Goats are kept in varying climates. Within each climatic zone many more, smaller zones can be distinguished Some are dry others are wet. Sometimes this is combined with heat, or in other places with cold. The conditions can be stable but are often also extremely variable. In short, each region has its own requirements for the housing of animals.
Reasons for housing goats and sheep
An important function of housing goats or sheep is to protect their health. Just like with many other (domestic) animals, goats and sheep cannot take damp conditions or draughts well. With good housing, a waterproof roof and draught-proof walls to keep out damp and draughts, you will avoid goats and sheep becoming sick. Goats and sheep are well protected against the cold by their coat of hair.
Extreme heat, on the other hand, bothers them. A goat and sheep will search for shade by itself if it gets too hot. If no natural shade is available you must provide a shelter. Roofing materials like thatch or coconut leaves are preferred as they absorb the heat from the sun and keep the inside of the shed cooler. Corrugated iron sheets can become very hot from the radiation of the sun, leading to a higher temperature in the shed.
Especially pregnant and nursing goats and sheep, and their young are suffering under unfavorable climatic conditions, therefore provide them with protection. Always keep an eye on their breeding, health and feeding as these aspects will be affected when housing is not adequate.
Good housing makes it easier to keep an eye on your goats and sheep. You can detect and act more easily when the goats or sheep come into heat, during mating, pregnancy and kidding when the goats are kept in a pen than if they wander around freely outside.
Disease symptoms such as diarrhoea and coughing can be noticed earlier when the goats and sheep are kept housed or penned. It makes a difference whether you house the goats or sheep individually or as a group. Within a group an inactive goat or sheep, possibly due to a disease, will be noticed sooner. A good shed has a quarantine area where you can separate goats or sheep which are probably sick.
An advantage of housing is that you can give each animal individual attention and better feed. For example, you can control the feeding of pregnant or nursing animals or a weakened, sick goat or sheep. Furthermore, there are certain housing systems, which make the milking of goats and sheep easier.
Preventing theft can be another reason for building a shed for your goats or sheep. It goes almost without saying that the shed must be solidly built and should stand close to the house or compound. An alert watchdog (and geese) can also help.
Furthermore, protection against stray dogs, predators, snakes or vampires may be necessary in certain regions. Especially in densely cultivated areas, a watchful eye must be kept on goats and sheep to prevent them from damaging crops. Sometimes this is only necessary for a certain part of the year, when the crops are in the field.
Collection of manure
By keeping goats or sheep inside a pen, you can collect their droppings and use these as a fertilizer. Keep collected droppings protected from rain and sunshine when storing as to maintain the fertilizer value.