Goats are some of the smartest animals out there – it’s a fact. And anyone who’s ever dealt with a smart animal knows they can get bored VERY easily. Mental health can be just as important as physical health when it comes to your goats. Constructing a goat playhouse or other play structures, is a great way to keep your goat entertained and out of mischief.
Simple Goat Play Structures
Goat love to climb and be up off the ground. It’s easy to find simple things they can play on that will keep them amused. Just bear in mind these structures will need to be sturdy and able to support the weight of several goats.
Wooden cable spools are a great goat toy that can usually be found free, and goats love them! They are very sturdy as long as they’re put on a level surface, and goats will sunbathe on them ans play king of the mountain all day long. Check Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or even just the side of the road for free spools. You can also contact your local hardware stores and cable companies to see if they have empty spools available.
Old furniture can often be re-purposed into great goat playhouses. Tables, large chairs and couches can be a ton of fun for goats. Once again, just be sure they are safe to hold the weight of a goat or two, doesn’t have any sharp protrusions, or toxic paint that can be ingested. Upholstered items will inevitably absorb urine, so shouldn’t be left with the goats forever.
Using old tires for your goats is a great way to re-purpose them. if you half bury the tires upright and line several up together, it’s fun for goats to jump on. If you can get your hands on tractor tires, even better.
If you’re raising Nigerian Dwarf goats, or another miniature breed goats, it’s easy to use dog houses or dog igloos as playhouses and a cozy place to curl up during the cold weather. You can find these used very cheap, or sometimes even free. Just make sure if you find them used that you clean them thoroughly and disinfect them before using them with your goats.
Building Your Own Goat Playhouse
Goats don’t care how their playhouses look, so you don’t have to be a master carpenter to cobble something fun together. It’s easy to get really creative with some basic building knowledge and some free pallets. Or wood you score at the dump (my favorite). Just make sure all of your salvaged materials are safe.
If you’re the DIY type, the very best resource for building your own play structures is this book by our friend Janet Garman from Timbercreek Farm
It has EVERYTHING, from building fences, to hay feeders and lots of fabulous goat playhouses. If you’re thinking of building any basic structures for your goats, this book is an incredible resource for any goat owner to have on hand.