Goats are hardy creatures that can withstand a wide range of temperatures, including extreme cold and heat. Domesticated goats, however, need some kind of shelter to remain healthy, safe, and productive. There are plenty of goat barn ideas you can use to build a simple yet highly effective shelter for your goats.
If you are the handy type or are simply looking for a cheap yet effective DIY goat barn, there are hundreds of goat shelter plans you can consider. However, there are some factors that you need to consider before embarking on your DIY project.
Easy-to-DIY Goat Barn Ideas
If you are ready to build a goat barn in your backyard, here are some easy DIY goat barn ideas that could come in handy.
Simple A-Frame Goat Barn
This kind of design works best if you have one or two goats. All you would need to make an A-Frame goat barn work is a couple of wood pallets or at least four pallets if you want it a little bigger. The idea is to nail these pallets together in an A-Frame design.
There are a couple of good reasons this works well for goats:
- The A-Frame roof: One of the main reasons the A-Frame roof is a wonderful idea for goats is because it keeps them from climbing on top of the barn and using the otherwise flat roof as a jumping-off point to get out of the enclosure. Goats are crafty escape artists; if you give them this opportunity, they will maximize it.
- Enough room: Depending on the number of wood pallets you use, you will have enough room in the barn for one or two goats. Since the roof will also be relatively high, you will have enough room to get in and clean the barn as needed.
There are two variations to this kind of barn—you can either give it a door or make it a simple three-sided barn with one end being open. To make it more comfortable, you can line the floor with straws or wood shavings as bedding for the goats.
Simple 3-Sided Goat Barn With Iron Sheet Roof
If you don’t want to use wood pallets, you can use lumber to make a simple 3-sided goat barn with corrugated iron sheets for the roof. The beauty of this kind of goat barn idea is that it’s simple, clean, and easy to make. Furthermore, it allows for a much bigger construction site.
The amount of lumber or timber you use will depend on what you want to build. This kind of shelter can be built for numerous goats that are expected to grow in number soon. It’s also ideal for meat goats because it offers enough space for the billy goats to run around and challenge each other if need be.
You can either use 4×4 or 4×6 lumber for the sides. How many you need will depend on the measurement of the barn itself. The idea is to have four corner posts and use the lumber as the siding for the barn. The corrugated iron sheets complete the barn.
Making this shelter 3-sided is the simpler option, but you can choose to make it four-sided with a door or some kind of entrance. You may want to consider a 4-sided goat barn to keep goats warm in winter. The floor can be anything from straw to concrete, depending on your time and resources. Straw would be the better and cheaper option.
Igloo-Style Goat Barn
Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you can decide to find more complicated goat barn ideas. They make for fancy and more practical shelters and provide an excellent DIY challenge that could keep you busy and engaged for weeks.
However, if you don’t have much time, you can go for a simple, igloo-style goat shelter that uses cattle panels as a roof. This goat shelter is perfect for people who have to quickly put something together because they either have new goats or some baby goats on the way.
A simple way to do this is to use wood pallets as the walls. However, you shouldn’t layer the pallets upon each other in this case, as you only need one row on the ground.
After that, take your cattle panels and curve them from one end of the shelter to the other. This will form a semi-circle which represents the roof. Once you are done, it will look like a hybrid igloo.
These cattle panels are stapled to the wood pallets, and as a covering for the roof, you can use a plastic canopy. There are a couple of good reasons this kind of shelter is ideal—it’s quick and easy to make, and it’s cheap to build.
Finally, you can insulate the walls by adding pine shavings or any other materials between the spaces in the wood pallets. It’s not the most stable goat barn in the world, but it’s a good way for a goat owner to put up an emergency goat shelter when needed.
The Goat Tower
Now, this is a little bit more complicated. The goat tower is the kind of goat barn DIY project for people who want to put their building skills to the test. It does require you to use bricks for walls and concrete for floors. The idea behind building a goat tower is that you can house many goats in a relatively small space.
It is, however, ideal for miniature goats such as Pygmy goats because it’s designed to resemble a story building. Miniature goats are ideal for a goat tower assembly unless you intend to build massive floors.
Here’s a video showing a simple goat tower for your animals:
Factors to Consider Before Building a DIY Goat Shelter
Whenever you think of building something, especially a shelter where your livestock will be spending a considerable amount of time, you need to consider many factors.
Many wonderful goat barn ideas already take many of these suggestions and put them into practice. It is, however, good to know what they are, especially when looking at different shed plans for your DIY goat barn project.
When planning for your goats’ shelter, also consider planning space somewhere near the barn for a goat playground to help them stay active and to minimize stress and destructive behaviors.
The Size of the Barn
How much space do goats need? The answer to this question depends on many factors, including the goat breed and the kind of resources you have at your disposal.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim to provide each goat with about 10 – 20 square feet of living quarters. Twenty square feet is ideal if the goats don’t have much space outside, while 10 square feet works fine if there is enough space outside for the goats to roam.
With this in mind, the goat shelter should be constructed with the final number of goats it will be required to house in the end. For example, if you only intend to keep five dairy goats at most, you should consider a goat barn that measures around 100 square feet.
There are several reasons the size of the goat shelter matters:
- A spacious shelter ensures that your goats are comfortable
- Spacious goat shelters are easier to clean
- Space is good for goat breeding activities
There’s one other reason the size of the goat barn matters—insulation. While some of the key factors affecting the goat barn size could be available space and materials, it would be unwise to build an excessively large goat barn if you only ever intend to keep a few goats.
Larger barns are more expensive to manage and insulate during the winter. Smaller barns tend to be cozier and easier to insulate.
The Goat Shelter Walls
The primary goal of building a goat shelter is to provide your goats with protection. Goat enclosures and the kind of wall you choose will go a long way in making sure this happens.
Different barn plans use different wall materials. Some plans call for enclosed walls, while others call for open sides. This depends on the prevailing weather in your location.
Goats are pretty good at dealing with heat, provided they have some kind of shade over their heads. They aren’t, however, very good at dealing with rain as they dislike being wet.
If you live in a wet and windy environment, you might consider providing your goats with enclosed walls. Here are some materials that would be ideal for goat barn walls:
- Wood pallets
- Old fence siding
Each of these options comes with its pros and cons. For example, wood pallet goat sheds are extremely affordable and, in many cases, can even be free. They also have spaces in between, which allows you to fill them with your chosen kind of insulation during winter.
On the other hand, old fence siding is a great option because this material is solid and provides your goat barn with sturdier walls.
Goat Barn Floor
Another important aspect of the goat barn is the kind of floors you use. While there are several options available and ideal for DIY goat barn ideas, there are several factors that you need to consider before choosing one for your goat shelter.
- The ideal goat barn floor needs to keep your goats from the cold
- It should be easy to clean
- The goat barn floor needs to keep the goats from coming into contact with too much water
Finally, the floor needs to be comfortable for the goats. With all this in mind, several goat barn floor ideas meet all the criteria:
This is easy and cheap to obtain. It can be easily paired with other types of flooring and still be used as bedding for the goats.
Rubber is not only easy and affordable to install, but it’s also soft and comfortable for the goats. The biggest issue with rubber flooring is that it often holds water, meaning it can stay wet for a long time, creating a health hazard for the goats.
Concrete is also another wonderful option. It’s easy to install and clean and can be paired with other options, such as straw. The biggest issue with concrete floors for goat barns is that they’re hard and compact. This poses a bit of a hazard, especially for kids jumping up and down. They can easily hurt their hooves.
Dirt flooring is as affordable and easy to clean as straw floors. This kind of flooring gets compacted over time, making it hard. It will also need partnering with something like straw during winter to keep the goats warm and comfortable.
Goat Kids Need Shelter from Cold
In addition to protection from predators, shelter is essential for kids born in cold and wet weather. This is because young kids won’t be able to maintain their body temperature when they are outside.
If it’s not wet, then just a wind break may be all that is necessary to protect kids in cold weather. Sometimes the cold temperatures aren’t as much of a concern as wind and precipitation. These add to the problems of maintaining body temperature.
Goat Shelter Ideas
There are many different goat barn ideas you can try out on your farm. The overall goal is to build something that is not only simple but also capable of keeping your farm animals safe.
As a goat owner raising goats on a small piece of land, you should know that most of these goat enclosure ideas can easily be broken down into smaller projects, regardless of how grand they might seem.
If you only have one or two small goats, you will find that two wood pallets and some kind of roof will suffice. You can make do with dirt floors, but pine shavings and straw materials make for excellent bedding and floor insulation for the goats if it gets too cold.
Related content about raising goats for profit or for fun on your homestead:
When Can Baby Goats Go Outside?