Goats are generally considered as animals who can tolerate various weather conditions compared to cattle and horses. However, to ensure the security of goats and to prevent the exposure to adverse weather conditions it is always necessary to adapt to a suitable goat housing system as these extreme conditions can cause various respiratory infections and hypothermia. Your choice for goat housing will always vary with the purpose of having the goat farming which can range from meat purposes, milk, fiber or having goats just for pleasure.
Main Types of Goat Housing Systems
The two main categories of the goat housing system are open housing and confinement housing. Open housing system which is also known as loose housing will allow the goats to protect themselves from weather variations while allowing them access to pasture. Confinement housing keeps the goat within the structure and mostly includes a separate area adjacent to the building for exercising purposes. Whichever the method used, it is always recommended to keep the nursing and pregnant goats away from the rest.
Open housing system is mostly recommended for goats due to the provision of a more natural environment to the animal. Open systems generally consist of three-sided pole barns, framed sheds or even temporary structures which can be moved time to time.
Advantages of Open Housing
- Easy to construct when considering the cost and time aspects.
- Highly Efficient air circulation.
- Easy removal of manure.
- Main disadvantage of this method is the need for more bedding.
In this method we can use existing or used barns or buildings for housing of goats. However, the management of the herd and the maintenance of the building can be complicated in this method
Advantages of Confinement Housing
- Provides high security for animals.
- Reusing existing buildings is cheaper.
- More supervised management.
- Easy to handle individual animals.
Disadvantages of Confinement Housing
- Ventilation system needs to be checked continuously.
- A new building can be costly.
- Animals need to be directed for exercising.
Sub Categorization of Goat Housing Systems
Over the Ground Housing
This is the most frequently used housing system for goats. As the name denotes, this system will be built over the ground. Goats generally likes to stay in a raised area and these types of housing systems will protect the animal from flood conditions. The floor can be constructed using brick, timber or even soil.
Concrete Housing System
This goat housing system is fully made from concrete and can be expensive compared to other housing systems. However, these houses are very durable and will ensure high safety of animals from both weather and predators. Spread of diseases is also very low in these types of systems.
Required Space for Goats
The space requirement of goats will vary based on their age and whether they are pregnant/ nursing or not. Usually, a baby goat requires 0.3 m2 space, Adult goat requires 1.5m2 and a pregnant or nursing goat requires at least 2m2 space to stay comfortably.
Common Features of a Properly Constructed Goat Housing System
- Should be high enough to keep the animals safe from flood.
- Enough space must be allocated.
- Prevent the seepage of rainwater inside the structure.
- Construct in a way to control moisture and temperature inside the structure.
- Ensure proper flow of air and natural light into the system.
- Floor of the structure should always be dry.
- The floor should be always slatted.
- Ability to clean easily.