One of the most difficult aspects of rearing animals in pens and coops is cleaning away the waste or manure. Besides this, you can’t expect any animals to lie on a dirt floor.
Farmers used beddings in pens to lessen the immediate effect of manure and also offer insulation against cold earth. What are the best materials to use as bedding in your goat pen if you’re raising goats?
In our guide, you can This article covers a variety of goat-friendly bedding materials, how to dispose of used bedding, and how to change the bedding in your goat pen.
By the end, you’ll have plenty of goat bedding ideas and how you can use the waste around your garden or in your compost pile. (Read Can Goats Eat Tomatoes)
What’s The Best Bedding To Use For Goats?
When you have a goat house, you need to keep it clean for your goats. It does more than just make them comfortable, as clean bedding helps keep them healthy as well. Here you can find some of the most common bedding options for your goat’s bedding.
When you clean any of these the right way, you may only have to clear your goat pens out completely every few weeks.
The greatest kind of material to use for goat pen bedding is pine shavings. Pine shavings are not only absorbent but also inexpensive and simple to remove when dirty. Cleaning wet areas daily are simple, and soiled pine shavings can go straight into the compost pile.
A bed of pine shaving can also offer a pleasant smell.
Straw is a fantastic bedding material for your goat pen. One minor concern is goats eating straw. Goats can sometimes eat straw if hungry, yet they won’t do this if the bedding is dirty.
Not all goats will eat straw bedding, so use straw if it is easy for you and suits your goats. Straw offers lots of insulation in cold weather as it traps air better than other materials.
Pelleted bedding is often made from compressed wood and is common in horse pens as much as it can be used in most goats’ pens. This bedding material is cheap, absorbent, easy to manage, and unattractive for goats to eat.
For most animals, sawdust is the most common bedding material. Sawdust is light, and to use is simple. It is among the most absorbent and odor-resistant materials you can use. As a spent bedding material, sawdust is beneficial.
Wood chips or wood shavings are as effective as other bedding materials and very effective for insulation in your goat pen. Another advantage of wood chips of wood shavings is you can store them easier outside and are easy to handle.
As a goat pen bedding, cedar chips or shavings are good, but they aren’t as cost-effective as some other possibilities. While cedar chips are as efficient as other bedding options, stop using them if your goats eat them since too much cedar can make goats sick.
Cedar is an excellent natural pest repellent and has a great aroma. To use these in your goat house, it is best to pile your chips in the corners of bedding areas before covering them with your primary bedding. (Read How Much Space Do Goats Need)
The drainage properties of the sand or sandy soil are excellent. Yet, rather than using sand as just the actual bedding, use it as a sub-layer and bedding amendment. You’ll need to clean out poop daily, yet you won’t need to change the bedding often.
What Should Goats Sleep On?
Dirty, moist bedding leads to discomfort and respiratory illnesses, ringworm, and external parasites.
Clean bedding is vital for udder health in milking goats. Yet, not everyone has a chance to clean goat bedding every day.
With this, there are things you can do to help keep your goats’ pen cleaner without the ammonia fumes flooding across your yard.
Daily spot cleaning is one of the best ways to deal with ammonia and wet bedding. Space for your goats to go outside and feed means they dirty their bedding less.
How Often Should You Change Goat Bedding?
If your bedding is spent you might wonder what you can do with it. Here are some examples of how you use used bedding when you clear your goats pen.
Because of the manure present, you can use waste bedding materials, as mulch and a source of nutrients for your plants.
If you wish to use leftover bedding as mulch, spread it out in the sun for a week to dry and rot. Disperse the bedding material over the soil around the soil nearest your plants’ roots.
A soil amendment is any product or material that can be worked into the soil to improve the quality of the soil. Some soil qualities that soil amendment can improve are:
- Soil pH
- Added Nutrients
- Water drainage
Depending on the composition, most spent bedding can improve soil properties. The most typical benefit of soil amendment is increased nutrient availability. The manure in wasted bedding materials can enrich the soil when well rotted.
Compost is a material created by decomposing biodegradable waste materials items like food waste, hay, straw, and of course spent bedding, etc.
When composting, use one part nitrogen which will be fresh or green materials, and four parts carbon that comes from spent bedding materials and are the dry or brown materials.
Spent bedding materials contain carbon, which is the bedding material mixed with the manure.
Mix unused bedding material or another dry material such as leaves along with spent bedding material to keep in your compost bin. Remember to aerate and hydrate your compost regularly to keep it moist.
What Should I Put Down My Goat Pen?
Bedding amendments are materials to add to your goat pen bedding to improve one or more qualities.
Use lime as one of the best bedding amendments to reduce the effects ammonia, lime cancels these in your goat pen as it will absorb moisture and other liquids besides ammonia. You won’t smell ammonia from your goats’ urine if you put lime under or mix it with your bedding.
Lime does more than merely mask ammonia’s odor; it also has significant benefits for your health if used regularly. If you have a lot of pygmy goats and a small pen, you can use lime.
Gravel and other stones allow water to drain quickly. Place gravels beneath the bedding material if you want to use them. You can bury them in the soil beneath the goat pen. Gravel aerates the soil among other various functions. Because of the size and air pockets, it lets water drain quicker.
Dry stall (diatomaceous earth), like lime, attracts ammonia and lessens its effects.
A dry stall will also keep your goat pen dry and disease-free. The dry stall is commonly available from local gardening stores. If using diatomaceous earth remember it is safe for humans and animals but can get dusty before it is mixed with spent bedding.
The sand was shown as a sleeping material if you recall. Sand can be used as a bedding material, or it can be placed slightly beneath other bedding materials.
Choose the amendment that is most beneficial to you and your goats. It’s beneficial to use the deep litter method if you can’t clean as often as you want. With deep bedding, the contaminated bedding is topped with clean, dry bedding, which allows it to compost while offering natural warmth.
Sprinkle barn lime on the bare floor after a thorough cleaning to help absorb any remaining moisture or ammonia odors.
Even while concrete floors are easy to clean, they can be rough and cold to walk on. Rubber stall mats, which give a buffer against the cement floor, are one way to get around this and make it better for your goats.
Clean manure/urine daily and scoop moist shavings or heavy manure areas during morning and evening duties. It only takes two minutes and keeps your goat’s bedding clean and dry.
Apply a small dusting of stall refresher after spot cleaning to absorb smells, ammonia, and moisture. Every other day or so, add some fresh shavings as needed.
Stall mats should be used. Because our stalls have concrete floors, rubber stall mats keep goats warmer than a concrete floor, but also make cleaning easier.
Make a cleaning regimen for yourself and stick to it. No matter what, I wipe out the stalls completely once a week. You never know what the weather will bring, and by cleaning them regularly, you will have less buildup, which will take less time to clean.