Buying your first goat and getting started with the whole process of raising goats comes with a number of factors to consider. One of the first few things that should come to mind is the area where you plan to house your goats. While it is true that goat fencing and goat shelters do not really need to be expensive, you still have to ensure that the kind of materials and structure that you plan to use will be enough to cover the basic needs of your animals.
Your basis in deciding upon the kind of goat fencing and goat shelters to use will depend on the needs of your animals. There are a number of factors involved including the weather and climate conditions as well as the presence of wild animals that could harm your goats.
Goats need protection. They need to be protected from both the unpredictable, inconsistent weather as well as from the predators lurking around your area. The goat fencing and goat shelters that you choose should be sturdy and resistant enough. The basic form of housing that you can consider for your goats is the hoop house.
Protecting Your Goats from the Weather
Your goats will have varying fencing and shelter needs as seasons change. During the grazing period, for example, you would need a three-sided shed to allow your goats to graze yet protect them from windbreaks and falling tree branches. Another option for this season a pole barn with just a roof.
During winter, you will need a stronger type of shelter, most especially when your goats are kidding or are in the process of birthing in goats. Pregnant and lactating does will literally require you to have a solid building to house them. And inside that house, you’ll need to do sectioning among the does and the kids. It is best to use livestock panels to segregate them.
Goats and other common livestock animals need strong protection from hot weather. If not properly handled, they can suffer from heat stress. A good amount of shade is required to keep the goats away from the summer heat. Having trees to offer shade around your goat shelter is a good idea. The simplest structures you can have would be shades made of fabric, canvas, or tarps. It is also essential that you provide your goats with clean water.
Even if you do not live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you still have to protect your goats from drafts. These are currents of cold air that can make your goats uncomfortable. Drafts can also affect the health of your goats. It is important to keep your goats healthy especially if you are raising them for goat meat production. Check your goat shelter for any openings that let drafts blow in. Particular areas to check would be under the floors, window gaps, and any spaces in the walls.
Fencing in Open Areas
Goats should be allowed to roam outside their shelter. They will likely explore the area and find a spot for them to lay around quietly. To keep them within a designated area and to protect them from wild animals, you need to put up a fence. You should have both an exterior fence for the perimeter or an interior or cross fence.
The perimeter fence should keep wild animals out of the area where your goats are. It should also make it easy for you to “herd” all your goats back into their shelter. Interior or Cross fences are used to section the goat area. Among the common materials used for fencing are high-tensile electric wire, poly tape, wire, and electric netting.
Keeping Your Goats Healthy
Goat fencing and goat shelters are just among the things to consider when buying your first goat. You can start small and leave provisions for future expansion when you have more goats. Make sure that the goat you are buying is healthy. It should have been checked by a qualified veterinarian. After you bring your goat home, you should ensure that the goat stays healthy.
To help you distinguish between a sick goat and a healthy goat, you can observe the goat and check for a few signs:
- Unusual Noises – goats are usually quiet and content laying around in one place. If your goats start making disturbing noises, there is a good chance that there is something wrong with him. Common indications are crying, moaning, and groaning for no apparent reason. Call the vet to check on your goats to make sure that it’s nothing serious.
- Low Energy Level – goats are generally energetic and fun loving. They are curious about their surroundings. Although they are not grazers, they will want to explore their surroundings to find an area where they can graze for the “best” food. If your goats are not moving as much or are not grazing, it’s an indication that something could be wrong with them.
- Depression – it’s not only humans who get depressed. Goats are herd animals and have a need for “companions.” They will get depressed when there are no other goats around. It is not advisable to buy a goat as a pet. If you must, you have to get at least two to keep your goat satisfied.
Goats are very intelligent and curious animals. They are naturally inquisitive. They need space where they can move around comfortably. To raise healthy goats, you need the right goat fencing and goat shelters to accommodate the size of your herd. The expense should not be a problem as there are no high-tech equipment that are necessary for goat raising. You simply have to ensure that your goats are housed properly and kept healthy.
For more information about structures for your goat and any other goat raising concerns, the internet can be a good source. There might also be animal farming and raising experts or organizations in your area. A local group of goat raisers should be able to help you with the information that you need. They should also be able to give you advice on the common problems that you have to prepare for as you get started with your goat raising.