advice on bedding and keeping things clean

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by tweet444, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. tweet444

    tweet444 New Member

    12
    Apr 5, 2009
    Hi!
    I just brought home my first goats yesterday and am extremely excited. Two Nigerian Dwarf does. I have a backyard set up with a small house (6x8) and a small fenced enclosure (15x20). I am hoping to expand this in the future. Right now I have straw in the house and just the natural grass/dirt ground in the pen, which is not covered. Of course, the goats are already peeing and pooing all over their house, as well as outdoors. I live in a rainy area, so mud is an issue. Anyway, my question is, what sort of bedding and ground cover should I use, and how often should I be cleaning it out, stirring it up etc, to keep things clean and healthy. I know the deep litter method for chickens and i heard someone recommend covering the entire house floor AND outside pen in wood shavings. Though, I have also heard straw is warmer in the house - but it doesn't get too bitter here (Portland). I'd greatly appreciate any advice. I've been trying to look things up, but most references seem more specific to larger scale operations with barns and pastures.
    Thank you so very much!
     
  2. GoatGirl

    GoatGirl New Member

    58
    Mar 23, 2009
    Portland, TN
    Well, I use saw dust because I can get it really cheap (like less than ten dollars a pick up load) and the babies especially love it. I live in a rainy area too, and I have to clean out/ add more saw dust just about every other time it comes a big rain. Just when it starts getting messy, you will want to freshen it up some. Congratulations on the new additions to your family :stars:
     

  3. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I use stall pellets in our goat shed then pile hay on top of that. I use hay because I sell it so it's a lot cheaper then using straw for me and I clean the shed out every week. It's pretty muddy where I live too (25 miles SW of Seattle) so I use hog fuel in the spots where it's really sloppy in the goat pasture.
     
  4. GoatGirl

    GoatGirl New Member

    58
    Mar 23, 2009
    Portland, TN
    This may make me sound like a rookie, but "hog fuel?????" What is it?
     
  5. bheila

    bheila New Member

    644
    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    Hog fuel is the bark off of trees, at least here it is. We pay $9 a yard for it.
     
  6. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    yeah i'd never heard of hog fuel either.

    i just use hay as their bedding, not the fancy stuff, but we can pick up a $4 bale of hay thats just not 'good' and use it as bedding.

    i clean it out every week in the summer, and once during the fall, leave it all winter (cuz im not going to haul a wheelbarrow through the snow!) and during breakup (right now) i usually clean in out.
     
  7. tweet444

    tweet444 New Member

    12
    Apr 5, 2009
    Thanks everyone!
    It sounds like there are many techniques and location has a big effect.
    Do people ever spot clean or just add more hay or saw dust or whatever to the shed rather than emptying the whole shed out and starting fresh? I don;t mind cleaning, but i don't have much room for waste for pile up in my backyard, and the neighbors would complain in a jiffy (i live within the city of Portland, OR). And what about composting?
    Also, would Hog Fuel be similar to mulch that I can easily buy around here? I haven't heard of stall pellets, but i'll have to look into that.
     
  8. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Ditto ........here I have never heard of hog fuel as well.

    that would be hard to do with a wheelbarrow....can't blame you at all...Katrina... :help:


    yes.. I do both... I use saw dust and sometimes put straw on top of that or more saw dust .....depends on what it looks like.........I clean out the wet spots for sure.....when I start to smell ammonia..... :wink:
     
  9. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    When we actually got our barn set up we put granualar PDZ down, with barn dry on top of it (stove pellets work too) and then straw on top of that. The straw doesn absorb moisture well thats what the PDZ and barn dry were for. But straw makes a good bed. I stripped the stall as needed.
    Hog fuel used to be a popular base for kids playgrounds.
    beth
     
  10. GoatGirl

    GoatGirl New Member

    58
    Mar 23, 2009
    Portland, TN
    yes.. I do both... I use saw dust and sometimes put straw on top of that or more saw dust .....depends on what it looks like.........I clean out the wet spots for sure.....when I start to smell ammonia..... :wink:[/quote:3c5ued7c]


    That's me exactly. When in doubt, throw on some more saw dust :thumbup:
     
  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    :wink: :greengrin:
     
  12. GoatGirl

    GoatGirl New Member

    58
    Mar 23, 2009
    Portland, TN
  13. Thanatos

    Thanatos New Member

    937
    Mar 16, 2009
    Lake Ariel, Pa
    In AZ when it gets mushy, from cleanin water bucket, i rake to edges and add more straw. straw cause thats what we got....... basically watch for too much moisture, dont want foot rot, if ti smells bad clean it, other than that its good.
     
  14. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I'm in Portland too! :) Maybe we met?

    I "spot-clean" all the time, at least once a day and sometimes more. But at least once a week, the entire bedding is removed and replaced, even in the winter. In the barn, we take it out, lay down baking soda (not too much but not too little) lay down "Noah's Choice" bedding pellets or pine shavings and then add some wasted hay (there is soooo much of that around here!)

    Outside, I rake up any wet, soiled hay, lay down some dolamite or baking soda and *sometimes* lay down some shavings, but not all the time, kind of depends. It can get kind of expensive laying down shavings in the goat yard but in high-traffic areas, it is a must, for us anyways. Hate to see my goaties standing in mud. . .

    Oh, one thing you could try and that worked for us (much cheaper too) is to get those bags of bark mulch, the smaller pieces, and lay that down in the goat yard. Helps make the ground not turn into total mud, in the rainy weather.
     
  15. kannm

    kannm New Member

    267
    Mar 18, 2009

    Also, it is very dry here. We add a bunch of straw to keep the dust down as well. When the wind blows the sandy dust will hurt your skin.

    We started using the deep litter method and then I tried to go to a more clean as you need. The deep litter method seems to have worked better.
     
  16. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    728
    Oct 1, 2008
    We usually use leftover hay or straw, sometimes we put a layer of pine shavings down and a layer of hay or straw.