We all know goats love to play. One major game changer for our farm was adding goat sleeping platforms and playground structures for our goats to sleep and play on. Goats naturally want to be up high so they feel safe and they naturally have a playful attitude (one of the main reasons I love goats). I want to share with you not only pictures but dimensions on what has worked for our small and large goats.
Our Main Reason For Goat Sleeping Platforms And Playground Structures
When our family started with goats, our space was limited. It actually still is, and the air quality in our barn was bad because it was so small. We did work on some ventilation issues and that helped a lot, but with so many goats in a small area and on a budget our only choice was to add square footage to our barn without having to add on. But how? Our solution….. Goat sleeping platforms. We were able to add square footage to our barn and lose zero space under the platforms. Our goats love this new addition to our barn. They love to act cool at the top and they love the cozy corner it creates at the bottom. Also adding play structures outside has helped get them out and be more active. It is recommended to have at least 10 square feet per goat. That is too small in my opinion, other factors like temperature and humidity play a big part. Where we live, it is very hot and humid and we had to add more square footage.
Why Should I Make Goat Sleeping Platforms In My Barn?
Goat platforms are so important! There are so many reasons you need them in your barn. The biggest reason is lowering parasite exposure on fur and from inhalation. This helps with not having to deworm with herbs as much. Barns can get extremely dusty at times, actually all the time, so getting goats off the ground is important for their lung health. The dust and fecal particles in the air can be detrimental to your goats health. It’s important that the goats can go high above the dust. These particles could cause pneumonia or just a snotty nose and weakened immune system. Keeping goats dry is very important as well. I’ve always heard a wet goat is a sick goat. Boy did we have to learn the hard way and that’s why our platforms are designed to get them away from the sideways rain that the strong wind can blow in. These are a few of many reasons to get your goats up and off the ground.
Ways To Keep Your Goat Sleeping Platforms Clean And Dry.
- Leave no less than .5 inch of space between the decking boards so the goat berries and urine can fall through
- You can use rubber mats. They will need to be screwed down. They will not stay in place with our goofy goats. Note: rubber mats can work but if urine does get under this may cause wood moisture problems because no air is allowed under to dry.
- You don’t want your platform level so the urine can drain to one side. It does not have to be drastic, you don’t want your goats to slide off while sleeping 😋
How Do I Make A Goat Sleeping Platform?
Our platforms were made well before my blog so I don’t have the process of making them but I will include everything we did and all the details. I want you to be confident building with no question about if it will work or not. If I miss anything let me know in the comments and I can make the changes.
Material You Will Need
The quantity of materials you will need will depend on the dimension of your platforms. It’s important to use treated wood. These platforms will take a lot of abuse not only from goat jumping and walking but also from urine. It’s important you use treated wood, so you don’t get mold or even rot. If you clean frequently then your platforms should stay dry. Here are the materials we used.
- Treated 2×4’s for bracing and structure
- Treated 1×6’s or decking boards for the floor of the platforms
- 3″ or 3.5″ exterior screws
- Scrap treated wood can be used for railings or 1×4’s would look the best
- Rubber mats if you choose
Here are the Basic power tools to get the job done.
- Circular saw or miter saw
- Razor knife for cutting rubber mats
Tips For A Good And Functional Goat Sleeping Platform
Structurally, you want it to be strong but not bulky. Using floor supports can be bulky and take up space and can also make it hard for cleaning. Angle supports and rafter supports will be your best friend. If you cant do this, that is perfectly fine. If you try floor supports you can even make a separation stall underneath for your babies. Keep in mind you will need to divert the overhead urine and berries from falling on them. I know you can get creative! Also note this does not have to be perfect. Our goats have never said anything about the imperfections. The bottom platform seems high and has worked for all of our goats, except for our Nigerian babies under five or six weeks old. This is actually perfect because they are too small and we want them to stay safe. Our little babies end up finding a comfortable spot in their baby goat barrel or under the bottom step of the platforms.
Free Dimensions Of Our Platforms(With Pictures)
These measurements were intended just for our Nigerians. With great surprise, even our full Nubians can get on these as well. It is a little tight for them, but they love it all the same. All measurements are either single measurement or they are width x length.
Our Simple Goat Sleeping Platforms And Playground Structures
We also use other simple platforms for our play structure that we have repurposed. Tree stumps or big logs can be a great platform for your goats to get the suns rays. This can be free if you have acreage or if you know someone who is willing to share. Also one thing we found to re-purpose was a couple sets of bleachers. The goats love these, I think they love the sound they make when their hooves tap on them. Some other ideas I’ve seen are giant spools, I think they look cute too! A-frame shelters are also great play structures as they can double as a shelter and play structure.
I would love to hear your goat platform and play structure ideas. Comment below and let me know!