What Kind of Housing Do Nigerian Dwarf Goats Need?
While planning to add Nigerian Dwarf Goats to your homestead, the second most important thing you'll need to consider is their housing. Questions you'll need answers for are:
Where will they be safe from weather & predators?
How much room do they need?
Do they need a bench or bed?
What kind of bedding do they need?
What else should we consider?
If you are starting your herd with kids, they will seem so tiny inside a shed but quickly grow.
We started with building two wood sheds that were 6' wide by 10' long (one for our bucks & one for the does) with sand floors and 4 little 12" x 20" windows for lighting that we put about 4 1/2' above the floor so they could not put their hooves through them.
We added a sleeping bench so they would not have to sleep on the cold or dirty floor, a secure door that locked, a 3 station mineral feeder, a wall-mounted hay feeder, 3 separate feeders that hooked over a two-by-four and a 2 gallon water bucket.
From the door, they had access to a small paddock we had fenced with cyclone fencing (bad idea! More on that under fencing!) We built a 2-story goat "tower" that they loved to eat their hay and chew their cud.
We used large-flake pine shavings over the sand floor but have changed that in the new barn.
We still use the flake pine shavings but we brought in crushed and powdered limestone inside the barn for base of the floor.
When I had horses, we dug out the stalls and used limestone to cut down on the urine & ammonia smell inside the barn so we used limestone as the floor base in our new goat barn.
A view inside our first goat-shed.
The does loved their home &
How much floor space do the goats require?
The quick answer is as much as you can give them. For Nigerian Dwarf goats, floor space per goat should be at least 20 square feet per goat inside the barn or shed. Sure, you can get more Nigerian Dwarf Goats and kids inside a 6' x 12' shed but when they need to be inside due to weather (remember goats do not like getting wet!) to sleep or whenever needed, you want them to be comfortable and not fight. They need their own space to be comfortable.
In our new goat barn our kid stalls are 5' x 6' 1/2' deep which is 32.5 square feet of floor space, our birthing stalls are 8' x 10' (80 sq ft each) and we have a doe pen that is 12' x 24' (288 sq ft.).
Our barn's exterior overhangs will allow for the goats to have an 8' x 50' overhang to stay out of the weather when we finally finish up the barn. Our buck house is 12' x 14' (168 sq ft)
Our fenced paddocks are about 1/4 acre each and once they are finished, we will have 4 paddocks.