Winter Goat Shelter to Keep Your Goats Warm

A goat house doesn’t have to be fancy, but a good winter goat shelter will keep your herd safe and happy through the coldest months of the year.


| October 24, 2013


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to raising goats (or any livestock for that matter). But by working with nature, you can raise happy, healthy dairy goats. Goats don’t need a lot of shelter in the winter, but a properly designed goat shelter, barn or house will keep your goats happy all winter long. The following excerpt is from Raising Goats Naturally (New Society Publishers, 2013) by Deborah Niemann.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Raising Goats Naturally.

One of the advantages that goats have over cattle, sheep, and pigs is that the equipment and infrastructure required for them is not nearly as costly. Goats were the first livestock we bought after chickens, and we had to buy very little equipment for them. When we added other livestock, however, we quickly learned that we would need to upgrade our infrastructure to properly contain them. Cattle require heavy-duty steel handling equipment, which is very costly. Although ewes are not any harder to keep than goats, the rams are very hard on housing and gates. The first time we put a ram in our one of buck pens, he put his head down, ran straight for the gate and busted right through it. Pigs also tend to tear up a lot of buildings and fencing simply by rubbing on it. You will probably discover that goats are easier to keep than you imagined.

Winter Goat Shelter

Many people who live in northern climates assume they will need an insulated and heated barn or goat house for goats in winter. However, goats grow a thick, fuzzy undercoat of cashmere to keep them warm during the winter, so adults are usually fine in unheated goat barns in most of North America. If kids are born in freezing temperatures, someone should be there to get them dried off as quickly as possible so they don’t get hypothermia and their ears don’t get frostbitten while still wet. Once kids are dry, they are fine down to around zero degrees Fahrenheit.





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