- Holley, Chief Milkmaid/Soap Crafter
Goat Litter Box?!?
One thing you will quickly find out once you have goats is that you are on a continually mission to outsmart them! Whether it is improving the fencing so they don't escape, fixing the latches on gates so they don't escape, moving the feeders so they don't escape when you are trying to fill them, (I think you are getting my drift!) you are always needing to up your game and make improvements!
After building a new and improved hay feeder, instructions can be found here, I decided to experiment and see if I could cut down on the amount of hay wasted by my goats.
Typically I have fed my dropped hay to my horse. Everything that is clean and free of being wet or yucky, gets picked up each morning and thrown into her pasture for her to enjoy. Unfortunately, there was always alot of yucky hay that was left after picking up the good hay. Since goats won't touch any of the hay that has hit the ground that can add up to a lot of hay getting thrown onto the compost pile each day!
My idea started when I noticed how our little bottle fed baby, Katie, would never pee in the house UNTIL she would find a piece of my sons clothing left on the floor and proceed to relieve herself on it! This did have the nice side effect of showing my son why it is important to pick up his clothes and put them IN the hamper! lol
After noticing this behavior, it got me thinking how goats HATE to pee on hard surfaces. Soooo after adding additional rock to the goat stall and laying smooth rubber mats on the top of it, I made a simple 3'x4' square out of pressure treated 2x6 lumber we had laying around. Inside this square I layered it about 2 inches deep with pelleted bedding that I normally put in the bottom of all of my animals stalls to help absorb moisture and keep things smelling fresh and looking clean. (See Below) I left it open bottomed so I can just lift up the frame and shovel out the soiled bedding without much hassel.
The key to getting my goats started on using the litter box was NOT PUTTING BEDDING ANYWHERE ELSE in their stall! This left the only nice places to pee either outside in the pasture or in their new litter box. After about a week of keeping the stall swept up everyday there were NO MORE wet spots on the dropped hay. Voila! Now I could make sure all the dropped hay was feed to my now very happy horse and there was no waste.
I have been doing this for several weeks now and will find and occasional wet spot on the fallen hay but, it is about 97% less than I ever had before soo, I am declaring the goat litter box, A SUCCESS!