I need opinions on goat bedding

Discussion in 'Goats' started by JoyKelley, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    What do you use to bed your goats in the barn at night and why do you think it works the best.

    I have tried wood chips but goat poo doesn't rake out , or scoop out, of chips and the whole floor has to be replaced at least twice a week $$$$$.

    I have tried hay and that keeps them above their mess but it builds up and then it takes alot of hard work, time and effort to clean it out of the stall. Also summer has arrived and where the hay was ok in winter , it now allows a quick build up and stinks and the flies are attracted to what lies beneath.

    Does anyone have something better they use

    thanks

    Joy
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Straw works well for me here in Wa. I spread a new bale out every week and let it build up in the fall and winter - they get a soft base to lay in and a thick layer they can burrow into when it gets to the single digits. Also, the composting of the berries and urine actually does give them some heat.

    I clean it all out in the spring (I'm actually working on that now) and leave them more bare floor to stretch out on when it gets hot. I sweep up the berries every day in the spring and summer. They still get some straw in the corner to curl up in if they want to.
     

  3. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    The best thing would be thick sand base. Goat poop rakes out great.
    You can stir in DE or lime so that it is not dust on top. Stays cooler in summer and you can still put straw on top for winter warmth and it is much easier to clean up off of sand.
    Now if I could find a way to get that sand up hill to my barn I would do that myself. :)
     
  4. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I use deep bedding for my goats. I was using the leftover hay that they won't eat, but since switching to alfalfa pellets I've had to start using baled pine shavings for their bedding. The shavings will actually be easier to pick up when it 's time to clean the pen (at least after I get rid of the rest of the hay in a few weeks -- it's too soon to clean pens here). In Florida, deep bedding may not be a benefit, but my goat pens have water draining through them in the winter (the only time we really get any rain), and if I didn't keep the bedding deep, the goats wouldn't have any dry place to lie down. It also helps keep them warm in the winter. And it will make wonderful mulch for the garden.

    If I was in Florida, I would probably do as Jen H said she does in the summer, and leave a dry floor and just sweep it up regularly. One of the goat books tells about a woman who kept her goats on a concrete floor in the garage and swept the nanny berries up every day, and the goats did fine.

    Kathleen
     
  5. natybear

    natybear Well-Known Member

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    I use kiln dried pine or cedar shavings because regular wood chips can contribute to Mastitis. With dairy goats, that isn't something I'm willing to risk. I also let the uneaten hay build up. I think everyone else great ideas, I never thought of using sand, I would think that would be to cold in the winter, at least here in OR it might be.

    I just suggest not using regular wood chips for milking goats because of the mastitis issues.

    God Bless.
     
  6. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea about the sand, i think I will try it ( it's free around here ) , how do you handle the issue of urine on a concrete floor or a bare floor, my goats seem to let out twice what they take in as far a liquids. We put in a White fill dirt floor when we built the barn and it's amost as hard as concrete and liquids do not soak into it.
     
  7. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    How often do you guys clean out your stalls/pens? I have small houses that are 4 X 8 in their yard that they sleep in when it rains or they get cold. I notice that they get smelly quickly, like in a day or 2, (I put some more ventilation holes in for them recently) I hate cleaning them, and have too much composting hay to compost, so I am wondering how do you tell when they need to be cleaned or how often do you do it. The houses have wood floors, (think big dog houses)(my goats are all small pygmies) so do you think that the sand thing would work well? I used to just change the top layer of hay but I recently scrapped the whole thing out. (I got instant compost too!)

    Any thoughts? Warnings? Advice? Thanks!
     
  8. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    srraw works best, and if they eat it , it won't hurt them. woodchips get in their nose, and yo uhave a dead goat, sometimes, use straw, it is the very best.
     
  9. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I started using a new product called Woody Pet. It is made for horses. It is a pelleted shavings that absorbs not only wetness but odor as well. I sprinkle a couple of feed scoops around every few days so alot isn't needed, much to the disappointment of the company (so they told me)
     
  10. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    them darn does waste so much hay that i just let them use it for bedding,i rake it up every couple of days in the winter time and throw it in thier barn , if its raining i kind of take a short cut , since they little ladies dont like to get wet, i just feed them in the barn , then i dont have to rake outside :D
    i also take the extra hay they waste and use it in my chicken coop and for my pigs for bedding for them too , i cant see alfalfa hay i buy for 3.50 a bale getting wasted and left to rot just cause the girls dont liek it , whenever i throw a new wagonload full into the chickens they are happily chirping away and digging through it , eating bits of leaves, etc .

    i try to keep the whole farm as much of an independant closed ecosystem as possible , and by doing this its one more step .
    just my couple of coppers, rub em how you want
    Beth

    never has been a problem , and ive raised doesdown herei n ark and up north in ND and wis.
     
  11. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My barn floor is concrete (not ideal, but the barn was here and in good condition when we bought the place). When I'm deep bedding my goats in the winter the urine is soaked up by the straw. In the summer there's enough of a breeze going through the barn that the urine dries up pretty quickly. I've also noticed the buggers will purposefully go over to the straw to pee.

    When I do the spring barn cleaning I hose down the barn floor with a hot water pressure washer and Simple Green, so we start over with a clean floor.