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Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by GoatieGerty, Aug 29, 2019.
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Far delayed so I apologize but my local Tractor Supply has 4x6 rubber mats for about $35 each. They are heavy but they’re def helpful to eliminate the straw bedding and just be able to sweep up the little poos daily quick and easy.
Sounds like for now you may just have to keep adding layers of straw/pine shavings until next year when you can build a nicer shed next year! And yes basically the deep litter method is essentially that over winter. The composing waste provides a bit of heat and you continuously add more bedding to the top to eliminate odors, etc.
Yep, this works really well. I found that our boys will seek out those spots where the litter is warmer and that's where they'll bed down on colder nights.
With the deep litter method, what do you do about flies?
This is only for the North, flies in sub-zero temperatures are not active!
I have one that pees about 1 gallon each night! I'd need some really hefty paper towels to clean up after her. Love the replies here...I've been shoveling every day and it's killing what little family time I have. Sounds like I can just focus on the urine areas (amonia smell/control) and chill a little on the berries. Thanks everyone!
we put a 10 oz tarp on the floor. and cover the tarp with 4 inches of wood chips. when it is time to clean we just fold the tarp and pull it out the double door.
Hi everyone- I'm interested to hear what NigerianDwarfOwner707 and others who have tried the litter box method have to report after a year! Is it still working?
I tried this briefly last year with my half-grown kids, but it was getting cold so I went back to wood shavings bedding for the winter. Recently I tried again. Now I have a much larger herd of 6 goats, some of which are adults whose berries are MUCH bigger. Additionally, they are foraging on pasture, and I found that for the first part of the summer, when the forage is lush and green, their poops were much softer/clumpier than the hard little pellets that my kids were making when they were just on hay and grain. So between the poop consistency and the fact that 6 goats in a small space trampled the poop into the pee puddles on the stall mats, by the next morning it was a gross mess, everyone had dirty hooves (not fun on the milk stand!!!) and I abandoned the experiment.
I'm disappointed, because I really wanted it to work. Perhaps with fewer goats who are not on pasture, it does? How is it going for everyone else?
Works just fine for me. There shouldn’t be pee puddles - remember you still have to use shavings on one spot so they pee there.
As for poop, there are things you can do to change the texture of the poop when it’s getting loose from pasture, of course - but sometimes they trample the poop down a bit, only found this happens on rainy days when they don’t go outside.
No matter what, goats poop a ton, and it’s always gonna get in there hooves even if it’s sitting on top of bedding.
I think what happened here is that you had pee puddles as well which made things disgusting and allowed the poop to get pretty mushed.
The controlling of the pee is the goal of litter training - it won’t work if you just have no bedding and assume they pee.... where?
Oh no- I did have a litter box for them- sorry if that wasn't clear! And SOME used it, but many didn't, hence the puddles. Possibly if I'd waited longer before abandoning it things might have changed. But it was just so gross I couldn't continue! It also probably has something to do with the number of goats in my small-ish area. If things were more spread out it would have been better. I may try again sometime - just wondering how things were working out for others!
First you have to make note of where they pee when there IS bedding. Then put the litter box there. Sometimes a box doesn’t work - sometimes just put some shavings in one specific corner.
Yes, I did that- trouble is there isn't one spot. There are several. I have six goats. Most have more than one spot. Trust me, I spent a lot of time watching where they went and trying to be scientific about it
Also, they DID use the litter box, but not any more or less than everywhere else. They weren't avoiding it.
I have the heavy TSC horse Mat in the goat barn. I am going to try you litter box method I bring home my first goats Saturday! Nigerian/ pigmy I will also try this outside one too. What do you use to clean your Matt and do you mop it daily?
I don’t have to mop because I put shavings down in their box or a corner where they pee. The poop is dry and I take a dustpan and broom to sweep it up.
Everyone seems to have a different way -so what ever you are happy with. I have 22 does and our barn has the horse mats down. I use straw because they like it. I bed it pretty deep and my method is to rake off the dry and lift the wet from under it -weekly or every couple of weeks depending on the weather. Sometimes I have wet spots I will clean up every day or so. I respread the dry and put a little fresh on top. it also depend if the does are inside a lot or not. They have sleeping benches with rubber matting on them that I can take outside and hose off every day.
I love the picture of your barn you clean daily. Would only work if you only have a few. Also important is good ventilation in your barn, the flowing air keeps it fresher and healthier for the animals. The back wall of our barn has a long lift up window of sorts and chicken wire over the opening. It is open from spring till the cold weather. The front part is all a wooden fence with the area above it open. Hard to explain but it works well for us. I have never had any lung issures and birthings are in stalls in the back that have a heat lamp in them. Best ever lamps from Premier sheep supply.
How do you teach the goats to use a litter box? Our goats pee & poop indiscriminately.
I don’t teach them. It’s the only place I put bedding, and it’s their instinct to only pee in bedding.
I used the Litter boxes this summer. No bedding in the other parts of the stalls. I found out the litter boxes had to be big enough for the goats to stand in and move around.
I have 5 goats. Two does, one bucks, one wether, and one buckling.
All boys and one doe used the litter box pretty much every time (they may have peed over the rim so etimes). The largest goat, a doe, peed wherever she stood.
I went in there first thing in the morning. She would get up, I would call her over to the toilet, she followed and peed. I told her what a good girl she was. Lots of scratches, good girl.
She still peed anywhere she wanted at other times. But sometimes when I was in the barn she would go to the toilet , pee and look at me!
So, you can train some of them easily, some not so easily.
Also, during the hot months I had fans blowing to keep the flies and mosquitoes down. The fan dried up most of the pee this doe deposited. That’s how I managed to not have that yucky mess on the bare floor.
Now that is is colder, I have bedding all over the stall floors again.