Does anyone keep their goats on a wood floor?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Sue D, Dec 10, 2004.

  1. Sue D

    Sue D Member

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    My goats are in a barn with a wood floor, and it doesn't take very long for it to start smelling like ammonia. From what I understand, that isn't a problem with dirt floors. Does anyone have any tips for keeping it from smelling so soon? I use lime or wood ashes under the bedding. I thought about drilling holes in the floor to let the urine flow out, but I thought that might be too drafty or the holes would just get plugged up. I've also thought about setting up some type of shelter outside for them during the day and shutting them out of the barn. But I have very little money, and I can't think of a cheap way to do that that will stand up to them climbing on it.

    Sue D.
     
  2. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What are you using for bedding? Straw and wood shavings are best....I have both wood floor and dirt and leave scattered hay for bedding mostly...kidding time I use shavings. My dirt floor barn doesnt smell, the other barn only smells on a warm day if the vents are not open....my dirt floor barn has the eves open and it can get 40 below for a week and my girls do great because the floor is composting 1&1/2 ft deep. We had to put the vents in the closed shed to help with excess moisture and smell and they work pretty well. I do let them build up bedding until summer...only clean once a year....no one ever complains about smell even city folks....
     

  3. Sue D

    Sue D Member

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    Since my goats waste a lot of hay, I never bothered to buy straw. I just add more hay as needed. And since fall, I've also been using leaves; that is, what's left after they've eaten most of them.
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    It's been my experience that straw holds up a whole lot better than hay does as bedding. The hay just breaks down quicker and then it gets wet and smelly. The straw doesn't break down as quick so it stays fluffy and doesn't get wet and smelly so fast. I just layer new straw on top of the old once a week and clean everything out about 3 times a year.

    My barn just smells like goats and sheep, no ammonia odor and the top of the straw stays dry.
     
  5. Sue D

    Sue D Member

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    Maybe that's my problem. Another reason I wanted to use hay was because I compost the old bedding and use it on my garden. Hay has more good stuff in it than straw does. But my goats' health is more important than my garden, so I guess I'll be switching to straw.


     
  6. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    My goat shelters have dirt floors and only start to smell in wet weather when the bedding at the doorway gets wet. I keep it topped off with what they leave in the mangers (they don't eat the coarse alfalfa stems) and it seems to work out just right. That is, the amount of coarse stems they leave is just right to top off the bedding so it always looks and smells pretty clean. I know straw would work better for bedding, and shavings would be even better, but I *have* the alfalfa stems and have to do something with them anyway. I do plan eventually to get some rabbits, and will probably be able to feed some of the alfalfa stems to them. (Geese will eat the fines that the goats leave in the bottom of the manger -- that way nothing gets wasted. But, when I get that efficient, I'll have to buy bedding, so financially it may be a wash!)

    As far as inexpensive shelters, I have two types. One is the 10'x20' portable carport shelters. I have two of those, paid about $150 at Costco. The other is made of a frame of treated 2x4s, with cattle panels stapled (fence staples) to them in an arch shape. The whole thing is covered with a tarp. If you get a lot of snow, you want a center support inside. This can go eight feet wide, or no more than nine feet wide (makes it too weak for a snow load to go wider, and also you won't have any headroom). Mine is only eight wide by about ten long, and shelters my buck and wether. I managed to arrange them so the mangers can be filled from outside, and so the open ends face away from our prevailing winds, and so far the goats seem to be staying pretty comfortable in them with deep dry bedding.

    Kathleen
     
  7. Sue D

    Sue D Member

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    I have an extra cattle panel that I could possibly rig up the way you have it. I'll have to try that. Thanks.