Cheap Shelter

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Xandras_Zoo, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering if anyone can recommend a cheap, easy-to-build shelter that's sufficent for a kid (the goat kind :) ). I want to go into 4-h with a dairy goat, and it starts in the fall. We have a little fenced pasture, but no shelter. My mom said she'd buy one in the spring, but that wouldn't do, because I couldn't go into 4-h till I was 14! So if anyone has an idea... please share!
     
  2. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I have been using and they work great and are free.
    Go to a plumbing place or whatever and ask them if they throw away their pallets. They usually do and you just nail them together and then two peices of 2x4 across the top (any one building a house near you, they will usually let you pick through the discard pile so they don't have to pay for dump services) Then place a sheet of plywood (also check the homebuilding site near you) on those 2x4 and you have you little house. Cheap and easy. Lets not forget that pallets are pretty darn sturdy and last forever.
     

  3. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Why not get a used dog house? I have an extra-large sized dog house in the goat pen that my 9 month old goat loves. He bounces off the top of it and sleeps inside of it.

    Check the classifieds, I'll bet you can find one really cheap. It seems like people are always getting rid of them.
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Double post, sorry!
     
  5. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    Good thining Jen H. I just thought of the pallets because I'm a pallet junkie :haha: :haha: :eek: I'm sure there will be a cure for that someday! :eek:
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Pallets work good, I've used them for a goat house and pen before. A wood packing crate will also work. You can waterproof the top with a piece of roll roofing or old roofing tin. Check your town and see if there is anyone that installs or sells doors and windows. A few old doors will make a great shelter.
     
  7. poppy

    poppy Guest

    People around here pickup old camper shells off of trucks. Build a wall out of pallets the shell will fit on. It makes a good waterproof roof.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Two things: first, are you only planning on having one goat? You will have a very unhappy, and probably a very noisy, goat if you try to keep one by itself. It is really best to get two, preferably ones that have been raised together, so they can keep each other company. Otherwise, you may find yourself sleeping with the goat so it doesn't cry all the time!

    Second: pallets are useful things. But, be careful. I used pallets for a goat pen inside our (detached) garage a few years ago, and a kid got her leg stuck between two slats and broke it pretty badly. Thankfully my husband worked at a hospital, and was able to get some casting material from the ER, and she healed up beautifully. But it was sure scary to go out there in the morning and find her dangling by her broken leg. So the moral of the story is, if you use pallets, either take the slats off some extras and use them to close those spaces between slats up completely, or use pallets with spaces wide enough that a goat leg can't get caught there. Be warned, though, that if the spaces are too wide, a kid can escape through them. And, they won't be a very good windbreak if the spaces are very wide.

    Also, you want to devise a way to feed the goats where their food will be under cover and stay dry, yet not be where they can walk on it.

    Kathleen
     
  9. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

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    To get things like doghouses free, go to http://freecycle.org/ and look for the group for your area. People give away all sorts of valuable stuff!
     
  10. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Congratulations on joining 4H and getting a goat!

    You could use the corner of your fence..this gives you two sides.. wrap in a cheap tarp that is large enough to drape over the top. To keep the top from falling in, use a branchs or 2 x 4 studs (for building) or poles, anything that you can lay on top of the fence (but not so heavy that it will cave the top of the fence in). You are trying to create a roof so that when it rains or snows it won't cave the top in. So now you have a corner that has 2 sides and the top covered. This will give the goat a place out of the rain and snow.

    Another idea... You know all those feed bags you throw away from feeding? save them! or if your local fire department gives away sand bags...go get some. Fill each bag with 1 shovel full of cement (your parents will have to get this for you) and 2 shovels full of dirt. If you can't get the cement, just use dirt. Fold the bag over and place on the ground. Leave an opening for a door. Place a second row on, a third, forth, each row bring the bag in a little closer so that you are forming an igloo. Once it rains, the cement will get wet and harden. Wella! a quick barn! You can use chicken wire on the outside and stucco it then paint it, or use a mixture of wet cement and smear it on to finish the outside. Or just leave it. Make it large enough to put in a couple of goats and a milking stand. This way next winter you will have a place to milk out of the rain.

    Information
    http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/emb/sandbag.html

    Pictures
    http://www.mustanggirls.net/sbcity.htm

    Have fun!
     
  11. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm wondering if one little goat will be warm enough in the dead of winter, in a pallet or tarp house?
     
  12. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Xandra, I remember on the sheep forum you were asking about Shetland sheep. If you did get the sheep, the goat will get along with them just fine. They can also all use the same shelter.

    If you're just getting the dairy goat, can you pick up a cheap wether to keep her company? She'll really do much better with a friend.
     
  13. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas! I never would have thought of any of that! :) :) :) How big am I going to have to make this? Like, how many square feet per goat?

    As far as the goat, I thought you sold them at the end of the project? The only reason I was getting a dairy goat in the first place is because I thought you sold it at their little fair thing (I saw an advertisment in the paper last year), and I wouldn't want it going for meat. If it turns out you don't have to sell it, then I'll get some little pygmy goat or something. Or should I just get another goat to start with?

    And as for the sheep, I thought you couldn't house them together because goats needed more copper in their diet and it wasn't good for the sheep?
     
  14. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Goats do need more copper than sheep. I add copper to the treats I give my goats, the sheep get treats with no copper added. I leave sheep minerals out free choice. Otherwise, my sheep and goats share the same barn and pasture areas. My sheep and goats also eat the same hay and alfalfa pellets, but I don't have dairy goats so they don't need grain for extra energy.

    Goats (and sheep, too) are herd animals and really don't do well all alone. Another herd animal (any kind of goat, sheep, horse, llama...) would be the best friend for your new little one, but any other friendly critter your goat could buddy up with would work.

    As far as how big the shelter needs to be, you want room for the critter to walk into and a nice bedding area that will stay dry. You'll need to be able to get in and clean out the old bedding periodically (the dog house my goatling likes has a removable roof I can lift off to do this). The goat's feed area will also need to have a roof over it so the hay stays dry.
     
  15. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    Xzoo,

    Each fair is slightly different, but at our 4H, the kids raise meat goats to auction at the end of the fair to make enough money to pay for the goat, feed, next years goat and college funds.

    I am not sure about selling dairy goats unless someone wants to buy your goat. Even still your goat will get lonely and having 2 is best. So why not raise a meat goat to be sold at auction... don't worry about what happens to it after it is sold...most likely it will become a pet.

    Goats need little space when it comes to shelter, they can crowd together, making sure they each have enough space to lay down. I figure 6 square feet each goat but less is fine.

    Now if you decide to raise a meat goat.... I know a few things.
     
  16. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    Xandras_Zoo, you could try stacking bales of straw for walls, leaving an opening for a doorway. Cover the straw inside and out with inexpensive tarps, and use one tarp for a roof.

    Bob
     
  17. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago we built a quick cheap shelter for two sheep using a discarded pick up cap. Put it up on posts high enough to walk under and than we used slabwood ( bark covered end boards we got free from a local sawmill) to cover the open sides and end. It looked like a little log cabin! :) Across the front I hung an old canvas tarp. It was nice and cozy with straw for bedding. And the truckcap side windows let in light.