Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

My wife and I are looking into getting two Nigerian Dwarf does.  We live on 1/5 an acre in town, we currently have a few chickens but are looking to expand our backyard menagerie.  I was wondering if any of you had any ideas for small goat barns and play areas.  We have a space of about 30' x 10' that we can use for the entire fenced area including a small barn.

 

I would love ideas and pictures.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Are you going to milk? Look up Little Farm In The Hood. http://littlefarminthehood.blogspot.com/p/goats.html

They built a small goat barn about 10'x6' to accommodate their 3 nigies and a milk parlor and place to keep 1 bale of hay and a bucket of feed. It's nice. Send them a message and I am sure they would send you pictures.

I checked out the blog, very interesting.  I was hoping to see the goat barn mentioned under structures, but no luck.  I will have to sign up on their blog and see if I can either get them to post some pictures or send them to me.  I live in Northern Utah so the winter is a bit more formidable than those in North Carolina.  I was doing some work there a few years ago and half of the place I was working didn't come to work because of a couple of inches of snow.  I typically end up with 2-3 feet of snow in my yard most winters, so there may be modifications required.  I would still love to hear or see what others have done to how between 2-3 goats and leave some space for milking and feed storage.

Can you give us some info/photos of the area you'll be using? Might make it easier to make suggestions that would fit with your needs, and maybe a few 'custom' ideas too! :)

 

Right now it is just a corner of my back yard.  There is a rubbermaid shed that is falling apart that I'm going to remove and their is a 6 foot high vinyl fence on two sides, although I plan to put up a welded wire or panel fence just a bit on the inside of the vinyl and to complete the enclosure.  The spot is entirely grass except for where the shed is, which is where I plan to build the barn  The shed is at one end of the section.  There is a very small peach tree that I planted this spring that would be in the run area, which I may relocate.  Like I said the total space is 30' long by 10' wide.  I hope that helps I don't have any really good pictures of the area at the moment but I can try to get some.  Or do a snazzy drawing and upload it.

 

Thanks.

So it's near your house? Like a side yard type of a place? Do you have access to any garage space from it? Does the shed have electricity running to it? Will your barn? Good idea to relocate the peach tree. It will get killed if you can't keep the goats from it. (which is hard to do) Enforcing your vinyl fencing is a smart idea. Even if they don't taste it, they'll push against it, and the wire will help keep them from ruining it.

 


I drew this up based on what I would do in your situation.Leaves room to add on for more goat space later if desired. Length is 30 feet, width 10 feet as stated, barn would be 10 feet by 10 feet on one end. A milk parlor and feed storage area would need light of some sort (windows, skylights, electricity) and is 5'x10', leaving a loafing area that is also 5'x10', allowing room for a hay rack and mineral feeder. Water outside ( I do not like indoor water pails) and an overhanging roof for shade and loafing in bad weather (hot, cold, wet).

That drawing is somewhat similar to what I had in mind.  How tall would you make it, just out of curiosity.  I was also wondering if by loafing area that is the same as the area they will sleep?  I only noticed one problem I may have based on what you have drawn up.  I have a fence very close on one side and another shed close on the other where I would put the barn, so I may have a problem putting a gate/door on the side of the milking parlor area.  I like  that idea though because then I don't have to put a gate in the run area.  I am trying to get as much stuff figured out over the winter so that when the weather gets better I will have a plan.  Rachel it is actually as far away from my house as I can get.  I only have 1/5 an acre and my house is pretty much situated in the middle.  I plan to put the goats in one of the far corners of the back yard, but of course on this small of a lot that is still pretty close to the house.  There is no electricity ran out there , but it is easy enough to run an extension cord out there from the house.  There is another shed close to this area, but it will be pretty full with all of my lawn car equipment, tools, etc.  I unfortunately don't have a garage, how I wish I did.  

Sorry all I got on a ramble but I really appreciate the assistance.  I have also been getting some help from a semi local Nigerian Dwarf goat owner.

I would give a 7 foot head clearance, you will find it far more comfortable and can easily hang rakes and such from the walls. I had less and it made things...interesting :-)  You can move the building to a spot that is clear of your shed and attach a greenhouse to the outside of it too. I really like being able to get into the milk parlor and feed hay without entering the goat pen if I  choose to do so. It has been really nice.  I don't have an entrance to the goat yard except through my milking parlor. Doors mean maintenance, especially outside of a building.

I would make your barn as tall as you can, and use the top 1/2 of the loafing area (with space for you to walk through) as a platform for hay storage. Keep movement in mind (walking, loading hay, etc) when you place and measure doors and gates. Here's a really neat lighting idea. You tube has a lot of examples of how to make them, but I think all in all they are pretty easy to figure out. http://youtu.be/_zMAWztZ6TI I'd look into wiring your barn more permanently than an extension cord with at least light for after dark, and any heating lamps, etc. you might need in the future. The "loafing" area should be suitable for day and night use.

I've made a shelter similar to this one with a heavy duty tarp over the top. Cost me about $50.00 or so. Might be a good way to get a cover at the front of your barn for wet days and shade without breaking the bank. :) http://istover.com/hoophouse.html

 

Thank you for the info.  I think I might be able to get a door that opens into the milking parlor instead of out like your drawing shows, which may be better anyways since it snows so much here in the winter that at times doors that open outwards are difficult.  I already have a greenhouse, and since our yard is so small I am trying not to take up any more than I have to.  I was wondering how I would make a door in the goat pen that the goats wouldn't be able to destroy, so your idea really makes a lot of sense.  I will have to draw something up and see what you think.

 

 

Building up is a great idea Rachel. We wanted to do that, but are trying to avoid (eh-hm) building permits :-) We wanted a green, living roof, but it was a little hard to get supplies for the price range we were working with. Hay storage above is really awesome, and a good workout.

Thanks! And with Nigerians, you don't have to really build a whole second level, you could "cut" your regular level in 1/2... even if it's only a few bales that you can store... :)



Jordana Heath said:

Building up is a great idea Rachel. We wanted to do that, but are trying to avoid (eh-hm) building permits :-) We wanted a green, living roof, but it was a little hard to get supplies for the price range we were working with. Hay storage above is really awesome, and a good workout.

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2-quart milk pail


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