sketch by Joshua McNichols. It is included in my book, City Goats.
Goats can take extreme cold, but if they get wet, they can easily catch pneumonia and this is quite serious in goats.
In building your goat shed, make sure it is tall enough to stand up in. Otherwise, when it’s time to muck it out or when you go in to sweet or check on goats, you will bump your head and be curse the day goats entered your life.
Above is the goat shed that my husband, Don Kneass, built for me this summer. It’s super cool in that it has a roof top deck made accessible by stairs made up of a chicken coop, grain storage cupboard, and hay storage box. They LOVE being up on the roof. I’m just installing one more window and I have to paint the window trim. Then, this will be fini!
This new goat shed just has plywood floors that I sweep in the morning and evening. Inside, their are sleeping platforms that also serve as hay boxes so I can store an additional two bales of hay. With my old goat shed, I relied on a double bedding system (described below). I like my new system better in that it seems cleaner and I get compost that is PURE goat poop, without any wood shavings to dampen it’s strength.
This is my old goat shed. It was a VERY simple structure. Just a box with a small opening (not visible in this photo). I used to line the goat shed with white shavings. This absorbed the urine and when things got smelly after a few weeks, I’d just add more shavings, and more shavings and more…. Finally, after half a year or so, the pile would get so high that I’d muck it into a compost bin, add water, and several months later I have compost gold. This system is called deep bedding.
Before my goats kidded, I’d have to make sure to muck out the shed VERY thoroughly so there is not one single goat poop pellet left. Goats will do a lot of pawing before they kid, and you don’t want them pawing up a lot of poop dust.