Goat barns should be thoroughly cleaned every 6 months to a year, usually in the fall and/or spring. Face masks can be worn over your nose and mouth to prevent dust from getting into your lungs while you use a broom to dust off cobwebs from the walls and ceiling. Using a pitchfork, you can lift out the old straw and goat manure off of the ground and into your wheelbarrow. Rototilling the old straw and manure first really helps to loosen it up and makes it much easier to haul out. The manure is rich in nitrogen, so you can haul it to a pile to be used for compost. Make sure you cover the pile with something like a large tarp or else the rain will wash away the useful nitrogen, making it almost worthless. It takes about six months to one year for it to turn into rich compost that will be wonderful for your fields or garden. The finer consistency of the rototilled manure makes it much less clumpy and less dense if you want to spread it on your pastures. After cleaning out all the old straw off the ground, put a layer of fresh straw down. Instead of spending a long, tiresome day cleaning out the entire goat barn, when it is about a month before kidding, we spend about one hour each day cleaning out small sections of the barn. We have had barns with wood, cement and dirt floors. We find dirt floors easier to clean. When we had a cement barn floor, after all of the manure was hauled out, we had to scrape off the stuck-on straw and manure. We then washed the floor with soap and water, and made sure it was thoroughly dry before we put down a fresh layer of straw and let the goats back in their barn. With a dirt floor, we simply get all the manure out and are done.
Every day we wash out the water containers and the mineral containers and give them fresh water and minerals. Once a week or more we wash their water and mineral containers out with soap and water.
Mark your calendar when to clean the barn thoroughly again, perhaps one month before kidding.
“Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.” (Proverbs 27:23)
Three Willows Ranch
Located in Western Oregon
Copyright 2010 Three Willows Ranch