Need to sew a goat diaper for your house goat? Here’s some information and a free belly band pattern!
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We have three Nigerian Dwarf goats and a Nubian that someone gave to us. I LOVE goats. They’re like outdoor puppies and they really don’t grow up.
My friend Scottie over at Saved By Scottie has a HUGE herd of small breed goats and ended up with two house goats this year after their mamas couldn’t take care of them. She’s been using diapers to keep their mess off her floor. Let’s talk a little bit about diapering a goat.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
First, you need to remember that boys and girls pee differently. Boys pee forward, girls pee backwards.
For does, you can use a regular disposable or cloth diaper, particularly when they’re babies and fit into baby human sizes.
For bucks and wethers, you need a diaper for the poop and a belly band for the pee. I’m working to design a diaper that will do both, but we’ll see if I get anywhere on it. The baby outgrew the first prototype before I finished.
Disposables fit on the baby goat like a baby, except you turn them backwards. The front goes on the goat’s back, the back of the diaper is under the goat. This allows you to hook the tabs up on the back of the goat (vs. on the stomach where they might accidentally remove the diaper during their normal activities).
My friend Scottie uses a dog sweater over the diaper to keep the diaper from coming off. She uses a binder clip or tape to hold the diaper to the sweater.
She has found that the diaper slides off because they don’t have hips to hold the diaper on, particularly once they start bouncing and jumping around (a very sick baby isn’t going to be moving like that). The tape helps prevent that.
Cloth is a better option for diapering goats if you want to save money, but you need to understand how cloth diapers work.
There are several types of cloth diapers that you can buy- there’s prefolds or flats, diaper covers, AIO diapers, AI2 diapers, and pocket diapers.
AIO diapers have the absorbency built into them- I don’t recommend this for goats.
Prefolds and flats work great for absorbing pee but won’t keep the wet from getting on your couch if they lay on it wet. You need a cover over them.
The cover is simply a waterproof cover to help keep pee from leaking through- without absorbency, it will only collect poop though. The pee will spill out or leak through. It’s sort of like putting a cup of water into a plastic grocery bag. If you put a wet bathing suit into the grocery bag, it wouldn’t likely soak through. If you toss a cup of water alone in there, it’s coming out.
Using a cover alone WOULD work temporarily to collect poop for a fecal sample though.
AI2 diapers have absorbency that you can remove and replace.
Pocket diapers have absorbency that you tuck into the pocket. You are supposed to wash pockets after every use. I wouldn’t recommend using pocket diapers for goats. You’ll need too many of them if you wash as intended.
Your BEST bet, given that goats typically have hard pellets that you can shake out of the diaper, is to use a diaper cover with a prefold or other absorbency tucked inside it.
An AI2 would probably work, but you’ll find covers/prefolds are cheaper. Don’t complicate this.
I’ve seen folks using the diaper covers without the absorbency- don’t do this. If you plan to keep goats indoors, ADD ABSORBENCY to soak up the pee. This will decrease the mess.
With a disposable diaper, you remove and toss. It’s pretty expensive and produces a ton of garbage that doesn’t decompose quickly. With cloth, you can wash the diaper.
Here’s how I would recommend doing this. Fold up a prefold and tuck it inside the diaper cover. Put the diaper cover on the goat. I recommend putting it on like you would a disposable- the front of the diaper goes up on the goat’s back.
When you change the diaper, remove the wet pad and shake out any poop (this makes great compost btw). You can wipe the shiny inside of the diaper cover clean and reuse, assuming urine didn’t soak through it.
The urine WILL soak through if the pad gets too wet…. the pad can only hold so much pee. You can add extra pads inside the diaper if your goat pees a lot, but adding extra padding can impact the fit of the diaper.
If the diaper is dirty (diarrhea on it, wet through, etc), you want to get any “chunks” off (poop, hay, etc). Diapers and pads can be placed in a wet bag until you wash them.
Cloth diaper covers are pretty easy to hand wash and hang dry. You can do it quick so you can reuse them. This allows you to get away with only owning a couple of covers per indoor goat.
Pads will be easier to wash in a washing machine (in my opinion). You can throw them all in on a rinse cycle/cold.
Once that is finished, put your detergent in (regular Tide works well- you don’t want anything with scents or additives like fabric softener. Fabric softener will cause your pads to be less absorbent).
Wash on hot / heavy cycle. You can line dry or dry them in the dryer.
Keep an eye on the diaper cover instructions- some diaper covers have different wash / dry instructions for heat. You may be told not to use a hot cycle. I use hot with PUL (the fabric usually used for covers), but I know where my PUL comes from and have never had issues with it.
So I made my friend two quick goat belly bands. The yellow one is the small size and was perfect for their first couple of weeks. The medium size is working for the goats now that they’re older.
I wrote all about how to sew them on Mother Earth News this month so go check out the tutorial.
Supplies needed for this project:
Interested in the free pattern? Subscribe below!
Make sure the 1″ box on the pattern actually measures 1″ once printed. Sometimes the printer settings need to be adjusted to get the correct size. Even a tiny bit difference can make or break your pattern sizing.
I’d love some feedback when you’ve made it on the sizing! She’ll likely sell her babies before they reach full size (or they’ll be moved back outside). I’m interested in knowing what size the goats will be when they outgrow it!
Keep an eye out here for another goat diaper sewing pattern- I’m working on some regular diapers for poop too!
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