How to build a Goat House?

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Goat house is the basic necessity for any goat farm. Goats are not fussy about any aesthetics of their shelter but they don’t like a wet and cold place. Moreover, wetness causes many diseases in them, so always design a shed that can keep them warm and dry. If you keep your Goats happy, they’ll never want to leave the shed which means less trouble for you.

Suitable Goat house or shed is required for a profitable Goat Farming Business. The Goat house should protect them from Cold, rain, wild animals, and also from theft.

There are a bunch of different options in choosing the design of Shed. Let us get back to basics, let’s talk about the requirement of Shed. Will the Goats stay all the time in the shed or will it stay only night times or will it stay for a few hours only.

Considering the grazing options we can design the shed accordingly. There are three types of grazing systems. The farmer allows goats depending on the number of animals, available space and labor requirements. Every Goat farmer should have practical knowledge of grazing options available on how to increase the productivity of their Goats.

1. Continuous Grazing or Open Grazing

Open Grazing or Continuous grazing is the type of grazing where the goats are allowed in the open field for a long time to graze. Open grazing is usually done in open fields, not in the cultivated fields. Goats get to eat an abundance of different plants and forage.

Advantages of Open Grazing:

  1. Low startup costs. No investment required.
  2. Most cost-effective method of grazing.
  3. It requires less management and resources.
  4. An abundance of forage and grass in the rainy season.

Disadvantages of Open Grazing:

  1. Results of Overgrazing.
  2. Encourages straying of animals, since the fields are big and fenceless
  3. Wild animal encounters may be possible.
  4. Encourages buildup of parasites in Goats. It can be affected by a lot of diseases.

2. Semi-Intensive Grazing

In Semi-Intensive grazing, practice Goats are allowed outside for grazing and exposure to the sun during the day time in a fenced field. Sometime the fenced land will have Goat shed in it. Forage is cut and fed here or Forage can be grown in the fenced land. It all depends on the available fenced area. It consists of the provision of stall feeding, shelter at night under shed and 3 to 5-hour daily grazing and browsing on pasture and range.

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Advantages of Semi-Intensive Grazing:

  1. Highly productive.
  2. It allows the monitoring and controlling of diseases.
  3. Exposure to the sun will reduce a lot of disease attacks.
  4. Reduces the missing Goats.
  5. Controlled feeding according to their diet, can be monitored.
  6. Meeting the nutrient requirement both from grazing and stall feeding.
  7. Managing medium to a large flock of 50 to 350 heads and above.

Disadvantages of Semi-Intensive Grazing:

  1. Labors are required – for cutting forage and transport.
  2. Management and knowledge of forage storage are necessary.
  3. The initial investment is high.

3. Zero Grazing

In the Zero grazing practice, the Goats are not allowed to go out in the pasture to graze. Instead, the forage is cut and brought to the shed. Knowledge of harvesting time is most important here. Forage should be cut at the right time, else it can be too young to cause diarrhea or too old for palatability. Intensive operation of a medium-sized herd of 50 to 250 heads or more oriented towards commercial milk production goes well with this system, particularly of dairy goats.

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Advantages of Zero Grazing:

  1. Reduces the theft of agriculture produce.
  2. Complete control and monitoring of diseases.
  3. No fencing is required here, Goats are never let outside of their shed.
  4. Highly productive
  5. It requires very little space.
  6. In the Zero grazing method, the dung is collected in one place and used as a good fertilizer.

Disadvantages of Zero Grazing:

  1. More Labors are required for Forage harvesting and transport.
  2. more time spent on harvesting the forage.
  3. Knowledge of the time to harvest and proper management of forage storage is required.

Essentials for Goat Housing

If you’re creating goat housing, consider where you will store feed, straw or other bedding, and other goat-related equipment.

Also leave space for feeders and water, which will keep things cleaner and prevent wasting of feed. All animals should be able to eat or drink at one time.

If your goats will have access to a lot of woods, pasture, and other range areas, you will need 10 to 15 square feet per goat indoors for sleeping space. If not, you’ll need about 20 square feet per goat for sleeping space and 30 square feet for exercise (ideally, this would be outdoors).

Each adult goat needs at least a 4-foot by 5-foot kidding pen, so consider this space in your goat shelter depending on how many does you will breed at one time. You can have different does kid at different times in the same pen if you clean and sanitize the pen between kidding.

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Recommended floor space requirements for Goat Farming

Age groupsCovered space(sq.m)Open space (sq.m)
Up to 3 months0.2-0.250.4-0.5
3 months to 6 months0.5-0.751.0-1.5
6 months to 12 months0.75-1.01.5-2.0
Adult animal1.53.0
Male, Pregnant or lactating doe1.5-2.03.0- 4.0

Goat House plans

Based on the grazing practices, we should design the Goat house.

For the Open Grazing practice, the Goat house is used only as a night shelter or during rainy days. Most of the day the Goats will be in the open field. So the Goat house plan can be kept simple and should cost you less. Some of the designs for an inexpensive simple Goat house.

  • In this method, once in a year, 1-2 inches of mud surface should be removed.
  • The application of lime powder once in a month will reduce the disease occurrence in the shed.
  • The shed should be constructed in an elevated area to prevent water stagnation.

Used pallets: Build a simple three-sided shelter made from wood pallets covered with plywood. You can get free pallets from factories, building sites, large farms, and farm stores. You need to purchase two-by-fours, plywood, and roofing materials. The shelter shown here has a wood floor and a roof made from leftover metal roofing. Two to four medium-sized goats can sleep comfortably in this shelter out of the rain or sun. This is recommended for small farmers who are going to start with five goats.

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Open_grazing_shelter – Learn Natural Farming
  • Its initial investment is high.
  • In the wooden floor sheds, at a distance of 3m from the floor, the animals are reared.
  • This requires less labor and more irrigation land for fodder production.
  • The elevated sheds will be clean and urine and dung will be collected in the floor and periodical removing is required once in six months

Concrete Room :

The room should be built based on the size of the herd. The walls can be constructed using concrete to prevent them from cold and rain.

The roof may be made gabled. The roofing material may be either plain or corrugated galvanized steel sheets or asbestos cement sheets and where the rainfall is not heavy, it may be of thatch.

Each shed may be provided with one or more gates either on the long or broadsides of the sheds depending upon the dimensions of the shed.

The dimensions of each gate may be 0.8 m broad and one meter high. The gate leaf and frame may be made of wooden battens. It shall fit the entrance closely.

Disadvantages of Non-Elevated floor housing :

The above two housing plans are not practical for Stall Feeding. They only work for the Open grazing method only. If you are planning for  Semi-intensive or Intensive farming, go for elevated floor housing. If the goats are kept on the floor in the housing, there are a lot of disadvantages. Below are few of them

  1. Needs 3 times more Labor requirement compared to elevated level methods.
  2. Goats need to stand over its dung and Urine causing Hygiene problems and may cause Disease spread if not maintained properly.
  3. Needs Daily twice cleaning of flooring.
  4. Causes Ticks, Flies and Mosquito problems if not Maintained with high care.
  5. Scientific management cannot be executed.
  6. Footrot problems and Skin problems in goats can occur.
  7. Needs High Labor dependability.

Stall-Fed Method – “Elevated floor shed”

Goats are not allowed to graze the outside. They are kept in a Shed (Ground level or Elevated Slotted level) separately depending upon the sex, Breed, Age, and Weight. For semi-intensive grazing and Zero Grazing, the best suitable design is Stall Feeding. In the Stall-fed method, the best to suit any profitable goat farming business is “Elevated floor housing”.

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  • Bucks (male goats) and Does (female goats) are kept in separate rooms and allowed to mate at the desired time with desired Bucks.
  • Quantity and Quality of Feed can be differentiated according to the Stage and Nutritional Requirement of different age groups of goats.
  • Wastage of energy during grazing is avoided.
  • Disease transmission is prevented from outside animals and outside plants.
  • Its initial investment is high.
  • In the wooden floor sheds, at a distance of 3m from the floor, the animals are reared.
  • This requires less labor and more irrigation land for fodder production.
  • The elevated sheds will be clean and urine and dung will be collected in the floor and periodical removing is required once in six months

Why Elevated floor housing is preferable for Stall feeding?

  • Low maintenance, easily washable.
  • Better hygiene, avoids fungal skin problems in Goats in Rainy season, unlike wooden floors.
  • Cleaning the Dung and waste can be done once in 3 months only and does not need Daily cleaning.
  • Disease outbreaks and parasitic infestations are very less.
  • Wastage of energy during grazing is avoided.
  • Less labor time and dependency- labor is needed only for feeding and maintaining goats. With two times feeding per day, labor on time is 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

Different sheds in a profitable Goat Farm

The sheds of the following types are required for housing the animals,

  • General flock shed (Doe shed)
  • Buck shed
  • kidding shed
  • kid shed
  • Sick animal shed
  • Storeroom
  • Attendant’s room

1. General flock shed (Doe shed)

  • The flock shed shall be used for housing does keep for breeding purposes.
  • The shed shall be 15m (l) x 4m (w) x 3 m (h) and can accommodate not more than 60 does.
  • The shed should be three meters high and should have a brick-on-edge floor.
  • In low lying and heavy rainfall areas, the floors should preferably be elevated and in temperate regions, they may be made of the strong wood.

2. Buck shed

  • Rams or bucks kept for the breeding purpose are housed individually in these sheds. Alternatively, wooden partitions can be raised in the bigger shed to partition into stalls.
  • The dimension is of 4m (l) ×2.5m (w) ×3m (h) and can accommodate about 3 bucks.
  • The shed shall be partitioned lengthwise to form three equal compartments.
  • The partition between each shed should not exceed one meter.
  • The partitions may be either of wooden planks.
  • The partition shall be not more than one meter high from the floor.

3. kidding shed

  • These sheds shall be used as maternity rooms for pregnant doe and are housed individually in these sheds.
  • The shed shall be 1.5m(l)×1.2m(w)×3.0m(h), to manage for holding feed and hay and a bucket for keeping water shall be provided in the shed.
  • These sheds shall be made drought-free.
  • In cold climates, some warming devices, like a room heater shall be fixed in maternity pens, so that the newborn is protected from cold during winter.

4. kid shed

  • Kids from weaning up to attaining maturity are housed in these sheds at the rate of about 25 animals per shed.
  • By making suitable partitions in a larger shed, not weaned, weaned but immature and nearby maturity kids can be housed separately.
  • On larger farms, however, three separate sheds may be constructed to house three categories of kids.
  • The shed shall be with a dimension of 7.5m (l) ×4m (w) ×3m (h) to accommodate not more than 75 animals.
  • The shed shall be partitioned breadth wise dividing into two compartments. The compartments having a dimension of 5m (l) ×4m (w) ×3m (h) shall be used to keep the not weaned animals and another compartment with a dimension of 2.5m(l)×4m(w) x3m(h) shall be used for keeping the weaned animals.

5. Sick animal shed

  • There shall be a sick animal shed for segregating ailing and disabled animals.
  • Away from the other sheds one or more sick animal sheds may be constructed with a dimension of 3m (l) ×2m (w) × 3 m (h).
  • The lower half of the door may be made of wooden planks and the upper half of wire-netting.
  • There may also be a window of 0.7 m broad and 1.2 m high with a wire net covering.

6. Storeroom

  • This room should have clean smooth floors and walls lined with glazed tiles up to the height of one and a half meters.
  • The room should be made damp and dustproof.
  • There shall be three windows on three sides.

7. Attendant’s room

  • The labor house meant for the caretaker shall be located at a convenient place in the yard.
  • The house may be 6m (l) X 4m (w) X 3 m (h). There shall be a door of one meter wide and two meters high on the long side of the shed facing the passage of the yard.
  • The door leaf may be of wooden planks. There may be four windows; one of these facing the passage of the yard and the other three facing outside.
  • Each window maybe 0.7 m broad and 1.2 m high and covered with wire netting.

Brief about Goat Shelter

A list of necessities that make an ideal Goat Shelter are discussed below. Let’s condense down to a few required items that build up a goat house.

  • Consider a shelter that is least a 3 sided shed. The Goats are quite hardy animals that can withstand varying temperatures but not wetness. A good roof with a 3 sided shed will be enough for most of the goats.
  • All the feed, straw, bedding, and supplements should be stored safely away from the goat shed. Only on the daily requirement basis, the goats are allowed to access.
  • Upon planning a goat house, think about the placement of feeders and water points. Freshwater should be available most of the time and also wasted feed to be prevented.
  • A minimum of 10 to 15 sq ft to be considered per goat on planning the goat shelter. When planning for fencing, the outdoors should be 30 sqft per goat.
  • Each adult doe should have a kidding pen, with 20 sqft minimum. The kidding pen should have a solid building that will not affect external temperatures and even predators.
  • Always sanitize the kidding pen.
  • When goats are left outside of Goathouse, the fencing should be available. The Permanent fencing should be constructed, considering leaving a minimum of 30 sqft per goat. The fencing should be of high tensile wire along with an electric wire to be added at the bottom of the fencing line or criss-cross along the fence.
  • The electric fence keeps out predators and secures the goats inside.
How to build a Goat House?

22 thoughts on “How to build a Goat House?”

  1. Dear Mr Siddhartha, I’m happy to read your details on how to build a goat farm profitabley IAM going to start a goat farm in a rented place of about 3acers to start with about 50 goats in outer Chennai or Bangalore I request your kind advice on the same.i also would like to know if there are any funding agency’s for goat house and goats regards.kishore.

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    Reply
  2. Dear Sid Red,
    I’m planning to start Nubian goat farming business ina 3 hectares land which my friend going lease me . Can you help me design a semi intensive grazing shed for 20 goat . I’m retiring next year and want to start planning now .
    Thank you so much .

    Danny

    Reply
    • Sure Danny, how about i write a post on this. So that it will help all the farmers who are going to start small.

      Reply
  3. your work is very amazing for new farmers like new learners…this is wonderful guidline for starting new goat farming beginers.

    Reply
  4. I would like to start up a small business on goat rearing with about 50 goats; please help me with tips and business plans to achieve this.

    Reply
  5. I read your article and learned alot. We have 35,000m2 land for raising goats to part finance a “widow support ” clinic in local south south of Akwa ibom state of Nigeria. Interested in concept design for semi intensive system/housing to carter for about 1,000 goats.
    My email is [email protected] with telephone (+234 805 550 5111)

    Reply

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