When you are thinking about starting a goat farm, building a suitable goat house is one of the first steps to take. I have been into goat farming for a decade, and this is the most common puzzle where beginners seek advice.
A goat house is a shelter built to keep them at night, provide security, save them from unfavorable weather, hot sunlight, etc. However, the modern-day residence includes some facilities to ease care and farm management by adding separate rooms, feeders, water, and sometimes acting as feed storage.
Choosing the right kind of shelter is crucial. Also, it may directly influence production. However, when you are choosing one for your goats, there are primarily four points to consider. However, there is more read here. Those are —
- Location of your farm,
- Number of animals,
- Your motive to raise them (meat, milk, both),
- Associate cost to build.
In this article, I will explain the different types of goat houses and which one is best for what farming types and number, GEO location, and your motive.
So, let’s begin.
Why Choose the Right Goat House Structure and Design?
Once you buy a few goats to pet, the first thing that comes to mind is where to keep them. A few people keep them in their backyard beside trees under the open sky.
Though it’s not the best option for many reasons. Yet, the accommodation has to be perfect.
To make an ideal house, here are some regions that are worth your consideration.
- Adverse environments, other animals, or thieves can sometimes cause unexpected hazards. So, for security purposes, you should make a shelter for goats.
- It will aid in fluent farm management.
- Also increases the profit of goat farms by reducing the cost and keeping them healthy.
- And a shelter will play a massive role in the winter and rainy seasons when they cannot be roaming around.
Once you agree to build a house for goats, several ideas will come.
You can make it on or off the ground, or you may think of making it distinctive for the winter. What kind of house is appropriate will depend on your climate, purposes, and needs.
In-Depth Goat Houses Guide For Beginners
It can be a daunting task to tackle if you’ve never handled goats before. But if you use the information in this article, you’ll be able to build goat houses that your goats will love and that meet all their needs.
You’ll also want to make sure the shade has an open design so air circulates freely, which can prevent respiratory infections and other health problems from developing in your herd.
Here is a table consists the most popular goat houses and some relevant information to assist your selection process.
|No||Goat House||What is Best for||Estimated Cost (per sqft)|
|1||Burn||The most popular goat house in USA, UK, and Canada. This is most suitable if you have lots of areas for gazing. They are also relatable in cold weather.||$20-$55|
|2||Over the ground||It is normally used in commercial farms, It saves space and provides a resting place beneath the house. As it is construed on a pole, 4 to 5 feet above the ground, so it will benefit on rainy days. However, on winter days, it needs extra care.||$30-$65|
|3||Concrete Shelter||A permanent house made with brick. This is a long time investment, but, it is expensive. And, this type of house provides better safety.||$100-$200|
|4||Confinement Housing||An expensive but well-thought housing structure. It is commonly used in indoor livestock farms.||$100 – $155|
|5||Winter Housing||Winter shelter for free-range livestock. Most commonly a barn ensures feeding and care in winter.||$20-$65|
|6||Pet Goat House||It is a small house, similar to outdoor dog’s houses, but 12-15 inches taller and 30-40 feet wider.||$20-$35|
Now let’s learn more about the housing structure and get design ideas. Here are the most famous goat shade types you can consider.
*The cost is calculated based on different parts of the USA. So, if you are outside of the USA, make sure to adjust it.
*Also, costs depend on the materials you use, how big the project is, and several other factors.
1. Goat Shelter On The Ground
It is the most common and popular housing for goats. Sometimes time is called a barn. Anywhere in your backyard, you can easily make it. But, confusion arises with the floor. Which type of floor is perfect for on-the-ground houses?
A few people choose concrete when others prefer the soil. To decide which one to make, you must have some idea about both of them.
Most people prefer it the best as I do. It is quite inexpensive and a solid option.
With concrete flooring, the surface won’t be messy like other floors. You have to use a rubber mat on a concrete surface and can clean it regularly. And the cleaning will be hassle-free as you only have to wash the carpet.
Yet the downside is, it won’t provide much warmth. So, you must keep that in mind before going for it.
- Easy to clean.
- Secured from bacteria.
- Take no effort to operate.
- Not suitable for stubborn goats, its can be slippery.
It is also called deep litter. You can make it with dirt and straws. It is perfect for kid goats and the winter season.
Yet there’s a barrier with the cleaning. You can only clean it in spring and early fall.
With this flooring, you have to mix the bedding and add fresh straws once a week. New straws will prevent wetness and bacteria and provide warmth as the goats need. Everything will mix up underneath and increase the warmness in winter.
- Popular as it made extra compost.
- Provide enough heat.
- Safe for kids and winter.
- Easy to process.
2. Goat House Over The Ground
It is one of the fascinating ways to make a shelter for goats. If your living region is flood-affected, this type of house is a real need.
It also prevents bacteria and cold diseases better than other housing.
To build this sort of house, follow a few guidance below:
- You have to choose a higher place. High enough to keep the goats safe from the flood.
- Need to set up a few columns of wood or bamboo to construct the structure.
- The pillars should be 4 to 5 ft tall to keep the house way above the ground.
- This type of house also requires a sound drainage system.
- Make sure the house stays clean and safe.
- Need a proper ventilation system. Remember, the sunlight should flow through the house.
- You can make the wall with concrete or bamboo to withstand the rain.
- You can make its floor with cement or brick or simply with the soil.
- To keep the floor soft and warm, you have to spread straws throughout the surface.
- And keep the floor dry always.
- Ensures proper safety of goats.
- Reduce tension on a rainy day.
- Keep the goats safe from floods.
- Secure the goats from other animals.
- A bit troublesome for the drainage system.
3. Concrete Goat Sheds
It is appropriate for those who are thinking about the long term. Keep in mind that the concrete shelter is expensive. Yet, it provides better safety than any other housing.
You can make a concrete house both on the ground and off. It requires concrete with iron rod reinforcement to achieve stiffness.
This type of shed provides better protection from predators and is also easy to clean. Also, the goats have minimal diseases with this kind of housing.
- Permanent shed.
- Solid protection from weather or harpies, or other animals.
- Easy to clean.
- Prevent illnesses of goats.
4. Confinement Housing
Old houses are the primary source of confinement housing. It’s not like an open house, but it’s appropriate for winter.
The maintenance of these houses is a bit complex. But the good thing is, it’s more secure than open housing systems.
The windows should be south facing to accept the sunlight. And the walls should be free of condensation.
In the summer, you can remove the window for air exchange. Rooms in confinement houses should be six square feet wide with feeders and water.
- Improved condition.
- Requires less bedding.
- Easier access for handling goats separately.
- Secure from both weather and predators.
- Sometimes ventilation problems occur.
5. Winter Housing
Goat housing needs more focus in the winter season. It can be a stressful time for both owners and goats. But, you can reduce the tension with proper housing and care.
Winter housing is a bit more distinctive than other shelters. The house needs to be built as if it can prevent the north wind. A winter goat shelter usually features a three-sided structure with a southbound door.
Then, you have to make sure of the excellent warmth bedding of straws. You may need more straws in winter than in other seasons.
Another essential thing is ventilation. There always should be a way for the sunlight. You can’t keep goats in the dark.
- Prevent north wind.
- Provide extra warmth.
- You can make it on the ground and off.
- Appropriate for kid goats.
Things To Consider While Building A Goat House
Many things need to be looked at while building a residence or goats. Not only the object you will make with, but you also have to review stuff from the goat’s perspective. A few goats love dirt bedding, while others adapt to concrete. So, you must keep everything in mind.
Here, I will discuss a few things that should be considered before making a house for them.
The first thing that needs to be under consideration is space. Every goat has a flight zone. It’s their personal space. They feel insecure if someone or something comes into that zone. So, while building a goat house, you must keep it in mind.
A goat usually needs very few spaces to roam. They need a good shelter for rain, sunlight, or another riotous climate. And a good supply of fresh forage and water.
While making a house, make sure you’re giving 15 Square ft for each goat as their flight zone.
An ideal goat shelter will have a fair ventilation system. You can make a vast open space in front of your barn opening. And obviously, the windows and the ventilating fans are obligatory.
The ventilation system differs according to seasons. In summer you need better ventilation than in winter. Goats usually feel the heat under 23° C. The ventilation must keep the air under temperature.
Pet goats need less ventilation than herd goats. Especially those who provide milk must need better ventilation than others.
A goat shelter has to be weather resistant. As we know, winter is not like other seasons; a secure house should be made keeping winter in mind.
Winter, as expected, is either cold or wet. Types of goat shelters you need will depend on the region you live in. If you live at an altitude, it must be sturdy to withstand the hilly wind.
Or, if your area is wet, you should have a house for goats that can keep the floor dry. You can also lay a few wood boards or wood pellets to keep the fuzzies underneath.
And a weather-resistant house always has some blockage to prevent the winds of winter.
The Walls Materials
A goat house is meant to protect the goats. So, the materials of the wall of the goat shelter have to be rigid. Bamboo or the woods are the primary choices you can make. Or, if you want, you can use cement and bricks according to your preference.
The shed of a goat shelter can be open or enclosed. Most people add windows at the top. An open shed is not very suitable, like fragile walls. Walls are the crucial things you should focus on.
The Roof Materials
Metal or shingles is appropriate for the roof. As the roof is an integral part of a goat shelter, most people choose metal. If you use it, you don’t have to replace it often as you’ll get it for a lifetime. Metal will prevent rain, snow, or hail, and you can clean it easily if it gets dirty, even though it has ridges.
Shingles are also sturdy and cleanable. It is easy to install and is aesthetic for the shelter. If it is installed correctly, it will give the exact look you have in your house. Shingles are durable also. And it is relatively inexpensive.
You can consider putting fences if you want around the roof. As the goats are known for jumping, it will add extra safety to the goat house.
The Floor Materials
After making the wall, the next step is the floor. There are several options you can choose from. But before you make a choice, carefully pay attention to each of the options.
The choices you get is:
- Dirt flooring.
- Straw flooring.
- Concrete flooring.
- Rubber flooring.
As we’ve discussed these things above, you can choose any of this according to your benefits.
Most people use wood flooring, but it’s not the best option for the goat house.
Feed storage has to be wide enough unless it’ll cause the goats into a brawl. It must be clean and dry to prevent spoilage.
Otherwise, it can make them sick or even cause them death. Most people use a trough instead of a single round pan. And it is a better option you should consider.
While building a goat house, you have to leave space for the feed store. Make sure the bedding and toilet and feeding don’t get mixed up in a place.
What is the best housing for goats?
Goats need shelter for protection from the weather or potential threats.
Calf cabinets, greenhouse barns, or even large dog boxes can be perfect as a goat shelter. Or you can manually design a structure for your goat residence. For bedding, you can use Straws, forages, shredded paper, corn cobs, or shavings.
An ideal goat residence should have a sound ventilation system. It is excellent weather protection and made with endurance material.
How big should a goat shelter be?
In a goat house, you must avoid overcrowding. As a goat needs 12 to 15 Square ft personal space, the house size should be according to the number of goats.
For ten grownup goats, a herd must be 120 to 250 feet wide. Yet, the size of a goat residence also depends on the weather. In summer, the goats won’t stay long inside the herd. So, maybe in summer, the space will need less inside the room.
Do goats need an insulated shelter?
Goats don’t require insulated shelter. Even if you’re in a snowy environment, an insulated shelter isn’t needed.
A winter goat house meant to prevent cold wind. And the goats should have thick coats for warmth. Hence, there’s no need for insulation. In fact, it may cause some electrical hazards at any time.
Should goats be locked up at night?
Yes, this is what a shelter is for. You can keep them under shelter at night. It will keep them safe from inclement weather. Also, it will protect them from predators, thieves, or other dangerous aspects.
Yet, if there are proper precautions to keep them safe and happy outside at night, there’s no need to lock them up.
What do I need to get started with goats?
You can start a goat business with proper housing. It is essential for both pet and herd goats. So, you surely start with goat house without hesitation.
Proper housing is a must need to raise your goat full grown. It helps to run a herd efficiently and make profits every year. If you have a farm, you can take housing as a profitable investment. And for the pet goats, you can assume it is a gift.
As I’ve at the end of the best housing guide for beginners, I expect you’ve gathered some ideas about shelter.
Have any questions? Please ask below.