Below you will find an easy and brilliant way to build a goat house using pallets! It’s a cost-effective way to use easy to find material to make great winter and out-of-the-rain shelters for your goats.
If you love your goats and are interested in more information, check out all of the information here: Raising Goats.
How to build a “goat house” using wood pallets
Goats are a wonderful addition to a family! And our family appreciates them so much! But as the first winter approached, it was time to build them a sufficient goat shelter for winter.
To answer the question,
“Do goats need shelter in the winter”?
Yes. Yes, they do. Especially in our cold, snowy and windy climate. They do need protection from the elements as much as possible. A cold, wet goat will be a sick goat. And you don’t want to be dealing with pneumonia in your goat herd.
So this summer, I spent some time building goat shelters that my goats could tuck into during the long, cold, deep winter drift days of Montana. Here is the outcome. They snuggle in and are quite happy!
AND these are so simple to build!
Here are several reasons I like these goat shelters:
- Pallets, at least around here, are easy to find and are free.
- They are so very easy to make!
- Their “floor” is the ground, which means that all of the moisture from the poop and urine is soaking into the ground and not rotting a good piece of plywood. (I bet the earthworms are having a hay day under our goat houses!)
- They are small (compared to a barn) and the body heat from the animals keeps it relatively warm.
- They can be moved and relocated if needed.
- They effectively provide shelter from the wind, rain, snow, and elements.
- I plan to reuse old rain gutters on the side. This will accomplish two things: keeping the runoff from hitting the sides and it will drain into a water trough that will give our goats and chickens another option of fresh water to drink.
This is how you build a shelter out of pallets:
As you can see, the pallets are made into a square and screwed together. The three boards on the top will be what you will screw the roof onto. And in the following pictures you will see that to make it more suitable for winter, more boards can be used to cover all the cracks and spaces in the pallets.
• 3 pallets
• 3 2x4’s from a torn apart pallet
• Roofing Material
• More pallet boards to enclose the sides so the wind can’t get through
One pallet is standing so it is at its tallest and the other two pallets are on their sides. The pallets are then screwed together. A 2x4 is screwed to the bottom, front to hold it all together. The roofing material chosen is then screwed to the top.
The only downside to using pallets is that some of the boards are more fragile than others. So choose your boards wisely. You don’t want them breaking when you move the shelter.
You can find a lot of articles here on A Life of Heritage that will teach you about goat care and be sure to check out The Goat Health, and Information Bundle--it’s full of to-do lists, checklists, record keeping sheets, and resource pages that will get your new (or old) goat herd off to a terrific start! In fact, if you don’t have this binder, you are really missing out.
Watch how I built this goat shelter in my YouTube video (and don’t forget to subscribe!)
As you can see in this next picture, I enclosed the sides with more boards. These weren’t pallet boards but they were really old, warped boards I found in the back pasture.
And I added a pallet on the front to help block the wind. The wind usually comes from the west in our area, so this board in front really helps keep the wind from whipping around the corner into the shelter.
In this picture below, this is a frame of another pallet shelter. On this shelter, I added what I called a “porch” where the goats could sit out of the sun and yet have the moving air keeping them cooler in the hot summers.
These shelters will allow 2-4 goats to snuggle up, depending on their size. And the smaller size will also help them to have a little cubicle of warmth trapped inside with them.
Again, on these pallet goat houses pictured, I added a pallet on the front to block the wind more.
And I also screwed boards onto the outside walls to block more of the wind. Something else to consider about using pallet boards is that they will shrink with time. Well, any boards not kiln dried will shrink. One thing I intend to do with these shelters is to staple some tarp (or something of the like) on the inside of the walls. After four years of use and the boards shrinking, there are larger cracks than I would like that allow the wind to blow through.
These shelters have been a great help in keeping my goats dry and warm(er) in the cold Montana winters.
There are so many good ideas on how to make a goat shelter! For me, especially considering cost, these work best for us because we can always pick up free pallets in our area. And for these shelters, we had the roofing material given to us for free after a porch on a house was torn off. So really, I only paid for some screws. That works for me!
What goat housing has worked best for you?
READ MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SHELTERS FOR GOATS:
I also realized that this shelter wasn’t big enough for my family of goats in the spring. So I built a double-sized goat shelter <=== Check it out and let me know what you think!
This Pinterest board has more ideas to get you thinking about goat houses for your goats: more goat house ideas