Good Goat Shed Plans
As people are seeking ways to become more self-sufficient and reduce their dependency upon the local grocery store, many have turned to owning goats. These animals can provide a great source of milk. Many who own goats also have a garden and use the goat pellets as a source of fertilizer. Some families also utilize the meat from their goats.
Owning goats is not something that should be undertaken lightly. Prospective owners need to ensure they are properly prepared for the animals prior to purchasing them. There are several things that need to be taken into consideration, including goat shed plans so the animals have a suitable shelter. In order to protect the health and happiness of the animals, their home must provide several different things:
Land to Roam
The goat shelter needs to open toward a yard for them to walk and jump around. An area with hills or cliff-like features will help them fulfill their desire to jump. It is critical that this area has proper fencing. How high this needs to be will depend upon the breed of goat. At least a couple of feet higher than the animal can jump is a good rule of thumb.
Goats do not graze in the same way cows do. Rather, they browse the land. They will also eat a variety of foliage that cows don’t. Fallen leaves and rough brush are part of their diet. Owners should inspect the yard carefully for any plants which may be poisonous to the goats, including walnut, tulips, and yew.
There are a variety of goat shed plans that have worked well for people. Some have found that modifying pre-existing structures is well suited to their needs. Others have built new ones from the ground up. The buildings on the property as well as the size and quantity of goats all determine which option is most appropriate.
The flooring is an important element of the structure. Wood is subject to rot and being chewed by the animals. Concrete is not at risk in either situation but, retains cold and water. To combat this, a layer of clay two or three inches deep can be compacted on top of it. No matter the material, it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to get rid of urine and to recycle the pellets into fertilizer.
There should be some shelving attached to the shelter capable of holding the animals. This will satisfy their need to jump while within the shelter. Younger animals or those trying to rest may seek refuge beneath them. If the shelving is at various heights, it provides even greater pleasure for the goats.
A fresh supply of hay should be placed into a specially designed feeder. Also, a fresh water container needs to be accessible at all times. In areas prone to freezing, there are heaters available to keep the water drinkable for the goats.
There should be adequate bedding in the shelter. Loose hay or other grain is very comfortable for the animals. Though some recommend using wood shavings, this can be dangerous from commercial sources which may have exposed them to dangerous contaminants. Those from a wood shop on the property are ideal. The bedding needs to be turned and cleaned on a regular basis.
At least one mineral lick should be in the shelter. If there are multiple goats, two licks on opposite ends of the shelter may be necessary.
The shelter needs to have fresh air circulating through it. Many barns have high windows but, other structures may need to have some type of circulation incorporated into it. Stale air can lead to a variety of respiratory illnesses.
There are a large variety of goat breeds that are popular today. Depending on the breed, there may be other considerations. It is always wise for those considering a new animal to thoroughly investigate all of the care concerns prior to making a commitment. Goats can make a wonderful addition to a small or large farm. Whether as pets or livestock, it is important to have goat shed plans that are suited to the breed chosen. The intended size of the herd is also critical when calculating the appropriate space and shelter dedicated for the goats.
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