Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to Build a Goat Shelter- Update

"How to Build a Goat Shelter" is the most popular post I've ever written. Ever. It shows up in my stats every single week. And it's also the easiest project we've ever completed. Ever. We just opened a box, ignored the directions, messed up, read the directions, fixed the mistakes and had a goat shelter. In. That. Order. You can click here if you want to see how we did it.

Yesterday I received an email asking about how the shelter has held up. So today I'm going to answer that question for everyone who has wound up here in their Googling to find "how to build a goat shelter." I'm even removing my tongue from my cheek because, in all seriousness, maybe this can help someone.

First off let me say that when we originally built that shed we had only one little buckling. Our goat adventures were just beginning and I had NO CLUE what to expect from a full size buck goat. Followers of this blog will know the damage that goat did to fences, gates, and myself. Many times I would be inside my home wondering what was making a terrible racket outside. Further investigation would reveal a goat RAMMING the side of his shelter. He managed to knock the doors completely off! I do not know why. But I do know that the little Rubbermaid shed held up to the abuse until we built a more solid shelter from wood and a dog pen. You can see that shelter by clicking here.

As our goat learning has increased, so has our plans for our backyard herd. Right now we have 2 miniature bucks (1 pygmy and 1 Nigerian dwarf) and they spent last winter together in the little shed. This winter we will move our doe to this shed and the bucks will have the bigger shed simply because the Rubbermaid shed is on the side of the fence I prefer to keep the milk stand on. The shelter is 3 sided but deep enough to keep the wind off the expected Spring babies and she has successfully kidded and raised kids in this shed twice before. I fully expect it to be an adequate shelter!

And last I will say this- all goats are different. They each have a personality of their own and what is good for one may not necessarily hold up for another. Also, weather conditions play a big factor in providing shelter for any critter. My goats prefer to sleep outside most of the time. They seek shelter when the temperature is at or below freezing or in times of snow/rain. They will spend the majority of November through March nights in the shelter. But if the sun is shining, the wind is calm, and the snow isn't too deep, they will spend almost every daylight hour outside, munching hay or lounging on a wooden platform.

As for the shed, it has worked well for us and I would do it over again. If it had not worked well for our goats, we wouldn't have had any trouble finding another use for the little shed so our losses would have been minimal. Your mileage may vary.

Goat shed from front

from top, roof open

from top, roof open

DH added a bar to hang trough and mineral feeder

Some cuties enjoying the sunshine


  1. SO glad to have found this post! There is one of these exact shelters for sale on CraigList in my area, and I have been contemplating buying it for my 2 pygmy does. How does it hold up to rain? Does it keep the goats, and their bedding, dry?

    1. 5 years later and I'm still pleased with this shed! Like the post says, there are no doors on it but the rest is dry and blocks the wind perfectly. The roof has been knocked off its track a couple times but DH has managed to pop it back on. I still wouldn't recommend housing a buck in rut in it, but my doe and her kids do fine.

    2. Just realized it had been a 5 year run with this thing...wow, I'm sold! Gonna nab the used one off of CL before any other goatherds in my area read your blog. Thanks for the quick reply! :)


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