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We realized we will need about twice as much goat space in our goat barn when they kid in the Spring and we've designed a very inexpensive way to do it.

We currently have a 13X30 prefab metal building and most of it is aisle, hay storage, milk room and ante room. The building is sitting on an old cement slab from a hog barn that fell down years ago, and the concrete extends about 10 feet out. The aisle runs down one side of the building. We're getting five heavy duty plywood 4X8X8 shipping containers for $40 each. We'll butt them up against one another facing into the aisle, cut the tops at an angle to match the roof angle and use some leftover metal roofing to cover them. They'll sit on treated lumber on top of the concrete pad that's already there. We'll put insulation underneath them and something waterproof on the floors (any ideas what to use?). Hatches on the backs of each stall will open up so we will just be able to push the soiled bedding out the back and then shovel it off the pad into the 4-wheeler trailer to haul to the compost.

DH thinks we ought to buy those heated dog mats to put in them for the kids since we live in a very cold area. Good idea? Of course he'd make it impossible for the goats to get to the cords and the pads would probably be covered with bedding.
 

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The barn sounds wonderful, but the flooring plan could run into some issues. It would be easier and cleaner to put down rubber floor mats directly on the concrete and deep compost bedding. The rubber acts as an insulator, won't rot and there's no cavity for vermin to congregate. The back hatch for removing bedding is a great labor saver. The dog mats are not designed to hold up to soggy bedding and urine, which would always be a concern for electrical shorts and keeping cleaning.
 

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I would not put electrical pads in there because dog ones are not meant for livestock use. I don't think even the piglet pads are really meant for such applications but I don't have experience with them. Anything electrical scares me, though. If you're kidding season is in a cold season, just make sure they're dry after they're born and then watch them pretty close their first week of life to make sure they get in the barn at night and in storms, and also so that they don't get trapped anywhere, they should be fine. I pull my dairy kids at birth and use a heat lamp on them while I'm drying them - once dry, it goes off. The early spring dairy kids stay the first couple weeks of life in a kid pen in my barn. For the boer kids I used to raise, I would just keep drying with towels (but I had mommas help too) until dry. If you can't be sure you'll be home for kiddings to help dry kids, perhaps planning for later births (May?) in the future is a good idea. :) After drying, kids can survive pretty much any temps if they stay fed and can get out of the wet and wind.

As for the concrete, you could just deep bed without doing any more, and it should be fine.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah it often gets thirty to forty below zero here although by April it's not that bad. Still gets below zero though. THhy are predicting a rough winter. People use those heat lamps but they scare me. We could probably find a way to safely mount them and I really like the idea of using them while drying off the kids if we are here when they kid. I like the idea of rubber matting directly on the concrete and lots of bedding on top. I wonder if he could put the heating pads under the rubber matting and make it impossible for them to get wet.....They have the heated rubber mats designed for garage floors, maybe we will look at them. He is very good at electrical stuff and I bet he can figure something out. We will be running electricity out to the barn this fall and designing it just how we want it.
 

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Katie
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I am 1 of those people that have always said "No" to any heat lamps in my barns because they scare the crap out of me too!

Last winter was so bad though & we started our kidding the 1st week of April & it was sooooo cold still I'm glad I had this light from Premier 1 already from baby chick use.
I installed it in the top of 1 of those big plastic barrels, cut a hole in the side for the babies to go into the barrel & it worked GREAT!

It doesn't get hot at all & very safe.
I will be getting another 1 for this next kidding season & fixing up another barrel for this spring. All the babies loved it!

http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=18266
 

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Katie
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That looks a little safer than the ones we've used for our chicks, Backfourty - and I've seen pictures of barrels being used for kids. Very good idea.....
It worked GREAT last year & really doesn't get hot at all. Really nice for me last year as it was a cold spring.
I am planning on getting another lamp & doing up another barrel for this year since they are predicting the same kind of weather again.

I got the bulbs from them too.
 

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Your set up sounds quite workable....love the idea of taking the bedding out the back!

I am one of those who do not like electricity around my animals; however, as I read about the individual stalls you are creating out of those shipping containers, I was wondering how placing electrical "bedding" on the sides of the container where you will house the kids....food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hmmmmmm........the sides..........safe from moisture. We'll have to cogitate on that!
 

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I too would probably vote against the electrical heating pad idea. Deep bedding would be the best bet. The composting bedding will produce heat, and there would be no concern of electrical shorts. Maybe you could make them "coats" for the really cold days. : )
barb
 

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If they are on the sides, I can guarantee that goats will mess with them. And in a smaller housing, they are still likely to pee on the walls, too.
 

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Maybe you could make them "coats" for the really cold days. : )
barb
I buy and hoard cheap sweat-pants from thrift stores and make goat kid coats out of the legs. For $3 or less I can have two coats. I leave the elastic end on the bottom of the leg to become a collar, cut a hole for each front leg, et voila! For bucklings I cut them halfway up along the bottom so they don't get them wet when they pee. They can be washed and stored for next kidding or tossed since they're so cheap.

Or in an emergency, use whatever you have at hand :D



The plastic barrel kid heaters are on my short list of projects, so I have at least one for this coming kidding season. I lost one pretty black and white spotted doeling the night after she was born because she got cold, and that was in April here in Alabama.

Love your ideas, love to see pictures when you get them built!

-Sonja
 

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Ah pallets... is there anything they cannot be turned into? :D We're going to be using some for new and improved hay feeders soon. Ish. I have the pallets!
 

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Hey, Sonja! Long time no see!

Love the baking soda sweater. :)
Hey Pony, long time no time. :D No time to sit at computer, that is. Gonna be even less now that breeding season is upon us, and I got a good deal on a used frozen semen tank. Now I have to spend even more time with the goats, so I know who's in heat and ready to AI.

-Sonja
 

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OOOOH... AI would be so nice...

In the meantime, we'll just have to figure out how to get our barn assembled...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sonja I saw you said you had found a good deal on a semen tank then you said you had to spend more time with the goats. How much time will you have to spend with them to fill up that tank?
 
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