Saturday, March 14, 2009

Small Scale Boer Goat Barn Design

I get involve into boer goat farming merely two years. I'm no where to be called an expert in the field of goat farming, neither by qualification nor by experience. I have three barns with a total area of about 7000 square feet. I built the second barn 6 months after the first and the third came 6 months after the second. Each time I built the new one, I renovated the previous one/s. The later barn came with new ideas, which bring improvement on the previous. I'm quite happy with the third design, therefore I will not change anything if I were to build my fourth barn. The design is suitable for Malaysian weather and tropical country where there's a lot of rain, warm and very humid. It applies for feedlot system.
1. Barn height
Minimum 5 feet above ground, maximum of 7 feet. More than that is simply a waste and not practical. Lower than 5 feet will make cleaning job under the barn not conducive.
2. Roof height
The lower portion on the edge should be minimum 7 feet height from the floor and the roof slope ratio about 2:10. The roof has no ridge, one side is higher than the other. This is to allow adequate ventilation in the barn. It also prevent rain water from entering the barn.
3. Pen size
I regard the pen sizing as critical. It determines the comfort of the animals. It is where we can keep the goats according to categories; according to their sizes (by age or by body weight), by strength (the weak ones and the strong ones), by gender etc. For a small scale farm, the pen size really critical to determine our efficiency in producing more goats. Through my experience, the most suitable pen size is 10feet by 7feet. It can accommodate 7 to 8 adults very comfortably with sufficient area for resting and space for feeding. A larger area will make it difficult for the buck for mating. He has to do a lot of chasing games. As a result he becomes less productive.
4. Provision for Pregnancy Pen
It is important to separate the pregnant doe in her own pen, for her safety and her baby. She will occupy the pen for about 6 weeks, 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth and 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth.
5. Floor Layout
We shall discuss this topic in the next publish, together with more updated barn pictures.

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