Goat Shelters: How Good are PolyDomes?

The other day I got a message from Goat Berries readers Heidi and Paul, who have just started keeping goats. Check out how cute their Nubian and La Mancha are!

 

Heidi and Paul have purchased a PolyDome for shelter because they had heard how great they were for warmth and ventilation, and this is where their question comes in:

“However, since it was delivered (we ordered it over the internet), we have had someone tell us that it is horrible to keep the girls in. They said it won’t keep them warm. Now that we can see it firsthand, we are confused about how to keep good ventilation and yet keep them free from drafts. Any thoughts on this issue?”

I personally don’t know very much about PolyDomes as I don’t think they’re popular in Italy (at least I’ve never seen them used or for sale), but I did some quick Google searching, and came up with some examples of people using PolyDomes for goats without problems (one person wrote he put plastic flap doors on the front). I also found that one particular PolyDome for calves comes with a ventilation system that you can adjust with the weather.

PolyDome Calf Nursery

PolyDome Calf Nursery

But I’m not sure this helps Heidi and Paul very much, so I’m looking to you, experienced goat caretakers — do you know anything about PolyDomes and how good they are for keeping goats warm? Please feel free to pass around the question among goat circles you know . . . inquiring minds want to know!

Any and all information is greatly appreciated!

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6 Responses to “Goat Shelters: How Good are PolyDomes?”
  1. 11.08.2010

    Don’t think those girl’s are interested in that buck….YET!…lol! Don’t know much about those domes either…I just know that here in Ohio, like you show, peeps do keep calves in them in the summer only when it is warm. Hope they can get some useful info. Cute video! Hugs!

    Interesting about the summer domes, Pam, thanks! And yes, the girls haven’t yet discovered that bucks, erm, magical powers 😉 xx

    [Reply]

  2. Nell
    11.09.2010

    I AM NO AUTHORITY ON ANYTHING GOATISH, HOWEVER IF YOU COULD POSSIABLY GLUE IN STIROFOAM INSULATION IN SIDE AND MAYBE A BED OF HAY WITH A
    LARGE KINDA DOGGY DOOR THING AT THEIR OPENING, THEN THEY CAN GO IN AND OUT WITH HAVING THE COLD PENATRATE TOO MUCH.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Nell!

    [Reply]

  3. 11.10.2010

    I can’t imagine they would be very good for winter. The biggest thing with shelters is blocking the wind and plenty of good feed. If they are healthy and well fed, they will have a good winter coat. They will curl up together at night to share body heat. Mine like to stand outside in really cold weather if it is sunny and no wind. My biggest concern would be the small size because it will be hard to keep it clean, and then you can have health issues. I doubt the size of that would meet minimum requirements.

    Thanks Millie! I think it also depends on where you’re located — here, for instance, in southern Italy our goaties most people don’t even close the goaties/sheep/etc. inside for the winter because their coats serve them well enough. I wondered about cleaning the PolyDome too (even for calves)…I do think they come in different sizes though. Not sure. Thanks again for your input!

    [Reply]

  4. 01.14.2011

    My city newspaper mentioned in a story today that, thanks to the recession, almost everyone is starting to grow their own produce. I’ve been considering doing this myself.

    Growing your own produce can be very rewarding as well as cost-effective; good luck!

    [Reply]

  5. Junia
    10.09.2014

    They use them for calves year round here, and it gets down below zero a few times a year. In my experience all the goats need is a place out of the wind and rain, and these certainly do that,(ours didn’t have windows) and if they had a nice straw bedding, they for sure should stay warm. My brother had his goats in far worse conditions than that, and they were ok over the winter.

    [Reply]

  6. Kelly
    11.05.2014

    I use the poly dome for my girls and they don`t use it much except when it is raining really hard and freezing cold outside. Inside the poly dome it is actually pretty warm. I am considering putting a flap on the outside or making the opening smaller with rubber material to make it even more warm. My girls normaly sleep outside of it but I guess if they are really cold they would go in. If your goats are healthy they shouldn`t have a problem with stayign in the cold but my girls do use the poly dome if its gets really cold. Hope this helps.

    [Reply]


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