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In Reply to: Topic of the Day (Part 2) - Shelters posted by GoatWorld on October 30, 2001 at 17:02:44:
There was an old chicken house on our property when we bought our little farmette 3 years ago. We decided to clean up and convert this little building to become the goats' shelter. It has really worked out well.
It is raised, and has a wooden floor. I use straw for bedding as well. It is approx 10x12, easily big enough for our two pet goats. There is a little cut-out door with a walking plank to their outdooe fenced-in play area. In severe weather, I can close this door and keep them inside. There are also two windows (reinforced w/ screen) which can be opened or closed according to the weather. They also have a shelf for sleeping/playing.
The best part is, the goathouse is divided in two parts, so there is an additional storage area where I can keep some hay and a can of feed and my broom/bucket/rake for cleaning the pen. A full size door opens into the goats' area for easy and convenient access.
One other thing I would like to mention pertaining to the upcoming cold weather months...
Last year we bought a heated water bowl for the goats. It holds about 2 gallons water and the heater coil, etc is encased in the plastic bowl (so they can't get in trouble with it). It keeps the water at a comfortable temperature to encourage drinking. I've found that they are much more likely to drink when the water is slightly warm as opposed to freezing cold. I think that keeping them dry and out of a draft, and ensuring that they are drinking adequate amounts of water are key elements to healthy goats during severe weather.
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