Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Ok, this question is for everyone who tries to keep a clean barn- how on earth do you pick up after the goats?! Our 4 Nigerians are new to us this summer, and it seems we learn best from those of you have been doing this for awhile! We have horses, and picking up their manure is simple! Now I am chasing little pellets all over! The goats live on dirt, which I rake and shovel out- I am losing a bit of dirt each day, though, and will have to replace it if I keep this up. I have imagined a rake similar to a horse manure fork but with much closer tines... or a screen-like gizmo... any suggestions of tools that work best, or things you have fabricated? I am always open to suggestions!

Thanks,

KD

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I'm not 100% sure I understand your question, but if you are talking about keeping their shelter clean, you need to have straw or shavings in there, and usually (if the space is big enough for the number you have) you can just clean out all of the bedding and poop once a week.
The shelter I can just sweep out... I am trying to pick up the poop in their outside yard once a day. They have a hillside with about 500 sq feet for 4 goats. I have been reading that people let it disintegrate... I have been trying to keep up with it as if they were horses- all poop up 1x a day- maybe that is unrealistic?? Thoughts?
You really need bedding in their shelter or they'll wind up laying in pee and getting poop stuck between their hooves, which is really nasty if you're going to be milking them. I've never worried about poop outside. Mother Nature takes care of it as long as your pen is large enough. That is a pretty small area for four goats. You might consider a movable pen like the one WG4 has. She posted pictures and info about a year ago. That will also help with feed costs because you can move them to fresh grass daily.
I re-checked my pen- 40 feet by 60 ft with a 12x5' extra shelter... It seems fine for 4 little goats? I only WISH I could use a moveable pen to graze! We live in suburbia on half an acre with neighbors on both sides- someday I hope to have enough grass to graze them on, but for now I have to buy all feed! Do you find straw or shavings work better? Thanks for your input- I really appreciate it!

That is pretty small, and you might have a lot of build up of manure with four goats. It might not be bad on most days, but if you have a lot of rain, that could be pretty unpleasant. A movable pen is perfect for your situation -- it wouldn't make much sense for someone with plenty of pasture in the country. It is a square made of four livestock panels, so it's only 16 X 16. I'll ask WG4 to chime in. She has four goats, and I think she moves it every couple days.

Straw vs. shavings is often a personal choice. Straw is warmer, if you're in a place with cold winters. Straw is usually less expensive, but with such a small shelter, one bag of shavings would be enough.

Thank you so much for the thoughts... I will consider using a moveable pen! I have a portable corral for my horses that I take camping...Hmm, wonder if I could make that work?!
I've heard of someone using a leafblower to clean up goat poop from a pen.

I heard my name mentioned --- perhaps I can help provide some info on a movable pens.  I have a discussion here about them, but can also tell you that with a small space, movable pens are great. Like Deborah mentioned, I have four 16x16ft cattle panels that are wired together on three sides, with the fourth clipped together to make a gate.

 

I put my pen in my front and back yard, and move it once a day. Its great because we don't have to mow much and the goats can stick their heads through the fence to eat more if they have eaten everything in the pen. Its also easy to move and only takes me about 10min each day to get the goats out.

 

Hope that helps --- let me know if there is anything else I can add! :)

-WG4

I love the idea of moveable pens. Here is my question, though...Could I have it on my lawns? They eat alfalfa and pellets now, and since they are on "dry lot" they dont have alot of diversity in their food. Would they eat the grass (they don't seem too interested in it when they have play time in the yard), and if they ate a good amount of fresh grass and aren't used to it, couldn't that cause problems? 

I tried to find your other "pens"discussion on the web site and seem to have missed it!

Thanks!

WorkingGoats4 said:

I heard my name mentioned --- perhaps I can help provide some info on a movable pens.  I have a discussion here about them, but can also tell you that with a small space, movable pens are great. Like Deborah mentioned, I have four 16x16ft cattle panels that are wired together on three sides, with the fourth clipped together to make a gate.

 

I put my pen in my front and back yard, and move it once a day. Its great because we don't have to mow much and the goats can stick their heads through the fence to eat more if they have eaten everything in the pen. Its also easy to move and only takes me about 10min each day to get the goats out.

 

Hope that helps --- let me know if there is anything else I can add! :)

-WG4

No problem with goats eating grass. If you click on the word "here" in WG4's post, that will take you to the page. She embedded the link in the word. It's green, but it doesn't show up as well as it should. Here's the URL:

http://nigeriandwarfgoats.ning.com/forum/topics/movable-pens

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