Keeping your livestock and their shelters clean is an important step in keeping the animals healthy. But with animals on a farm, you’ve probably had your fair share of challenges when trying to clean waste.
Goat poop is especially one of the hardest to clean. Some goat keepers sometimes put diapers on their goats to prevent (or at least limit) the stress of cleaning up after them.
Don’t let the messy details keep you from keeping your goat’s clean. We’re sharing how you can keep stalls clean, how often you should to clean your goat stalls, and the tools required when doing this task.
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How to Keep Goat Stalls Clean
Goat poop is one thing you do not want to find littering a goat stall. It’s hard to clean, and you cannot ignore it since that would contribute to making your goats unhealthy.
One important fact about goats is that they like to pee and poop a lot. This means their shelter is never completely clean. Goats are messy animals and might even scatter hay on the stall floor before eating some of it.
Goats are known to be quite untidy. This is why you need to create a good cleaning system. Here’s how to get your goat stalls back on track to cleanliness.
Choose the Right Bedding Material
Choosing the right bedding for the stall can start your clean up off right. Pine and straw bedding are great choices for bedding material.
Pine bedding is made from tiny pieces of pine tree. It is highly absorbent which makes it very effective in keeping the stall clean and odor free. The only problem with using pine is that when dry, it can become messy and sticky.
Straw bedding does not become messy when dry. It is cheaper than pine bedding and can be easily cleaned out using a pitchfork.
The problem with using straw bedding is it does not absorb the liquid from pee. Rather the pee settles on the floor of the stall.
For more details on choosing the right bedding for your goats, check out our article with a list of the best goat bedding options.
Since goats poop and pee very frequently, their stalls tend to smell very bad. A good choice of bedding can get rid of some of the odor, but not all of it.
Stall fresheners are a must to keep the air and environment clean. Fresheners come in various forms, but the best fresheners are powdered. Spread freshener on the stall floor and or in areas where the goats pee a lot.
The ammonia from goat pee is very toxic to their delicate lungs. The goats are not naturally meant to live in the same place that they go to the bathroom.
Stall fresheners will absorb the ammonia making the environment healthier for the goats.
Using lime wash in their stalls will also help keep everything clean, and it also helps in removing dangerous bacteria.
You may choose one of 2 litter systems for your goat stalls: deep litter and non-deep litter.
Deep Litter System
The deep litter system is usually adopted during cold weather months. In this system, you provide the animals with a compost floor. To use the deep litter system:
- Start by bleaching the stall
- Rinse and allow the floor to dry.
- Pour large amounts of stall freshener on the floor.
- Cover with a straw or pine bedding layer.
You don’t need to clean the stall again with this system. All you have to do is cover with fresh bedding when you see the stall is becoming too dirty.
Non-Deep Litter System
This system is suitable for those who do not mind cleaning regularly. It is also perfect for warm weather.
In this system, you have to scoop the bedding every two weeks and clean out the stall using a broom. To use the non-deep litter system:
- Clean the stall and ensure the floor is dry.
- Pour stall freshener on the floor
- Open a new bag of bedding and cover the entire stall with it.
- Sweep out the soiled bedding at regular intervals.
- Replace the bedding with fresh bedding as needed.
Remember that goats are not particular about where they pee or poop. Always check the area outside the stall and and clean as needed.
How Often Should You Clean Your Goat Pen?
How often you clean your goat pen depends on the type of litter system you intend to practice.
If you use a deep litter system, you don’t need to clean the pen very often since you put a fresh layer of bedding to cover any waste. You can replace the bedding when you notice it is too messy.
If you use the non-deep litter system, you have to clean the goat pen more frequently, usually after a week or two. Cleaning the pen this often will ensure the goats remain healthy.
How Much Do Goats Poop in a Day?
Goats usually poop between each feeding period. But when they are ill or when there is a change in their food, they poop more frequently. The amount of poop from goats that eat hay is different from that of goats that graze.
Goat poop is a little bigger than a raisin, and its size ranges from a hand full to a 1-foot pile. The size of the poop of a goat depends on the goat’s diet and size.
5 Ideas for Cleaning Goat Poop
Cleaning up after goats can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be. Many goat owners spend time rearranging and cleaning the bedding. Doing this is important since the goats might develop worms if you do not keep their space clean.
However, you can easily clean goat poop by using bedding that will not absorb too much.
For this reason, many farmers use straw bedding because it is spacious enough to allow poop and urine to sift down to the floor. The little straw that is soiled can be covered easily with a new layer of straw.
Some of the common tools used for cleaning goat poop are rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and brooms. If you use straw bedding, it is best to use a pitchfork. You can also use a leaf blower to push the poop and bedding out to ease cleaning.
There are a few different methods for cleaning goat poop. Here are some extra ideas to try to make the task as efficient and effective as possible:
- Use a layer of sawdust and straw to help soak up the pee and poop rather than using just straw bedding.
- Use a leaf rake to shift through the straw, and then use a wide bow rake to flip it and drag it. You can then use a shovel to pack it into a bucket.
- Use a leaf blower to push the bedding and poop aside, and then use a shovel to pack it into a wheelbarrow.
- Pick up the bedding with a pitchfork and use a broom to sweep the remaining poop.
- Use an extra-large dog poop scooper to pick the poop.
As unpleasant as it might be, you have to clean goat poop for your goats to thrive. The good news is there are various methods to make this less daunting, and each one suits various needs. Find what works for you and your goats, and create a routine to help you keep up with the endless supply.