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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As we prepare our acreage for a couple goats, we have two options. One - a real barn but with no outside enclosure until the ground thaws or Two - a south facing pole shed closed on three sides with the south side open on the bottom 2/3, but WITH an enclosed outdoors area. Which is preferable? I understand for kidding that we should move them into the barn, but I thought perhaps they might prefer/stay healthier with an outdoor area? Thoughts?
 

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Where are you located? We're in the North east & a 3 sided shelter just does not cut it.

We find ours are extremely healthy with free choice shelter, they know when to come inside. I would opt for the real barn, and figure out some temporary daily outside access, even if it was just cattle panels for a loafing area with a small access door leading inside the barn area. It would be easy enough to cut a 3'x4.5' hole with a sliding panel as a door, one you can shut them inside if you wanted to, yet close it up permanently when their pastures are ready.

The barn will come in handy, and if it's in the budget, go for it. Of course I'm basing my answer on my location, so take that into account.
HF
 

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I'm wondering the same thing. I live up north. I read somewhere you don't want your goats going into an insulated barn and then out to the cold. Is this true? Would a three sided shelter be okay except for kidding?
Tracy
 

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There's a big difference between an insulated barn & a heated barn, not that you questioned that, but that's what we use for kidding. Those dams kidding in the heated barn in January stay in until March(50 degrees inside), for some reason kidsicles don't appeal to me. All others are outside with free choice 4-sided shelter. An insulated barn will still get chilly, how much depends on what you are housing in there(horses, cows, 50 goats?). Our sheds are partially insulated, & 4 sided, more not insul than insul, but with the sliding door as described it is still cold, but the wind & snow is blocked. Goats can tolerate cold very well if they are cared for properly. Major temp fluxuations can be a problem, but 10-20 degrees as you would see in a barn not so much. Normal outside temps can fluxuate from 70 to 20 here, we've only had one kid sick from these types of fluxuations in 4 years. I'm sure others have fared worse than us as yes this can be an issue.

We don't use bedding inside our shelters, all have a loafing area outside with deep bedding & a roof of sorts so snow & rain don't fall on it. They prefer the loafing areas unless the weather is real nasty out.

3 sided shelters, depending on how large they are, are subject to snow drifts, and snow drifts & thawing = cold, damp, sickly goats. Better to plan beforehand than realize issues later.

Given the right shelter for your area, they will do well outside as long as they have been acclimated & have full bellies.
HF
 

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I would use the the 3 sided shelter during the day and move them into the barn at night. Mine like to be outside in the sun no matter how cold it is unless it's real windy and snowing/raining. I'm lucky that mine can free range the property and they hang out by the barn or house. I keep mine in a horse stall at night because of the cold and because of predators. All my critters are locked up at night..including the cats. All you would need to do is grab a bucket with some alfalfa pellets (or grain if you grain) and have them follow you over to the outside enclosure for the day. Make sure they have some bedding and stuff to stand on (electrical spools work great) and then move them in at night. Here are some pics of my set up...I'm in SE SD so we might even live close to each other with the same weather.
Here is my barn...it faces south and they lay in the hay, right outside, soaking up the sun when they are not roaming around.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
Here are some shots of the stall inside the barn that they use at night. We just built an insulated hut for them to cuddle up in to stay warm
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
these pics are from before the babies were born and we just had Gretta
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
Here is the inside of the barn...2 stalls on the left. Horses run in in the back
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
In the summer months we do have to confine them when no one is home...or when we have have visitors because they jump on their cars. We have this insulted shed that we enclosed an outside area for them with combination panels. It's their summer cottage. There is heat in the building and this is were I kept them last winter after she had the babies.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
We do have this 3 sided shed in the west pasture for the horses...the goats do go hang out in there sometimes...right now there is too much snow blocking it.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
This is their favorite spot
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
and this
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
and this
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
And last but not least..this is Rocky's favorite spot
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...M2bloyYg9vPgY/cC/f=0/ps=50/r=0/rx=550/ry=400/
Hope this helps....where do you live? I'm in the Alcester area. PM me if you want :)
 

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I echo Minelson. Our goat barn is really the end stall of an old walk through old barn; we had to clean the stall out for this purpose (1 stall down, 4 more to go, yikes!) and the opening dumps right out to the fence we erected, about 2 acres, maybe 1 1/2. On cold nights, we lock everyone in (the babies are locked in at night for protection anyway, in a pen we put in the stall). But the barn is quite airy, so we will be working towards covering some of the draftier areas. But on cold nights, everyone gets coerced into the stall and the door is closed and locked. So the idea of putting them up at night (do they have collars?) is probably a good one, with the run in used for daylight. Our guys have free run in and out of the stall all day. Another option would be to buy one of those pre-fab tool sheds instead of a run-in/lean to. Pretty sure Home Depot has them on sale during these winter months, maybe even good old Wal Mart.

(keep in mind, I am not an expert on goats, I am a struggling rookie who gained all her knowledge from here!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can take pictures. We rent our acreage so adding buildings isn't so much an option. We can improve any existing buildings, but that's about it.... I don't think they'd have much of an issue with us adding fencing to the outside. The "goat shack" (the 3 sided building) is absolutely perfect for them with the exception that it is open... I wonder if we couldn't enclose it. DH is going to add a manger and sleeping platforms in that area.

Otherwise our option is to add indoor enclosures in the barn... Considering which might take more work, it's probably the barn that would take the most work as stalls and fencing would have to be added. The smaller 3 sided shed would just need the face added. That's fairly simple. And the outdoor enclosure already exists at about 5 foot tall and it's all heavy livestock fencing. Maybe with a door?
 

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Hmm. Sometimes I completely forget the security our lgd's give us. Definately lock them up at night if they are not protected from predators.
HF
 

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So maybe a piece of plywood or something across the front of your existing shed to enclose it? Cutting a door into that shouldn't be hard.
 
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