Wind Breaks By Langston University


The natural hair covering of goats will, in most cases, provide enough protection from the wind except during the coldest times of winter. There are major geographic differences in the extent to which cold is a major challenge. Windbreaks need not be elaborate in their construction as the only goal is to block the wind. They also do not need to be any higher than the goats. It is recommended that windbreaks be located on the north or northwest sides of the pen. It is also suggested that the windbreaks be constructed of some type of material that will not be destroyed by the animals.

To prevent the goats from damaging your windbreaks, placement along the outside of the pens fence line is a wise choice. If feasible, the build up of a small pad higher than the surrounding terrain along the downwind side of the windbreak inside the pen is recommended. Goats, before they bed down, will often paw out a bed and if a raised area is not built up there will soon be depressions running the length of your windbreak area rendering it unsuitable for use should rainfall accompany the wind. Goats will not bed down in a mud puddle rendering the windbreak useless.

Innovation, creative thinking, and use of materials already on hand, can reduce the cost of windbreak construction. Materials for consideration in construction of a wind break range from plywood, sheets of metal roofing, or even old round bales of hay placed lengthwise along the suggested north fence line. Metal of some variety would be first choice. Plywood would be a good second choice but it must be placed where it is inaccessible to goats otherwise it will get eaten. The use of round bales placed along the outside of the fence line is effective if they are on hand. The use of poly tarps tied along a fence line is not recommended for windbreaks. Goats will chew the poly tarps and ingest some material leading to possible rumen impaction and subsequent death. Regardless of what material you chose to use in constructing a windbreak, keep in mind that it does not need to exceed four feet in height. An example of a low cost windbreak is one constructed out of the metal siding off of an old mobile home.