Goat keeping help ! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-12-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Goat keeping help !

Hi there, looking for some expert goat advice! We recently took home 3 Nigerian dwarf goats. They’ve been with us about a month now and we are enjoying having them on our small acreage (even though they don’t seem to be interested in the weeds we were hoping they would consume !!).

We have established a bit of a routine with them. They are kept in a fenced pen for the majority of the day, with an outing in the morning and then again in the evening, about an hour each in length to browse around and eat their fill of weeds/grasses/branches etc. and then we keep a hay feeder in their pen as well. They have a shelter and some structures to climb on and seem fairly content.

My major issue has been keeping up with the cleaning! We live in a desert climate, so the pen is essentially sand/dirt, which creates a soft enough surface for them to bed down in their shelter, however the poop that piles up in a 24 hour period is insane from these 3 little guys. I’ve come to accept that it will never be pristine, but my daily raking regiment doesn’t seem to be doing enough. What do most goat owners do to manage the waste? What is the best way to keep their pen tidy without spending a fortune changing out wood shavings every other day ?

Any input appreciated!
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-12-2019, 07:07 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Many people deep bed goats. That is, they just pile more bedding on to the dirty bedding. I used to do this when I kept dairy goats. I bedded with straw, plus all the hay they wasted -- goats waste a lot of hay because they pull it out to eat it, and then walk on it, and they will not eat anything they've stepped on unless they're starving.

A couple times a year I would dig it all out (a front end loader comes in handy, but I just had a wheel barrow and a hay fork).

Really can't do this with horses but it works quite well with goats.

Short horse lover
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-12-2019, 08:14 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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I too keep goats in the desert and have 3 Nigerian wethers, I also just add more shavings and rake up hay droppings as well, it's impossible to pick up goat pellets. :)
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-2019, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
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I breed sheep and the barn is as described above. They have a pen attached to the barn that is not bedded and that just gets raked out periodically. The pasture I don't clean at all. I'm not in a desert climate (Massachusetts here) but they are on nice soft soil, the big problem here is mud, which just make sure they have a dry place to rest (the attached barn). I use their hay to bed in the barn and just make sure they have fresh hay on top so it doesn't get gross. With goats you don't have to worry about making a mess of the fleece so just shavings is fine, if you do a bedding pact it's really just about keeping the top layer clean (and of course occasionally stripping it all). It works very well.

If you are a horse person we are drilled to NOT LEAVE POOP!!! But if you maintain it well it's really ok to leave the poop lol, esp as sheep/goat poop is very dry. I don't know how big your pen is but if it's small that's part of why it's building up so quickly. I've heard bedding pacts work well for horses (never seen it in the states!) but can imagine it's more work to maintain and there is still some cleaning involved.
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