If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get your goats off of the cold ground this winter, then this article on building a raised goat bed DIY is for you! The last few mornings when I went out to do chores I found my Nubian goats huddled together sleeping standing up. This is unusual for them so I went over and checked my Alpine goats and they were spread out on the ground just as comfortable as could be.
Even my bucks were fine, nope not one complaint was heard out of them.
Suddenly I realized this must be a “Diva” thing.
They seemed insulted that I would even suggest that they lay down on the chilly ground. And while there is nothing wrong when goats sleep standing up, it does tug on my “need to please” heartstrings.
Finding a way to insulate the ground a bit will do a lot to keep all of your animals warm. In some cases, it may be better to build a bed to get them up off the ground where it is warmer for them to sleep. A quick and inexpensive solution for the goats using what I had on hand. If the Diva’s goats found the ground too cold to sleep on, even with all the fallen hay on the ground creating a warm barrier, I would need to instead find a way to get them up off of the ground. And that is where my idea for a raised goat bed DIY was born.
I turned to Pinterest first to see what I could find. As you can imagine there were hundreds of pretty elaborate options to choose from.
There were tri-level bunk beds (I kid you not) and raised platforms with ramps and bridges that led to other platforms. Even though these ideas were tempting, they would, unfortunately, all would cost a small fortune and this was not something I could do on my cheapskate budget.
Then Hubby, who already has labeled me as an overindulgent goat owner, came up with a simple yet effective plan. He suggested we build a platform out of scrap pieces of pallet wood that we just happen to have lying all around our homestead.
I was immediately on board since I love to make something out of nothing!
Before we dive in, I would like to apologize for the quality of the photos!! I should have taken more…newbie blogging mistake!
How to Build a DIY Raised Goat Bed
Step #1 Gather your supplies.
For this project, you will need a pallet, scrap wood, and cinder blocks.
First, we took a pallet we had that was in pretty good shape. Meaning most of the slats were still in tack and there were not nails sticking out.
SLCG PRO TIP: FYI, it is quite easy to get nice looking pallets for free. Many businesses actually have a hard time getting rid of less than perfect ones and will gladly give them away if you just ask. If you have a feed mill in your area, just ask and they will gladly let you take what you need.
Sorry, the next few photos are a bit blurry, not sure what happened ….let’s just blame the camera crew, shall we?
Step #2 Give a solid surface.
When it comes to your animals, it is important to try and second guess what they may do and put in safeguards. That meant we needed a solid surface on top. We then took a sheet of scrap wood and secured it to the top with screws in order to cover spaces between the slats. The concern here was that the goats could possibly get a hoof caught in those openings causing injury. This cover will just give an added layer of protection for the goat herd.
Step #3 Adjust if needed.
We realized at this point we needed to get the DIY goat bed higher off the ground and find a way to keep it from moving around especially if all the goats decide to get on it at once. A likely possibility with these curious animals.
We repositioned the DIY goat bed on an interior wall so it could be nailed securely in place. We then placed 4 cinder blocks under the bed to raise it up off the ground. Goats love to be up. And even if it’s only a few inches to us, it’s a mile to them.
Those cinder blocks made that goat bed more appealing and it wasn’t long before everyone was there to try it out.
Step #5 Let things sit.
Whenever you add anything new to your goat herd it is important to give them space and time to try things out.
Goats hate change and it can take them a bit to get acclimated to anything new. Be patient and leave them alone to explore things on their own time.
For our herd, it took just a few hours for our big Buck, Toby, to decide that this bed was his and that is where he spent most of that first winter. Lucky for us, a DIY pallet goat bed is inexpensive and easy enough to make that we were able to do enough for everyone.
Making something out of nothing is a tool most homesteaders have. Look around your home before heading out to the store and try to make your supplies fit the project.
Looking for more? You can find all of my Raising Dairy Goat posts here!