One of the things my goats love to do is scratch…on anything. The hay feeder, a tree, even my backend. (yep, I said it) There is nothing more pleasant than a goat scratching her itchy wet nose all over my behind in the middle of winter…said no one ever. To help my goats out I installed a super simple DIY scratch brush in their pen.
The other day I was at a friends house and saw the neatest thing.
She had attached broom brushes onto the wall of her barn so her goats could rub up and scratch themselves on them. I just loved this and couldn’t wait to do the same for my own goats.
That weekend Handy Man Hubby and I went brush shopping at Tractor Supply. All the brushes I saw were too small for what I needed and also a bit expensive.
We then looked in the isle with the push brooms and found the perfect thing. The replacement brushes for push brooms. They came in a variety of sizes and the bristles were stiff enough that I knew they would hold up for quite a while.
The price was great too, just a few dollars.
Not sure what I mean? Here is the same option from Amazon.
Super Simple DIY Scratch Brush for your Goats
Step #1. Decide on the amount
If you have a large herd one brush may not be enough. I would suggest installing 1 brush per 5 goats. This should keep the pushing and shoving down to a minimum when you first install them.
Goats are curious and nosey so they will swarm you as you are putting them up. I am sure they think they are “helping” you, but that never really seems to be the case.
Step #2. Choose the location
These brushes are pretty durable and can be hung both inside and outside of your goat shelter. My best advice is to choose a location that is the sturdiest and can withstand a 100-pound goat’s weight.
You will also need to install your brushes at the correct height as well. The main area a goat will scratch on is their side and middle. I would just eyeball it to be sure most of your goats can use the brushes comfortably. If you have mini’s and full sized goats in the same herd, then a brush at each level will be your best option.
Step #3. Prep the brush
You will need to pre-drill a few holes in the brush to make installation a bit easier. Even though you will be attaching the brush with the bristles facing out, I found it easier to drill from the back end.
Step #4. Attach the brush
You will want to hand the brush vertically to give the biggest area of scratch to your goats. Again be sure to choose a location that is sturdy.
Attach the brush with screws one at the top and one at the bottom using the holes you drilled in step #3.
Remember to choose a height that will work for your goats.
Before I even had the brush attached, my big buck Toby was over scratching away! He really went to town and I was happy to see the brush stayed put through the full 10 minutes he used it.
It wasn’t long before the rest of the herd was scratching on the brush as well. A good sign that this was an addition that was truly needed.
You can expect your brush to last a good 5-6 months but it all depends on how many goats are using it and how often.
Remember this is only for normal seasonal itching that comes with the changes in the weather. If you have a goat with a skin condition you will need to treat that prior to installing a brush. Some conditions can be contagious so correction any issues as soon as you see them.
When you are homesteading it is always best to use what you have for any projects needed. In rare cases such as this, you may need to invest in a few of the supplies needed for a project. In that case, try to find the best fit for the least amount of money. By thinking just a bit outside of the box you will be able to do more while spending a whole lot less.
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