Goat Shelters

The only goats I had ever been around, prior to getting our first goats, were the ones my Uncle Chester had. They were in a pasture behind his house. They were in woods and had no way to get out of the weather. They cleaned up the wooded area, and then they were gone. They were wild and they stunk.

Before we started thinking about goats, our main barn was constructed. After talking to Benny Anders (one of our neighbors), we purchased a couple percentage does from him. He had shelters spread over his pasture and had a nice big barn for his goats to get out of the weather.

We decided before we picked up our first goats we needed to add a shelter for the animals. To the just completed barn we added a 13 x 30 addition. Within the addition we constructed an 8 by 13 area for feed/storage. We added some fences on the back side and had our first area for goats. Over a three day period we purchased three young goats, one Pyrenees puppy, and three kittens and put them in down at the barn. Soon we added the two percentage does from Benny Anders, and we had a herd.

We added fences and goats; still the barn addition was adequate shelter for all of our critters. We added a couple more percentage does, and our first babies were born; still the addition to the barn was adequate. At the end of the first kidding season, we were up to 15 goats. The barn was getting a little cramped. I spotted some metal shelters; priced them; and decided to add one for addition shelter.

This worked well, so we added a couple more. We added more fences; made a few woodland pastures to separate our young billies from the herd; and well, more shelters were needed.

On the internet I spotted a homemade shelter and decided to build something similar using rough lumber. It worked great for the bucks, but as the number of bucks grew, we knew we needed more shelters. Two 4-foot culverts became available, so we cut the rusted area out and shelters were born.

At a farm just north of Lynchburg, TN, (home of Jack Daniels) where we went to see kids from an ET flush, we discovered another shelter idea. They had some cattle panel shelters (CPS). They gave me the basic instructions on how to build a CPS, and soon I had one at the bottom of the hill.

At least a dozen does have kidded in the CPS since it was established. We knew the tarp would not last forever. This year, after two years, we replaced the tarp; and they are back in the shelter.

As the herd increased I decided to increase the barn, again, and added a 12 x 33 section behind the original structure. The annex's only purpose was to be a shelter. We had already converted a 12 x 12 area inside the original barn for a creeper for kids, so I didn't consider the new structure to be anything but a shelter.

With a new granddaughter, two sons and their families in California, the wife decided we needed to go visit for Christmas. Since none of the does were expected to kid in December, a trip to the left coast was planned. Pat's parents had fed the goats before, but the herd had grown to 40. I decided, after seeing an article on the internet about a feeding system, to use what I had and design a way for the in-laws to be able to feed without having to get in with the goats. The annex became a feeding area, reducing to some extent the amount of shelter but gives me a place to pen does following birthing. I tried a system of pens for the annex, but the goats showed me my plan was flawed. So I abandoned that pen idea.

We put our young does in a woodland lot near the house to keep them away from the buck and to give them extra feed. A shelter was required. One of the metal shelters was hauled up the hill. As the young does herd expanded, an additional shelter was required; and one was constructed.

This summer we built holding pens to provide special areas for the soon to be moms and a place to put the moms after birthing in good weather. Shelters, of course, would have to be constructed.

Two different shelters were fabricated; but we have decided that once the balance of the holding pens are constructed, we will probably build a barn over the pens.

All of the lumber to construct the barn, the addition, the annex, and the various wooden shelters came from the woods of Clear Creek Farms.

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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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