As for living human needs house; goats do also need shelter. Some people have raised goats together with barn of cattle; but for commercial goats farming, it is good to have goats shelter constructed separately for better care. Goat farming shed should be constructed resilient to earthquake. As per ages of goats, separate spaces should be allocated within the shelter. Kids should be kept into clean, dry and warm spaces to protect from potential pneumonia. It is appropriate to lay dry and soft grass in the floor. A space from 0.2 to .5 square meters is necessary from parturition to 3 months older per kid. Problem due to internal parasites for the kids arises in wet and damp places, therefore shelters should be maintained dry and warm.
Importance of a shelter
shelter is necessary to protect goats from the Sun, water and cold; protect from tigers and jackals etc. at night and protect from theft. A raised structure is good for appropriate management of dung of goats which will help to control infections and non-infectious diseases. As well as, it will be easy for management of goat feeding to farmers.
Managing the goats’ shelter
The following recommendations are made regarding management of the shed:
- Make sure that the goats are not crowded (keep to minimum density of 1m2/goat)
- Remove manure on a daily basis and spray the house to kill fleas
- Provide feed in feeders or in hay racks to prevent trampling
- Ensure that goats have access to clean water
- Separate bucks from does to prevent injuries and bullying
- Separate does with kids from other goats to prevent trampling
- Goats must not be kept in longer than necessary as it reduces the number of hours available for feeding.
Plan for construction of a standard shelter
It is beneficial to construct goat shed by using low cost and locally available materials. While constructing goats’ shelter, partitions maintained for kids, dry doe, pregnant doe, kidding doe and breeding buck. There is fear of uncontrolled pregnancy and abortions, if bucks and adult goats are mixed together in one space. Shed’s floor is maintained to keep secure footing; but dung and urine should pass from the holes, and it should be easy to clean the shed. If holes are bigger than a finger size, goat’s legs get entangled, gets wounded, no secured footings can get fractured legs also.
Normally, as goats do not eat fallen fodder from floor and feeds from the ground, stall for grass feeding should be constructed, and there shall be well management of enough drinking water. For adequate light and free flow of airs, ventilation should be maintained. Paddock should also be managed for goats feeding space and free movement beyond the goat shed. Inside paddock, there should be management of feeder/container for goat’s feeding and drinking water. It is appropriate to plant fodder plants around the paddock. Sick goats and goats bought from other places may be infected from diseases. So, such goats should be isolated at safe distance.
Construction of goat shed
As per the recommended standards, locally available low cost materials have to be used while constructing goat shed.
Area required for goats
Area required for goats based on age
|Age||Space needed inside shed
(square meter per head)
|Outside open space
(Square meter per head)
|Upto 3 months||0.2 to 0.3||0.4 to 0.6|
|From 3 to 9 months||0.6 to 0.75||1.2 to 1.5|
|From 9 to 12 months||0.75 to 1.0||1.5 to 2.0|
|Adult goats||1.5 to 2.0||3.0 to 4.0|
|Adult buck||2.5 to 3.0||5.0 to 6.0|
Many farmers take housing for granted in goat farming not knowing that a good housing is a foundation of a goats’ health. Goats need comfortable places and environment. When proper housing is taken as a priority, goats will not suffer from diseases, stress and thus productivity will be high. It is necessary to provide raised structures to goats because it saves much money in terms of management. Have you been looking for experts in all goat farming solutions? Look no further. KIMD CONSTRUCTION AND FARM CONSULTANTS LTD are the only experts you can ever trust.
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Important things to be considered in shed management
- It has to be covered the shed with Jute sacks to protect goats from cold in the winter, but at day time (except during rainy and cloudy day); it is hygienic to let the sun-light enter inside the shed by rolling up the sacks.
- It has to be removed the dung deposited under the shed at least twice in a week. If dung deposit is not removed time to time, with the gas emission and filth, it will adversely affect health, growth and reproduction capability of goats, and it rises death rate of small kids also.
- It has to be cleaned regularly feed container for goats.
- It has to be applied fencing wires for the safety of livestock.
- It has also to be disinfected the shed by limes to control external parasites
Goat shelters are of two types
1.Non raised structure
You can make a wood frame shelter of any size and use metal or regular shingle roofing. As long as the area has proper drainage, you don’t need to put a floor in the shelter. Just cover the dirt with plenty of bedding. You can make this kind of shelter with a door, partially enclosed on one side or open on one side. Note that, for good drainage locate your goat house on a slight slope or on sandy soils, ideally near the feed source. The goat house should be oriented in such a way that the greatest amount of sunshine and air enter the house. Under commercial or semi-commercial, you can make the shelter and also the exercising area connected to the shelter, you have also to make kids pen in the same shelter which should be raised so that it is always dry.
Raised goat shelter can be made of local materials and at low cost. The shelter has to be uplifted for easy collection of manure.
- Raise the floor at least 1metre above the ground to facilitate easy cleaning and removal of manure.
- Do not nail the floor boards or slats closely; provide slits between the boards of about 2.55cm so that manure can be falling through. This will keep the floor clean and dry.
- The house should be well-ventilated. The wall around the house can be made of bamboo or wood planks. And should be spaced at 10-15cm apart.
- Provide a sack sheet under the raised structure for easy collection of manure
Advantages of a raised structure over non raised structure
- Raised structures are very easy to clean that is the closet is easily cleaned, dung and urine are easily collected for manure.
- Prevents cold weather and heat which promote respiratory problems and parasites.
- Gaps between the slats allow easy passage of fecal materials.
- In raised structures, diseases are less.
- It provides greatest protection for the animals from both predators and environmental conditions.
- It requires less labour to clean and maintain.
- It remains relatively dry and clean hence reduced space requirements.
- Allows air and proper lighting to pass through the slats increasing ventilation and comfort in hot weather.
- No need for bedding.
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