Designing and Building Goat Shelters, Barns and Milking Rooms
Basic Housing: Barns and Run-in Sheds
1. Make sure you have your housing figured out before bringing goats to your site. Goats aren't particularly fussy about housing, but they will want some place to get out of the wind and rain and need a place for shade during the heat of the day.
2. Goats prefer to be kept in groups. They do not need individual pens. This is easier and less expensive for you as well. Plan for approximately 10 square feet of indoor housing space for each goat.
3. Goats prefer shelters where they can come and go at their own free will and that is well ventilated with a southern exposure. You don't want drafts or leaks, but be sure there is ventilation. As long as the goats are well protected from predators, it is not necessary to secure adult goats inside at night. If you have a predator problem, always lock them up at night. Youngsters should always be kept inside from dusk to dawn.
4. You can get as fancy as you like, but goats are very happy in a simple shed such as the one pictured in Figure 1. The beauty of this shed is:
5. Put a hay rack in the shed for feeding in wet weather so as to minimize the feed being rejected.
6. A waterer can be located nearby, it is not necessary - and less preferable - to keep the water inside the shed if the goats are free to come and go as they wish.
7. You can store your hay on pallets outdoors under tarps and feed in container that can be tightly closed. Milking can be done outside in good weather, but in poor weather your options aren't as attractive. Therefore . . .
Other helpful structures
1. A two building set-up may prove more practical than an all-inclusive barn for many reasons: budget, space, neighborhood association laws regarding building sizes, etc.
2. The main barn (Figure 2) is a compact 8'x8' footprint. More information on the milking room can be found here. This multi-purpose structure and serves as:
3. Structure key points: