Ideas for accessories or updates that you can make to your goat house in order to make goat care easier and more fun.
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I added a few accessories after we had the goats for a while. These were added because I wanted to make caring for the goats safer, easier, or more fun. Keep in mind that some of my adjustments may not be right for your barn. For example, I love our goat hay feeder, but there’s a risk they could get a leg stuck in there. I had to evaluate whether I felt like it was safe enough for my goats. I decided to add it and I’m hoping we won’t have issues. Please use your own judgement here.
This is Part III in the series about my goat house build. Visit the earlier posts if you’re new here:
I decided to use a couple of pieces of scrap 2x4s to add an area to put hay on the door. When the door is open, the hay is outside. When the door is closed at night, the hay is inside.
This has been convenient for me because I’m happy to give them access to feed 24/7. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that the babies like to jump on top of the 2×4 for fun. There’s probably more waste with this than I’d like, but it works out okay.
Usually I rake up extra hay that falls out and throw it into the goat house to be used as bedding.
Water: There’s a O ring (I wish I remembered the real name of these) to hook the water to both inside and outside of the goat house. The water bucket is attached to it using a double ended bolt snap.
I know many don’t feed/water inside the goat house and that may be what I do long term. For now, I feel that a doe in milk will need the access to water and feed over the night.
I do NOT, however, want them in and out of the goat barn all day. I want them outside if it’s nice out so I move their water to the exterior of the goat house during the day. At night, I just move it back inside.
One of the big struggles of keeping goats is that they poop in everything. Goats need minerals and we were keeping Manna Pro Goat Minerals and Baking Soda out for them to have free choice.
Initially I put them in small buckets on the ground, but it quickly became apparent that they were specifically targeting these buckets when they pooped and peed. I mean… it sort of looks like I managed to potty train my goats, right?
The minerals are not that cheap y’all.
I needed the minerals off the ground and out of pooping and peeing range. The solution was a 2×4 that I mounted right at eating height. Then I screwed two buckets onto the 2×4. Baking soda goes in one and the Manna Pro Goat Mineral goes in the other.
It wasn’t perfect. The babies occasionally jumped up there to snack on hay… then poop got in the buckets.
Also, they knock them off if they’re not screwed in. If they’re screwed in, then the buckets are harder to get off to clean or refill.
I removed the upside down blue bucket when I realized the babies could reach the buckets without it.
Recently I moved the 2×4 and one bucket to a spot across from the hay in hopes it would discourage them from jumping up there. I am skipping baking soda for now, after doing some reading on whether or not it should be used for goats.
I started by adding a couple of motion sensor lights along the outside. A simple nail or screw should hold them. These are solar powered and do a decent job providing a small amount of light.
Then I found this really nifty solar shed light. This thing is a BEAST and offers a lot of light at night when I need to be in there after dark. It’s also cheap which is AWESOME.
And that’s it! I’d love to add some raised beds eventually, but I haven’t quite decided how I’d like to do that.
I’ll eventually try to get a post up about my barn door, but it was a horrible experience and it’s really rough. I may redo it and post the new one instead… I’ve been going back and forth about what would be best.
I have been working on a lot of fun goat content so if you’re interested, check out some of these other goat posts!
- How to Milk a Goat
- How to Pasteurize Goat Milk
- How to Build a Goat Milking Stand for a Nigerian Dwarf Goat
- Temporary Fencing Options
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