Need help planning for our first goats

Foxfire

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Hello!

We are planning on starting our goat herd with 2 Nigerian Dwarf does. We will be using them as dairy goats. We have 11 acres of pasture and we plan on using Premier One fencing to do rotational grazing. So I have a few questions: what is the best portable shelter to use? What about portable hay feeders, grain feeders, etc? We'd like everything to be easy to move because we will probably be moving them weekly. If they have a lot of forage in the pasture, do we still need to provide hay for them? We live in Georgia and we have mild winters.
 

Alaskan

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Do you have any brush or trees?

For my summer pasture I cut branches on some evergreens to make a place for the animals to stand out of most rain. So... like a cave cut into a tree clump.

For temporary paddocks when rotational grazing horses... I used zero shelter.

With goats though..... unlike with horses... you have the predation issue.

My goats I tried different things... and ended up locking them up in the barn every night.

If the weather is nice, AND the goats have 2 or 3 LGDs then in good weather they wouldn't need any shelter. In slightly iffy weather a calf shelter (like a tiny open ended quanset hut) that is easily drug from place to place might work.

In bad weather, or no dog protection, and I would hike them to the field for the day... lock them in a barn every night.
 

Spokeless Wheel

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Hello!

We are planning on starting our goat herd with 2 Nigerian Dwarf does. We will be using them as dairy goats. We have 11 acres of pasture and we plan on using Premier One fencing to do rotational grazing. So I have a few questions: what is the best portable shelter to use? What about portable hay feeders, grain feeders, etc? We'd like everything to be easy to move because we will probably be moving them weekly. If they have a lot of forage in the pasture, do we still need to provide hay for them? We live in Georgia and we have mild winters.
A calf hutch would work well for 2 Nigerian Dwarfs. The large Igloo dog houses also work well but each would have their own house. I bring mine in every night as I have lots of coyotes and a bobcat.
 

Cotton*wood

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I don't have goats, but sheep, and all the sheep people in my area have found that the electric net fencing from Premier One has worked really well to keep predators out. We have a heavy coyote pressure, and nobody with electric net fencing has ever lost a sheep to coyotes.

I made a (relatively) lightweight sheep shelter that is easy to drag from paddock to paddock for shade in the summer, and so far, it hasn't blown away in gale-force winds. It's made with a cattle panel, two-by-fours, and a couple of good tarps.
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BarnOwl

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I just found a used calf-hutch on FB marketplace. Planning on using it for two Nigerian Dwarf bucks in the spring. I think it's going to work perfectly. My other structures are a pain in the butt to move, but I can drag this one around all by myself.

Here are my kids (my human ones, lol) and the does checking out the calf hutch.

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I use flat backed buckets for water, and small rubber bowls for grain (they really don't need much). I don't know what kind of hay feeder I will use with the calf hutch yet--I'm still in the planning stages on that set up.

In the doe field I have this red hay feeder from TSC. Kind of have mixed feelings about it. It needs a roof over it. Right now I just use T-posts and two sides of existing fence to hang a tarp over it--keeps the rain out but it's an eyesore. My main issue is that my little Nigerians like to sleep in the tray and poop and pee in there, which defeats the purpose of having a hay feeder. Now, that they are getting bigger, I have not noticed them sleeping in there as much. I am hopeful that they will grow out of that habit, and I'll just keep the feeder away from any kids when/if we have them. The feeder was expensive--probably why I am so critical of it.

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In the other goat shed, I hung up a wire laundry basket (from walmart) on the wall for hay. The mineral feeder is on the other side.

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I added a link to a DIY goat shelter that I was thinking about trying to build if I couldn't find a used calf hutch. This one uses PVC pipe instead of cattle panel--I thought the materials might be easier to transport as I don't yet have a truck/trailer to bring cattle panels home.

 

Cotton*wood

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I just found a used calf-hutch on FB marketplace. Planning on using it for two Nigerian Dwarf bucks in the spring. I think it's going to work perfectly. My other structures are a pain in the butt to move, but I can drag this one around all by myself.

Here are my kids (my human ones, lol) and the does checking out the calf hutch.

View attachment 88350

I use flat backed buckets for water, and small rubber bowls for grain (they really don't need much). I don't know what kind of hay feeder I will use with the calf hutch yet--I'm still in the planning stages on that set up.

In the doe field I have this red hay feeder from TSC. Kind of have mixed feelings about it. It needs a roof over it. Right now I just use T-posts and two sides of existing fence to hang a tarp over it--keeps the rain out but it's an eyesore. My main issue is that my little Nigerians like to sleep in the tray and poop and pee in there, which defeats the purpose of having a hay feeder. Now, that they are getting bigger, I have not noticed them sleeping in there as much. I am hopeful that they will grow out of that habit, and I'll just keep the feeder away from any kids when/if we have them. The feeder was expensive--probably why I am so critical of it.

1382874


In the other goat shed, I hung up a wire laundry basket (from walmart) on the wall for hay. The mineral feeder is on the other side.

View attachment 88351
076ba5c9-ef21-419a-b035-b8025ec726fe_2.bb04957fa2bce64c71eaf23b8f9c51e2.jpeg

View attachment 88352


I added a link to a DIY goat shelter that I was thinking about trying to build if I couldn't find a used calf hutch. This one uses PVC pipe instead of cattle panel--I thought the materials might be easier to transport as I don't yet have a truck/trailer to bring cattle panels home.

I would be a little skeptical of that design, unless the PVC pipes were really sturdy. My first shade shelter kept getting flattened because my sheep climbed on top of/over it..... It really needed a sturdy wooden crosspiece.....
 

Legamin

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Hello!

We are planning on starting our goat herd with 2 Nigerian Dwarf does. We will be using them as dairy goats. We have 11 acres of pasture and we plan on using Premier One fencing to do rotational grazing. So I have a few questions: what is the best portable shelter to use? What about portable hay feeders, grain feeders, etc? We'd like everything to be easy to move because we will probably be moving them weekly. If they have a lot of forage in the pasture, do we still need to provide hay for them? We live in Georgia and we have mild winters.
My favorite portable shelter that works for both sheep and goats is the ’Two Panel Shelter’. For this you will need 2x 16’ ‘Cow Panels’, four T-post 6’ posts (cut in half to 3’) and 5x 1”x1” U-bolts with shackle and nuts, 10 bunny cords and a heavy canvas tarp appprox. 9’x16’. lay the Cow Panel short side to short side with the close bottom half-row on the outsides opposite of each other. Use the U-bolt to attach the panels side to side (top of panel to top of panel) putting one Ubolt every 7th vertical wire weld…tighten them down. Here’s the hard part…drive two of youre stakes into the ground leaving only 12” above the ground..center them on the two ends of one side of the panels.
Now lean over the panels and pull up the center of the whole panel so that it bows up into a semi-circle type shelter or ‘tent’. Hold it up like this while you drive in the other two stakes to hold it there. Wire the panel ends to the stakes in case of wind. Cover the shelter with the super heavy duty canvas tarp (the kind they use to cover semi-truck gravel and dirt trailer loads) and use the bungie cords to hold it in place.
you can either use railroad ties and fencing staples to anchor the ends (you still need the stakes on the outside of the railroad ties) to make this a ‘permanent’ shelter, or just take the canvas off and pull stakes and drag into the new position and erect all over.
this shelter only costs about $84.00 (canvass cover is an extra $90 but it moves with the sheep or goats) if done with all top-quality materials so I just built one in every pasture (40 of them) and move the canvas covers from pasture to pasture. The shelter frame with railroad ties and posts will last for 30-40 years and the shelter will work for up to ten very large sheep or goats. Don’t be tempted to buy the cheap 10mil. blue tarps…they last about 2 months. And the goats shred them with scratching, climbing, tearing with teeth and leaving all over the pasture).
I also have a welded frame shelter that the tractor can drag around for summer lambing but I found it was just easier to move them to one of the four barns on the property and get them away from the others for a few days…then put them back with the flock. My goats loved this shelter and though VERY active…never destroyed it! My 360lb ram rubs on it hard and it still stands after two years.
 
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