelter with a door, partially enclosed on one side or open on one side.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Cheryl K. Smith has raised a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf and Oberian dairy goats under the herd name Mystic Acres since 1998. She is the owner of karmadillo Press and is the author of Goat Health Care, Goat Midwifery, The Best of Ruminations Goat Milk and Cheese Recipes, and Raising Goats: Some Essentials.

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