Transforming commercial farming success with goat housing ideas

June 14

According to industry reports, goat farming has seen significant growth in recent years, and the main reason for this recent surge in popularity in goat farming is the rising demand for goat meat products and milk.

While scaling your farms to meet the high demand is definitely something you should do during this time, it’s equally critical to provide the animals with a comfortable, safe, and clean environment and not to compromise the welfare of the animals. This is where modern goat housing ideas such as using taller gates, strategically placed hayracks, and the use of electric fencing, are helping farmers successfully manage larger herds of up to 1,000 goats while ensuring animal welfare and environmental standards.

So, in this post, let’s explore a few goat housing ideas and how they can help improve your chances of succeeding with goat farming.

Adapt the housing structure to ensure the welfare and comfort of your herd

Similar to housing any other farm animal, you should consider the unique needs and requirements of goats when designing their housing. For example, the British Goat Society recommends at least 4 sq. m. per goat if penned individually and 2 sq. m. per goat for group housing. Also, goats are inquisitive and agile animals, which means that you will need to make it at least 4-5 feet high for does and 6 feet high for bucks. Modular goat housing structures like Agri Span will allow you to install these types of gates and accommodate other modifications as well.

In addition, goats inhabiting arid zones have long hair and coarse fibre fleeces to protect themselves from heat during the day and cold at night, so providing adequate shade and shelter is crucial. Therefore, housing should be engineered to reduce the impact of high temperature and humidity, with natural ventilation providing an adequate environment. 

Also, feeders and waterers should be elevated to keep feed clean and minimise parasites, with a toe board for goats to place their front feet during feeding. These kinds of modifications to goat housing can accommodate goats’ natural behaviours and environmental needs, ensuring your herd’s comfort and well-being.

Integrate advanced feeding systems into the goat housing structure

While it’s always recommended to let the goats graze naturally, it may not be possible sometimes due to some weather conditions, like heavy rain or snow. Also, sometimes you may need to control the feeding of your herd to ensure optimal health. 

In these scenarios, it’s always good to choose a housing structure with advanced feeding systems or ones that allow you to add advanced feeding systems later, like Agri Span. In terms of the feeding systems you could integrate, there are several options; like self-feeders, automated feeding systems, and 3-way restriction systems. 

Self-feeders can be used for complete feeds or those with built-in intake limiters. Automated feeding systems, on the contrary, can pull from multiple silos and additive hoppers into a batching hopper fitted with sensors. 

The 3-way restriction system, using upper and lower adjusters and an adjuster guard, allows for more precise ration control that prevents stock from manipulating the feeder to access more feed than intended.

Use goat housing ideas that optimise the space insight into the housing structure

When optimising space for indoor goat housing, there are several key strategies to make the most of the available area while ensuring the animals’ comfort and well-being:

  • Use vertical space: Take advantage of goats’ natural climbing abilities by providing multi-level platforms, ramps, and elevated resting areas. This allows them to exhibit natural behaviours and frees up floor space. Staggered platforms at different heights are ideal.
  • Utilise modular panels and pens: Modular fencing and pen systems offer flexibility to reconfigure the layout as needed to accommodate different herd sizes, age groups, or activities like kidding. Look for panels with built-in gates and quick-connect hardware for easy assembly and cleaning.
  • Incorporate enrichment features: Goats are curious and playful, so include items like scratching posts, hanging toys, and climbing structures to keep them mentally stimulated. Providing opportunities for natural behaviours reduces boredom and stress.
  • Optimise ventilation and airflow: Good air circulation is crucial to prevent respiratory issues and maintain a healthy environment. Use open soffits, ridge vents, and adjustable windows or screens to promote natural ventilation while protecting against drafts and pests.
  • Plan for efficient feeding and watering: Carefully position hay racks, grain feeders, mineral troughs, and water buckets for easy access while minimising waste and contamination. Elevate feeders and use toe boards to keep bedding out of food and water. Automatic waterers can save labour.
  • Create dedicated functional areas: Designate specific areas for feeding, resting, and waste management to keep the space organised and hygienic. Provide ample bedding in sheltered resting areas and use partitions or gutters to separate soiled bedding from active areas.
  • Allow for easy cleaning and maintenance: Choose flooring materials like textured mats, removable decking, or well-draining gravel that are easy to clean and disinfect. Plan for accessible waste removal and storage away from the living area to minimise odours and flies.

Upgrade from traditional structures to modular goat housing structures

Modular goat housing structures like Agri Span offer several benefits for farmers looking to provide comfortable, efficient shelters for their herds. For a start, they are more cost-effective than traditional housing. Since they have a fixed-to-the-penny price, you won’t have to incur any cost overruns or hidden expenses which you might with traditional structures.  

Another benefit of modular housing is its modularity; it accommodates modifications to upgrade the feeder systems and install taller gates and lighting fixtures. In addition, modular structures are easy to install, as they come with all the necessary components and can be assembled on-site much faster than constructing a barn from the ground up, minimising disruption to farming operations. They can also be scaled up or down based on your needs or the season.

They also offer various other benefits like low maintenance costs, relocatability, and robust in-built ventilation systems that boast open soffits, ridge vents, and gable vents to provide passive airflow into the structure. 

Give your herds a safe, clean, and comfortable environment

Give your herds a safe, clean, and comfortable environment with goat housing ideas with proven results

With the increasing demand for goat products, it’s the best time to be a goat farmer in the UK. By incorporating the goat housing ideas we discussed above, especially switching to a modular structure, you can improve the welfare of your herd and enjoy better yields. 

If you need help with selecting a modular goat housing structure, get in touch with McGregor. We have been the leading manufacturer and supplier of high-performance goat housing structures for more than four decades. Call or request a callback from the McGregor team and explore the best livestock housing structure for your unique requirements.