Raising goats is a no-frills proposition. It can also be a lot of fun, and it is absolutely a lot of work. You must worry about clean water, feed, a pen, and last but not least, shelter – especially for winter. Luckily, building your own DIY goat shelter from a plan is pretty simple, and it doesn’t require too much of an investment.
Goats don’t care what their barns and hutches look like as long as they can stay dry, comfy, and warm. So, this is a great time to experiment with your building skills and use up some scrap materials!
Follow me down the goat shelter path and see some easy ideas to keep your herd safe.
I’ll share some of my favorite DIY goat shelter designs and plans and teach you what goats need from their shelter, discussing how much space they need, the materials necessary, and how to keep your goats warm in the winter.
Let’s get into it!
- 10+ DIY Goat Shelter Plans and Design Ideas
- 1. Simple Pallet Board Goat Shelter
- 2. Wood Goat Hutch With Metal Siding
- 3. Enclosed Pallet Board Goat Hutch
- 4. Slanted Roof Goat Shed
- 5. DIY Goat Barn With Sliding Doors and Windows
- 6. Pre-Packaged Kits
- 7. Slanted Roof Barn With a Built-In Shed
- 9. Basic Wire And Tarp Goat Shelter
- 10. Multi-Level Goat Playhouse and Shelter
- Tips For Building a DIY Goat Shelter
10+ DIY Goat Shelter Plans and Design Ideas
There is really no bad idea when it comes to building a simple goat shelter. As long as your goats’ house has a roof and maybe one wall, they love it.
From personal experience, goats will use anything to get under cover in their pens.
I have a couple of goat shelters built of wood pallets, leftover building materials, t-posts, and corrugated roofing panels that someone was going to toss, and they’ve been a massive hit with the herd.
However, they like dog houses, dog igloos, pole barns, traditional barns, shelters built with pallet boards and cattle panels, and just about anything they can fit inside. You do not need to think about aesthetics.
Anything with a roof and a bit of room can be a perfect home for your herd.
1. Simple Pallet Board Goat Shelter
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Materials: Seven pallets, 1 to 2-inch screws
- Tools: Drill
Boots and Hooves Homestead brings us this great, frugal goat house built out of wood pallets. It consists of seven pallets, wood screws, and a silage cover. However, you can use any cover – including tarps – to block the wind and rain.
This project is simple and should only take a few hours to complete. Plus, you won’t even need any saws! So, if you want a quick, simple plan, this one’s for you.
2. Wood Goat Hutch With Metal Siding
Skill Level: Intermediate
Materials: Several 2×6 boards, metal siding, roofing screws
Tools: Drill, saw
Our second goat shelter plan is a video with detailed steps to build your own simple barn. It’s a must-watch if you want to keep goats!
This project is a bit more complicated than the pallet-board goat pen, but it is much larger and sturdier. It’s the perfect mini-barn for larger goats!
To execute this plan, you’ll need 2×6 pieces of wood, roofing screws, and sheet metal, like aluminum or tin siding. It’s super easy to customize, so you can always make it smaller or larger and incorporate other features like the feeding trough and hay feeder.
Plus, as mentioned in the video, it would be very easy to insulate this hutch to make it the perfect goat shelter for winter.
3. Enclosed Pallet Board Goat Hutch
Skill Level: Beginner
Materials: Three pallets, three 2×4 boards from another pallet, 1 to 2-inch screws, roofing material like a silage cover or metal roofing
This quick and easy goat hutch is large enough for 3-6 goats. It uses pallet boards, like the first plan, but it offers a more enclosed space, ideal for winter.
It doesn’t have too much vertical clearance, so it’s best for little goats like Nigerian Dwarfs and Pygmies. However, it’s a nice, enclosed space that will give your goats the perfect place to cuddle up when it’s cold outside.
4. Slanted Roof Goat Shed
Skill Level: Advanced
Materials: (10) 2x4x8 boards, (4) 2x4x6.5 boards, (4) 2x4x5.5 boards, 8×6 of any roofing material, and (optional) wood, hinges, and a lock for a door.
Tools: Drill, saw
In this guide, DIY Danielle shows us how to build a simple structure for a tall goat shelter that won’t cost a fortune.
Most of this tutorial gives you instructions on how to build the frame, which offers plenty of room for you to hop into the shelter with your goats. However, Danielle coats her shelter in roofing, like this Suntuf Red Roofing material.
Still, if you don’t want to invest in metal roofing for your goat shelter, you can always slide a tarp or silage cover over the frame.
5. DIY Goat Barn With Sliding Doors and Windows
Skill Level: Advanced
Materials: 4×4 posts, 2×4 boards, 2×6 boards, roof plywood, siding, 3ft pool fencing, hinges, c-channels, metal roofing, door locks, and handles
Tools: Drill, miter saw, jig saw or router, band saw
Weed ’em and Reap built a custom goat barn for their goats. Just look at this beauty!
If you are looking for a plan that offers a permanent, gorgeous, and warm enclosure for your goats – or other livestock – this is the shelter for you!
The materials for this goat barn may cost a bit more than the other DIY plans on this list, but it’s still much cheaper to make this one yourself than to purchase a pre-fabricated barn with similar features.
So, if you’re feeling crafty and want your goats’ home to be as beautiful as it is practical, give it a shot!
You can find the plan for this DIY goat shelter here:
6. Pre-Packaged Kits
Skill Level: Absolute Beginner
One of the most straightforward ways to build a great goat shelter is to buy a pre-packaged kit, like this corral-style shelter from ShelterLogic. Instead of following a goat shelter plan, you can use these kits to turn a weeklong project into just a few minutes of assembly.
Plus, you can’t go wrong on the design since it’s ready to go as soon as you bring it home.
I like this hutch since it offers tons of clearance and space for milking and hanging out with the goats. It also has plenty of add-ons that fit the structure out of the box, making repairs, replacements, and improvements a piece of cake.
For example, you can also get the enclosure kit for it for more protection from the elements:
7. Slanted Roof Barn With a Built-In Shed
Skill Level: Advanced
Materials: Lots of 2×4 boards, 3/4 plywood, wood for the door, hinges, and lock, roofing material
Tools: Drill, miter saw, jig saw
I love this plan from HowToSpecialist because it has a small, convenient shed for feed and tool storage beside the goat shelter. Plus, these plans are incredibly easy to follow.
This design takes a bit more wood than the other shelters I’ve recommended, but the result is incredible! It looks like an expensive pre-fabricated barn by the time you’re done, but it’s cheaper than buying a similar shelter.
I recommend this plan for anyone who needs a permanent, sturdy goat home to use year-round.
This goat shelter is solid and insulative enough for winter, has a slanted roof to keep out rain, and has enough vertical clearance for you to fit inside with your herd. Plus, with the storage, what more could you want?
8. Upcycled Playhouse
Skill Level: Absolute beginner
Materials: A play shed
Do you or your neighbor have one of these plastic kids’ playhouses lying around? They make fantastic, adorable, sturdy goat shelters for smaller herds.
The best thing about this DIY project from The Keeper of the Cheerios is that you don’t need to do anything for it to become a goat shelter – just stick it in your pen, toss in some bedding, and let the goats have at it! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cuter goat house!
If you don’t know anyone with one of these but still want to try it, check your local online marketplaces. Plenty of people throw these out every year as their kids grow up, so you can get one for quite a bargain while keeping that plastic out of the landfill.
9. Basic Wire And Tarp Goat Shelter
Skill Level: Beginner
Materials: 2x4s, chicken wire or fencing wire, screws, a silage cover or tarp, and either staples, nails, or zip ties
Tools: Drill, saw
This DIY goat shelter from Countryside is as simple as they come. It’s the perfect hutch to keep in your goat pen during warm and rainy weather, as it won’t provide too much insulation, but it is entirely waterproof.
To make it, all you need is some wire mesh like this inexpensive chicken wire, a few pieces of scrap wood, a tarp, and staples or zip ties to secure it.
Another great feature of this plan is that it is super customizable. You can make it as large or small as you want by doubling or tripling the materials, giving you the chance to provide the perfect amount of space for your herd.
10. Multi-Level Goat Playhouse and Shelter
Skill Level: Beginner
Materials: Three Pallets, 2x4s, 2x8s, screws
Tools: Drill and maybe a saw (if your wood is not pallet-size)
The Little Frugal Houses’ idea to add multiple levels to their goat shelter is something I’ll be trying out shortly.
This cozy little home makes the perfect place for your goats to get out of the rain in the summer, but the most enticing part about it, in my opinion, is how modular it is. You can add a bunch of these little hutches, stacking them to make a goat fortress.
So, if you’re looking for a simple DIY with great potential for upgrades and improvements to add some entertainment to your goat pen, this is a fantastic choice.
More Goat Shelter Plans For Your Homestead
If you want to browse more ideas, GoatFarmers.com has collected these 25 cheap plans you can build yourself from leftover building materials, such as old posts, cattle panels, or whatever materials you have lying around.
So, if you still haven’t settled on a design, check out this huge list!
Tips For Building a DIY Goat Shelter
Whether you’re getting your first herd of goats or brainstorming ideas for a new goat pen design, there are some considerations you should take into account before pulling out your drill and hammer.
So, let’s go through some of the things you’ll need to consider to build the best goat shelter possible:
What Does a Goat Need for Shelter?
Goats need plenty of space per goat, room for the entire herd, and protection from the elements in their shelter. Your herd will usually only enter the structure when it’s cold or rainy, so it must be dry and warm with plenty of space for everyone.
Before you plan your construction project, consider that goats tend to stay outside in their pens as much as possible. They love the sun on their faces and the breeze in their beards. They only use their goat shelter to escape the rain, snow, or wind. So, your goat shelter should be, above all, weatherproof.
Goats are herd animals and don’t do well as loners. I like to say they’re like Lays potato chips; you can’t have just one. So, when constructing a shelter in your pen, you must ensure that all your goats can comfortably fit inside.
Goat shelters should also keep your goats warm in the winter and protect them from the wind and rain. So, you must have enough space for them to huddle up and keep each other warm. If you live in an icy climate, insulation can also ensure that your goats stay comfortable all year.
How Much Space Does a Goat Need In a Shelter?
Goats need around 15 feet of indoor space per goat in their shelters. Still, goat shelter sizes depend on the herd’s size or the animals themselves. If you have a small herd of a couple of Nigerian Dwarfs, you won’t need a full-size barn. If you have 20 Nubians, you might need a more extensive area.
I have a 5×5 pallet shelter all eleven of my boys cram into to get out of the weather. That’s not their only shelter, though. That’s just the one they like to squeeze into.
So, even if you have larger shelters, your goats might find that they prefer a smaller one. Therefore, adding variety and plenty of places to stay warm and dry can ensure they’re always comfy.
What Materials Do You Need To Build a Goat Shelter?
Along with the ideas above, goat shelter materials can range from wood pallet boards to cattle panel structures and leftover building materials to metal sheeting.
The materials you need to build a goat shelter include structural ones, such as wood or PVC, and a cover made from roofing, siding, tarps, wood, or anything that can block out rain and wind. Insulation is an optional component, but you should consider using it if you live somewhere where it gets below freezing during the winter.
Pole barns and sheds are perfect for goat pens because they’re usually pre-built with lumber and screws. Sometimes, they even have floors, which can come in handy if you live somewhere that often gets cold or rainy.
However, I encourage you to use any old scraps you have lying around. If you have wood, that’s great! Have some PVC pipes? Zip-tie some tarps to them to make a little rain shelter.
If you have plastic, old dog crates or igloos, old furniture, scrap metal, etc. – use it! It’s easy to make a one-of-a-kind custom goat shelter when you’re upcycling and reusing old materials.
Also, if you’re interested in making your goat shelter look pleasant, never underestimate the power of a coat of paint.
Permanent vs. Temporary Goat Shelters
Building a large goat housing that will last for many years would be wise if you need space to milk and care for baby goats all year round. That way, you won’t need to worry about the structure blowing away in a storm, potentially harming or stressing your young kids.
However, if you frequently move your herd for grazing or want a lightweight design for the warmer weather, you might want a portable goat shelter. If you want some ideas for making these, check out our other article, 19 Portable Goat Shelter Ideas to DIY or Buy [for Small Farms With Big Ideas!
Just remember that goats are like three-year-old children; they can be pretty destructive. Make sure your goat house can stand up to butting male goats and wethers at play.
Still, wood is usually best, but there is no wrong way to do this project. I’ve seen goat shelters made from field fencing and garbage bag siding.
Building a DIY Goat Shelter for Winter
One of the primary purposes of your goat shelter is to keep your goats warm in the winter.
When building a DIY goat shelter for winter, you may need to elevate and cover the floor, add insulation to the walls or roof, and close any gaps in the sides of the structure. The frame should be sturdy enough to hold ice and powder if you live somewhere with heavy snow.
Your plans should differ depending on where you live. If you live at an altitude as I do (6,000+ ft.), you need a sturdy goat shelter that can withstand a snow load.
If you live in wet areas, your goat shelter should keep the floor dry and warm, protecting your goats’ hooves and helping them stay cozy.
Depending on the plans you decide to use, you can screw plywood boards to wood pallets to keep your herd off the ground in your goat pen.
Also, you should consider adding insulation to your goat shelter if your winters are particularly cold and snowy. However, you don’t need too much of it.
I recommend using a thinner reflective layer like this foam Insulation around the walls of your shelter to block out wind and offer a bit more warmth to your goats.
Final Thoughts: What Type of Goat Shelter Will You Build?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you use for materials for your goat shelter. It also doesn’t matter what the plans are or if the shelter is pretty.
As long as it does the job, you are doing yours. And that makes your happy goat herd, well – happy.
So, don’t be afraid to get creative with the materials you already have and use these plans to make a custom DIY goat shelter that fits your fancy!
And let us know if you have any ideas or tips to share with us in the comments! We’re always looking for new ways to make our goats happy.
‘Til next time!