Raising goats is a no-frills proposition. It can also be a lot of fun and it is absolutely a lot of work. You need to worry about clean water, feed, fencing, and shelter. Follow me down the goat shelter path and see some easy ideas to keep your quadrupeds safe.
Tips for Building the Best Goat Shelter
How Big Should a Goat Shelter Be?
Goat shelter sizes depend on the size of the herd or of 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 bigger area.
Figure that goats need about 20 feet or so of indoor space. I have a 5×5 pallet shelter that all my boys cram into it to get out of the weather, I have 11 of them. That’s not their only shelter, that’s just the one they like to squeeze into. I move them to a different pen in the winter.
Consider that goats tend to stay outside as much as they can. They love the sun on their faces and the breeze in their beards. They only use their goat shelter to get out of the rain, snow, or wind.
Goat Shelter Plans
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 undercover. 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. They like a dog house, dog igloos, pole barns, regular barns, shelters built with cattle panels, and just about anything goats can get into.
Pole barns and sheds are especially good for as goat shelter because they’re usually pre-built with lumber and screws, and sometimes floors. If you need space to milk and take care of baby goats all year round, then it would probably be wise to build goat housing that will last years.
Goat Shelter Plan 1
Boots and Hooves Homestead brings us this great, frugal goat shelter built out of wood pallets.
Goat Shelter Plan 2
Our second goat shelter is a video with detailed steps of how to build your own simple goat shelter. A must-watch if you want to keep goats!
Goat Shelter Plan 3
GoatFarmers.com has collected these 25 cheap shelters for goats you can build yourself from leftover building materials, t posts, cattle panels, or whatever materials you have lying around.
Goat Shelter Plan 4
A quick and easy goat shelter you can build yourself for 3-6 goats.
Goat Shelter Plan 5
DIYDanielle shows us how to build a simple house for goat shelter that won’t cost a fortune. Raising goats just became a teeny bit easier!
Goat Shelter Plan 6
Weed ’em and Reap build a custom goat barn for their goats. They should us how to build this goat house here:
Goat Shelter Plan 7
One of the easiest ways to build a great goat shelter is to buy a pre-packaged kit, like this corral-style shelter form ShelterLogic.
You can also get the enclosure kit for it for more protection from the elements:
ShelterLogic also has run-in shelters:
Goat Shelter Materials
Along with the ideas above, goat shelter materials can range from wood pallets, cattle panel structures, leftover building materials, to metal sheeting. Just keep in mind that goats are like three-year-old kids, they can be quite destructive. Make sure your goat house can stand up to butting male goats and wethers at play.
Wood is usually best, but then again, there is no wrong idea. I’ve seen goat shelters made out of field fencing and plywood.
What Does a Goat Need for Shelter?
Goats need to chew on everything. That’s what they need.
Kidding aside, goats need access to fresh water daily, good grass hay or alfalfa, tree bark or forage for fiber, and a mineral block. You can free-feed minerals or you can use the solid blocks and attach it to a shelter or barn wall in a wire holder.
Goats need shelter and each other. 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.
They do fine without human contact but people like to hand-raise them, as they are friendly, loving, and entertaining. Some goats love their humans to excess, especially when the kids are hand-raised.
Winter Goat Shelter
Winter is not like other seasons, obviously. It’s cold and wet and either rainy or snowy. The type of winter goat shelter your goats need depends on where you live. If you live at altitude as I do (6,000+ ft.) then you need a sturdy goat shelter that can withstand snow load.
If you live in wet areas, then you need goat shelters that will keep the ground dry and warm. Depending on the type of goat shelter you decide to use, you can screw plywood boards to wood pallets to keep the fuzzies off the ground.
Just think about anything that will offer wind protection and block the weather.
What Type of Goat Shelter Will You Build?
In the end, it doesn’t really 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!
‘Til next time!