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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy. I've been a goat mama for all of 4.5 months. I clean out the goat house weekly, but I don't know if I'm doing a good enough job. No matter how much I rake, scoop, and shovel, there are always berries and wet spots.

Here are the deets:
  • 4 goatie girls
  • Converted 10x10 wooden shed
  • Dirt floor
  • Straw bedding
  • They are closed in every night (for safety
We added 2 big windows to the shed, plus it has a ridge vent and 2 gable vents. We also leave the doors wide open all day long, so I'm not super worried about ventilation. There hasn't been any bad smells, but it has been unreasonably hot lately, and I worry about parasites.

So how clean is clean enough? Or maybe I should ask how dirty is considered acceptable?

TIA
 

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Sounds like you are doing a good job. We rake and rake too and berries escape plus goats deposit them right back out lol. You can use sweet PDZ under bedding after cleaning their shed out to help break down the urine. At night as long as they have plenty of air flow they should be fine locked up. If ita too hot..may need to install a window fan to help.
 

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My biggest concern in my barns is areas of excessive moisture caused by poop and pee. Luckily, I have naturally sandy dirt floors that quickly absorb pee, but the poop will sometimes still accumulate in mass which still needs cleaned regularly. I think as long as your barn is not standing in moist waste, and you are cleaning it regularly, you should be good. The parasite problems are more of a concern when the floor and bedding is nothing but goat berries. However, if you are still concerned with cleanliness, you might put down some large wood shavings. They absorb moisture pretty good and help keep everything dry. If you are having trouble with excessive wet spots, you might consider some type of elevated bedding platform to keep them from laying in their urine or mud. The issue I've had with using hay is that it's harder for me to rake through. Sounds like you are on top of things though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My biggest concern in my barns is areas of excessive moisture caused by poop and pee. Luckily, I have naturally sandy dirt floors that quickly absorb pee, but the poop will sometimes still accumulate in mass which still needs cleaned regularly. I think as long as your barn is not standing in moist waste, and you are cleaning it regularly, you should be good. The parasite problems are more of a concern when the floor and bedding is nothing but goat berries. However, if you are still concerned with cleanliness, you might put down some large wood shavings. They absorb moisture pretty good and help keep everything dry. If you are having trouble with excessive wet spots, you might consider some type of elevated bedding platform to keep them from laying in their urine or mud. The issue I've had with using hay is that it's harder for me to rake through. Sounds like you are on top of things though.
I like the idea of something under to absorb moisture. I'll give wood chips and PDZ a go. The ground underneath all of the straw is a little wet. It reminds me of compost in its consistency. I think that's what concerns me most. I can't rake all of that up without taking up a lot of the dirt underneath. When I clean, I find myself doing more digging than I'd like. If I keep going, I'm going to end up with a pit under the goat house! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Hello recent goat enthusiast! I had the same questions and problems when I just started out. I have a ten by ten barn with a dirt floor as well. What I found to work really well is a couple things.

Pallets covered with ply wood are great for the goats to sleep on because they will not pee on these and then you know they aren't sleeping in wet spots. Secondly I made a "bedding box". I sectioned off about a four by six foot area of the stall and only had bedding in there. Barn lime or sweet PDZ on the bottom, followed by a layer of pine shavings to absorb the moisture, and the straw on top of that. Goats prefer to pee on bedding so my goats only peed in there. The rest of the barn had no bedding. When it's time to clean everyday, I sweep up the berries and peel back the straw in the bedding box and remove any really wet spots. Be sure to use enough bedding. I've learned that if you skimp on bedding, you just end up wasting more because it doesn't do its job as well.
 

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I had the same problem, until I got horse mats, I love them, they aren’t cheap but you can easily sweep them off and wash them if they start getting too dirty, you can get them at tractor supplies, horse mats are expensive but totally worth it, I’m not sure how much regular rubber mats cost but I’m sure they would work as well.
 

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I put down shavings about 4 bales and clean mine monthly. We have plywood cubes and a sort of bunk bed for them to sleep on but my floor is wood. They spend most of their time outside though and only go in to sleep. We actually replace the sand under the over hang with fresh sand every spring. It keeps everything draining. Sounds like you are doing a great job I would just add more bedding such as shavings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Love all of this advice!

I'm still not feeling great about my setup. The girls don't spend any time in there, except at night when we lock them up.

What are y'all's thoughts about deep litter? It seems that's what's happening whether I intended it or not.

But I am thinking about horse mats now, too. And kinda regretting not putting in an actual floor. I have zero trouble keeping my chicken/duck coop clean because I just sweep it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like deep bedding only in the winter. Way too hot in my climate to do it at other times of the year. Horse mats are great. I'd be all over those if I had the budget for them.
Horse mats it is, then! They are pricey, but my giat house is small enough that it won't be a huge problem. So I'll rake out whatever I can and add mats.

Forgive my stupid, but do I just lay them down on the dirt? Do I need to put anything under them?
 

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Horse mats it is, then! They are pricey, but my giat house is small enough that it won't be a huge problem. So I'll rake out whatever I can and add mats.

Forgive my stupid, but do I just lay them down on the dirt? Do I need to put anything under them?
We put a layer of stone under it then put the mats down and put a stake in each corner to help them in place
 

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You've gotten some great advice and if you want to go with horse mats I'd say you can't go wrong there. But I'll add my 2 cents. 😉 I have found that if I don't use any litter at all, I have less problems in the summer with smells, wetness, and flies. My goats are out on pasture all day and only in the barn at night. I just rake and scoop the berries in the morning. The pee goes right into the ground and doesn't sit making a wet spot.
 

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Hello recent goat enthusiast! I had the same questions and problems when I just started out. I have a ten by ten barn with a dirt floor as well. What I found to work really well is a couple things.

Pallets covered with ply wood are great for the goats to sleep on because they will not pee on these and then you know they aren't sleeping in wet spots. Secondly I made a "bedding box". I sectioned off about a four by six foot area of the stall and only had bedding in there. Barn lime or sweet PDZ on the bottom, followed by a layer of pine shavings to absorb the moisture, and the straw on top of that. Goats prefer to pee on bedding so my goats only peed in there. The rest of the barn had no bedding. When it's time to clean everyday, I sweep up the berries and peel back the straw in the bedding box and remove any really wet spots. Be sure to use enough bedding. I've learned that if you skimp on bedding, you just end up wasting more because it doesn't do its job as well.

I tried this and it worked great for a bit but then I had some girls who would lay in the pee bedding...ugh. I like the concept but no idea how to keep them out of laying in it.
 
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