When raising livestock such as goats, it’s important to have a place where the they can be fed, provide a shelter where they can retreat from the elements, and give you a spot that you can milk them. A goat barn is a good multi-use structure that provides for all of these needs. Best of all, a well designed goat barn can be built in a compact area for very little effort or money.
A goat’s requirements are very simple: as long as a goat is comfortable, it is generally happy. To facilitate this, you should build stalls in your goat barn that are free of drafts, away from the elements, and have sufficient room for the goats to stand upright with their heads outstretched. You should also construct your barn to have enough headroom that you can work without having to stand hunched over. The exterior of the barn should have an exercise yard that is well fenced and about four times the size of the goat’s stall. This area should be well drained, so that your goats aren’t exercising in standing water. You should also include an area to store feed away from the elements of weather, access to fresh water, and an area for milking.
Goats like to see each other, so if your goats are penned separately, you should at least include wire mesh walls so that the goats can see one another. The average stall should have about 12 square feet of floor space. If the goats are penned together, you should allow for at least six square feet of space per goat. Each stall or group pen should have a salt lick, hay rack, feed and water bucket or trough, and a holder to prevent goats from tipping the food and water buckets or troughs. For kids, you may wish to include a bench that they can jump or lay on, or sleep under. You should also include ventilation and lighting, but windows should be high enough to prevent goats from damaging them.
One of the easiest plans for building a goat barn is a pole barn structure. A pole barn may be quickly and easily assembled using inexpensive building materials. Pole barn materials may include utility or landscaping poles, or even metal posts. The ideal pole size is between 12 and 18 inches in diameter. A pole should be augured into the ground between 4 and 10 feet deep, depending on the size of the barn. The poles should be set at intervals no more than eight feet. The closer your poles are, the sturdier the barn will be. Trusses should be set at the top of the poles, and then the sides and roof can be covered in tin or wood. The goat stalls can be placed at either side of the barn, with a walkway down the middle.