barn question?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by motherof5boys1girl, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    ok..this place has a great big metal barn, with a hay loft.
    the thing is..there are no doors! and i looked at it, and there isnt anything to indicate that there were doors in the first place.
    is this normal? wouldnt the animals get cold at night?
  2. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    A lot of people use 3 sided shelters year around even in northern climates. Goats getting too cold is not usually an issue. It is best to have the open side facing south because wind doesn't usually come from that direction.

  3. dvfreelancer

    dvfreelancer New Member

    Aug 15, 2009
    None of our barns have doors and they do just fine in the winter. As long as they can get out of the wind, have a good supply of food and stay dry, they can tolerate some pretty harsh conditions. From what I understand, their digestive system is like a walking compost pile and helps keep their core temperature up in winter. Mine will lay down, folding their legs underneath them to keep their feet under their belly and pack up together. I've seen them sit out in the yard that way in some pretty cold temps...voluntarily. Chewing cud, hanging out. No problem. They can walk to one of the barns any time they like. As long as it isn't raining or windy, they usually stay outside.

    I didn't notice where you live. If it's a part of the country that regularly sees below zero temps, then doors might be a good investment. We're thinking of moving to MN one of these years and doors for the barn in that part of the country won't be optional.

    Usually metal barns have standard size door openings for garage doors, are fitted with rails for sliding doors, or will have the roll-up retractable types. There may be fittings for one or all those options pre-drilled already. But unless you have really harsh winters, no doors will probably be okay.
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Keep their rumens full (lots of hay!) and they will stay plenty warm in there. :greengrin:
  5. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
  7. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    oh no the one we will have is more square and has a second story but the openings are made the same..its just a straight shot down the middle. of course, they might be ok..i am the person who still gives them a heat lamp at night because they are scared of the dark! granted, i have them almost weaned from needing it, so its not all bad i guess!

  8. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    About the light.......don't feel bad mine have a night light that is always on, now in the winter when it gets in the low teens or lower, then a heat lamp goes just have to make sure any light is really secure as to not get knocked down :)
  9. dvfreelancer

    dvfreelancer New Member

    Aug 15, 2009
    I've worked too many barn and kennel fires because of heat lamps or lights. Mine get by in roughly the same weather as OK without any supplemental heat.

    The last kennel fire it took me a week to get past the smell of burnt dog. I've seen it all. Burnt dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, horses, and cows. All of which would have been fine with just a blanket or nesting material instead of the heater. If the barn is already wired for electricity and you can put up a UL listed heater, that's some measure of safety. But they get dusty, grain dust, the wiring is subject to rodents, barns are typically a grab bag of volatile chemicals...and hay can be dangerous to store under the wrong conditions.

    Heat lamps or heaters on the end of an extension cord is asking for trouble.

    It may be what they're used to. Ours are primarily brush goats and have spent their lives out in the elements. They can handle the cold as long as they're dry.

    That's a really nice barn. My goats would feel like they moved in to the Taj Mahal.

    It does bring up one wish I've had. A fire safe barn heater you could put in a stall at night. Something an animal could kick around or knock over and not start a fire. I thought about heating up big rocks in a fire pit and moving them down to the shelter. Like a big barrel of hot water. Something affordable. Something so I wouldn't have to face hauling out bbq dog again. :tears:
  10. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
  11. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    goats are hardy, the teens will not hurt them, mine are running around outside at -30

    cool lookin barn
  12. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    oh no, thats not ours haha! no, ours has the same lack of doors as that one. ours is an old white sheet metal barn :)
  13. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Are there stalls of sorts on the inside with the "doorway" thru the center? If so, then you can likely leave it open and build draft free areas on the inside......even with something large enough to store equipment and a winters worth of hay (in my case about 150 bales) it would be ideal for the goats to be able to bed down in a smaller cozy area. You could enclose just one end pretty cheaply by attaching framing lumber to the metal and sheeting it with OSB.
  14. motherof5boys1girl

    motherof5boys1girl New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    there are 6 really large stalls, but they are going to have to be redone, because what is there is in bad shape. i cant see that being a huge deal, we made our little goat pen with pallets, plywood and wire cloth and an old picket fence. that is a good idea for the doorway though, i think we will do that. i cant wait to get it into shape though, i know my goats will just love it!
    there is a really nice area off to one side that looks like it was for storage, and i noticed light fixtures and switches throughout the place too when we went out there tonight so i bet we can get it looking pretty good soon.
    at least the building and the hay loft are very sound and in good shape though.