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Many people today have begun to grow their own gardens and keep livestock in order to be more self sufficient. One of the more popular animals that people choose are pygmy goats. These small animals are a great resource for milk and fertilizer. In addition, many people use them for meat and tan their hides. It is important that those who own them have a good knowledge of pygmy goat house plans so they can develop a safe and happy environment for their goats.
Pygmy goats need to have access to grasses and brush in order to be happy. Unlike cows, they tend to browse rather than graze while eating. They will tend to rougher growth such as poison ivy and fallen leaves. As agile climbers, they will also eat from neighboring foliage if not properly contained. Proper housing is necessary to ensure they have a safe environment and do not escape from their home territory. It is also wise to give them a companion or two at least.
There are several factors to consider when developing their home. Pygmy goats have hollow hair which means they can adjust their internal temperature fairly well, no matter the outdoor temperature. However, rapid changes in the thermometer and weather such as rain can distress them. This is why it is critical that their owners provide a proper shelter for them. A good shelter will keep them safe and happy when inclement weather occurs.
The shelter should have an opening that leads to an adequate supply of grazing land that is properly fenced off to keep the goats on the property of the owner. When the weather becomes extreme, they may need the opening closed more thoroughly to protect them from the elements. Stacks of hay bales are an easy way for owners to do this.
Many goat owners use buildings already on the property and simply make some adjustments to allow for the goats. This may include barns or sheds. Others construct shelters from the ground up or purchase prebuilt sheds. No matter the direction the owner chooses, good pygmy goat house plans take into consideration the needs of the animals.
Each animal will require between twelve and sixteen square feet of space within the shelter. Any less can cause overcrowding and may lead to smaller or weaker animals being forced out. Concrete can be an excellent floor because the goats will be unable to destroy it. However, it will retain moisture which can be troublesome in some regions. It can also become quite cold. Some owners have found that adding a layer of clay on top of the cement helps to protect against the cold and dampness while still remaining undesirable for the goat to chew.
It is a good idea to provide benches or other raised places within the shelter. Because the animals enjoy jumping around, this will allow them to satisfy that need even while inside. Also, younger goats may enjoy hiding and sleeping beneath them. The structure also needs a hay manager inside. This will provide a regular source of food while they are inside and reduce the amount of hay the animal wastes. A supply of fresh water within the shelter is essential. This should be easy to clean and replaced on a regular basis.
There should also be proper bedding for the animals. Loose hay is an excellent choice as are other forms of straw. Wood shavings can also be used. Preferable, if wood chips are used, owners will use them from their own shavings as those from a construction site may contain toxic materials. On a regular basis, this will need to be gently moved and any waste pellets within it removed.
No matter the materials chosen for the flooring, it is critical that it is cleaned on a regular basis. Some materials will soak up urine more readily than others. However, all of them will need cleaning to ensure the environment is safe for the goats.
If the owner plans on milking the goats, it is important that there is easy access to the milking area. This may be in the shelter or an adjacent building. Ideally, the goats are kept as comfortable as possible throughout the day.
The shelter must also have proper ventilation. Otherwise, the air may become stale and cause respiratory illnesses. Adjustable windows and opening the doors during the day can help with this.
When creating pygmy goat house plans, owners need to take all of these things into consideration. The animals need adequate room as well as raised places to fulfill their jumping needs. Fresh food, water, and air are also a must. If all of these things are taken into consideration and the shelter kept clean, it should make for a happy and safe environment for the goats.
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