meat goat structures shaun jackson, ut extension agent
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Post on 17-Dec-2015
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- Meat Goat Structures Shaun Jackson, UT Extension Agent
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- Structure Considerations A design for a barn or other structure can be easily changed on paper. It is much more difficult and costly to change after construction has begun. The needs of the producers as well as the needs of the animals need to be taken into account.
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- Structure Considerations Do you want your goats near your home or would you prefer to keep them at a distance? How much money can you afford to spend for shelter? Will the proposed shelter provide adequate protection for your goats?
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- Structure Considerations Are there structures already on the farm that could be converted into goat barns? How much time is required? Can I live with the proposed structure?
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- Do you need structures? Do you really need structures all of the time? Total confinement of goats is NOT recommended. Shelters are only for goats to escape heat, rain, snow, etc. not a place for them to live.
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- Do you need structures? Goats are adaptive, meaning that they can quickly adapt to a variety of environmental conditions. In areas where there is dense plant cover and during warmer weather it may not be necessary to provide manmade shelter.
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- Climate Considerations In areas where extreme weather conditions are possible, shelter should be provided. This is also influenced by the season. Shelter is more important during the winter months.
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- Three Types of Shelter Natural Permanent/Stationary Movable
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- Barns Construction of a barn is the most expensive and time consuming method of providing shelter. Before beginning construction of any permanent structure, check with local government officials regarding zoning and building regulations.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Which direction do the prevailing winds blow? The wind can carry odors to unintended areas and may cause damage if the largest wall is directly facing the wind. Proper orientation can help alleviate this problem.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Continued How well drained is the soil on the proposed site? Poor drainage can lead to flooding problems. Another problem that may arise from excess water near shelters is foot problems in goats. Excessive moisture encourages bacterial growth and causes goats hooves to become soft. This combination can be disastrous, especially if ailments such as foot rot have been present in the herd.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Continued Is the proposed site on a steep slope, or at the bottom or top of a hill? Barns located at the bottom of hills or on a slope are subject to problems with water runoff during heavy rains.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Continued How close is the proposed site to trees, power lines, homes, or other buildings? Will the buildings be arranged in such a way as to provide easy access to goats, equipment, and humans? Should extreme weather or a fire occur, building arrangement and proximity become important factors to minimizing damage.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Continued Will the proposed site allow for future expansion? Is there a road or driveway that provides access to the proposed site? A solid roadbed is recommended for equipment and other vehicles. In areas without a roadbed, equipment tends to sink into the ground during wet weather causing the equipment to get stuck as well as contributing to soil erosion. This will make things easier during the building process and once the barn is in operation when transporting materials and animals and when removal of manure is necessary.
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- Permanent Structure Questions Continued Does the proposed site have access to water, utilities, and other services?
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- Barn Building Plans UT Extension has many building plans available. Plans may be obtained through your local County Extension Office.
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- To hire a contractor or not If a contractor is hired to build a structure the cost increases greatly. However, if construction is not one of your strong points this may be a viable option. Many contractors guarantee their work and can accomplish the construction in a fraction of the time. Keep costs in mind!
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- Moveable Shelters Moveable shelters are important when rotational grazing and little natural shelter is present. It is both expensive and impractical to build a barn in every paddock or pasture.
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- Portable Wooden Structures Small wooden structures may be placed on wheels or skids. This allows for easy transport with a tractor. May also be constructed as a stationary shelter The front should be left open for easy access. Provide 5 to 10 Square feet per mature goat.
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- Photo courtesy of Clear Creek Farms
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- Hoop Structures Also known as Cattle Panel or Livestock Panel buildings. Very inexpensive and easily moved. May be disassembled and used for corrals etc. Livestock panels are arched into a Quonset shape and held in place with T posts. The structure is then covered with a tarp or other weatherproof covering. A minimum of 2-3 panels should be used per hoop structure. Provide a 3 panel hoop structure for every 10-15 goats.
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- Hoop Structures Photo courtesy of Clear Creek Farms
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- A Note About Materials If you have or are seeking organic certification, please note that some types of treated wood will NOT pass inspection. Double check regulations before purchasing. Wood tends to harbor disease and is difficult to disinfect. This can lead to poisoning if treated materials are used and goats become bored and chew on the wood. If this is a concern, consider metal or plastic materials.
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- Structures Summary Structures may be necessary when natural cover is not present or when severe weather is likely. Cost, location, and personal preferences are all important considerations for determining what type of structures you need. Make sure you and your goats can live with the shelters you choose.
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- Meat Goat Equipment Shaun Jackson, UT Extension Agent
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- Equipment In this section, equipment is considered to be feeders, waterers, and working facilities.
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- Mineral, Grain, & Hay Feeders
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- Feed is the largest cost in livestock operations Feeders that minimize waste are strongly preferred The best feed in the world becomes barnyard litter once it touches the ground.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Will my goats waste feed with this feeder? Carefully examine the design. If a goat grasps feed or mineral from the feeder, will the excess fall to the ground?
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Is this a good feeder for goats?
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Will all of my goats have easy access to the feed or mineral? If feeders are too crowded, the more aggressive goats will get most of the feed, while the more timid or weaker one may be left out. Providing plenty of feeding space helps to reduce this problem.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Will my goats damage the feeder? Feeders should be constructed of sturdy materials. Bored goats tend to want to play with objects in their pasture or paddock. Be sure your feeders are strong enough to handle a goat attack.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Can my goats get on top of the feeder? If they can they are likely to cause damage to the feeder or injure themselves. Also, if they can get into the hay feeder for instance they will tend to use their feed as bedding, which leads to increased waste.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Is the feeder easy to clean and disinfect? As previously stated, sanitation is an important measure to control the spread of disease. Remember metal and plastic is easier to clean than wood.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Can the feeder be used by the goats? Is it too restrictive (i.e. cannot get their head through an opening) or is the feed going to be too far for them to reach? Remember if your goats cannot actually eat their feed or mineral, it does them no good. This can be a major problem if your goats have very large horns.
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- Feeder Considerations: Questions to Ask Yourself Can the feeder be easily moved? In rotational browsing systems where goats are moved often, this is an important consideration. The easier the feeders can be moved the better.
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- Photo courtesy of Bonnie Blue Farm
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- Water Delivery Water is the most important nutrient to goats Two main types: Automatic and non- automatic.
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- Automatic Water Delivery Wa
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