14 DIY Mostly Cheap Goat Pen Ideas

Ask anyone who has kept goats for any length of time, and they will tell you: keeping your goats in place and on your property is a lot easier said than done. The fact of the matter is that goats are excellent escape artists, or jailbreakers as I like to call them, and as a rule, your fences need to be both tall and sturdy to stand a chance.

pygmy goat in its pen
a pygmy goat in its pen

Much of the time, that means you’re spending big bucks on materials. But the homesteader’s way is to persevere, improvise, and overcome. With the right materials and a good plan, it’s possible to craft an entirely serviceable, durable, and effective goat pen yourself using basic materials.

You’ll find links to written walkthroughs and videos for all sorts of different designs below.

The 8-Dollar Goat Enclosure

This example is probably my favorite when it comes to sheer DIY spirit. Using a huge variety of scavenged, traded, scrap, and clearance materials this family has crafted an entirely sturdy and functional goat pen and house.

It looks like an MC Escher painting gone a bit wrong, or maybe a jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing, but it’s not in any danger of falling down and if you were on the strictest of budgets this can give you plenty of ideas for what’s possible.

Take note during the tour of how they accounted for the comfort of not only the goats but also themselves when it comes to dealing with and cleaning up after them.

Cattle Panel Pen with Gate

If you have any amount of experience with livestock already, you’re already entirely acquainted with cattle panels. You know them, you love them, and they represent one of the very best buys in terms of affordability, strength, and ease of handling.

This goat owner has used standard metal posts and multiple cattle panels to erect a clean, tidy, and most importantly, strong fence around the hutch his goats live in. You can do the same thing, and just adjust the dimensions for your property or the size of pen.

Welded Wire Fence Enclosure

An even cheaper alternative to the cattle panel design above, welded wire is often not thought of as a great option for goats because it lacks strength and durability compared to woven wire or cattle panels.

But if you’ve already got some of this stuff on hand, have smaller breeds of goats, or have a very large area to cover, it definitely has some benefits owing to its reduced cost. It’s also extremely easy to handle and this is a fence you can put up yourself for a large area with a little bit of muscle and time.

DIY Kidding Pen

If you plan on breeding goats, it is critical that you have a kidding pen for those expectant mommies…

It’s a place for them to go to be away from the rest of the herd and also a safe, quiet, and secure area where she and her new baby can relax and get their bearings. In time, it’s also where you’ll check up on both of them and make sure they are getting the care that they need.

Designer kidding pens are all the rage these days, but these kits and prefab structures are very expensive, and in my opinion totally overpriced. Using basic lumber scraps that you have left over and any metal fencing of your choice, you can easily make a spacious and comfortable kidding pen like this lady did.

Efficient Backyard Goat Pen

Have you ever thought about keeping goats in the middle of suburbia? Yeah, me neither, but apparently this family did!

This husband and wife duo built a customized, efficient, and presentable goat pen right behind their house with neighbors close on either side. You can do the same thing assuming that your neighborhood will allow you to, but it definitely has some associated challenges to be overcome compared to building one out in the middle of the country.

This video will take you through the considerations you need to sort out any planning to be done before you start building. Make sure you catch part 2 and part 3 to see the finished product!

Simple Pallet Goat House

Goats, surprisingly enough, often need only a very simple shelter to give them a little bit of shade and just a bit of protection from really inclement weather. Their fur can do the rest most of the time.

This super-easy design can be built and about an hour if you have some sturdy pallets on hand and some basic scrap materials to make a roof. It will allow your goats to take shelter from the sun to cool down, and also give them protection from rain and colder temperatures.

Double-wide Pallet Shelter

The previous shelter is really only suitable for a small herd of three or perhaps four medium-sized goats.

If you have a larger herd, or just want room to grow, you can expand on that design using the same construction techniques to make this neat “double-wide” shelter using nothing but pallets and a few other pieces of scrap materials.

Pallets are especially good for building because, assuming they’re in good shape, they are already extremely sturdy and can stand up to inclement weather and the abuse that goats will invariably inflict on them.

Metal Siding Shelter

Wood is great but sometimes you want the strength and certainty of metal.

And, unlike the shorter, simpler shelters on our list, this one is not only strong but tall enough for you to stand upright in when you are checking on your goats or mucking out the mess that they will invariably and constantly leave behind while they are inside.

Metal siding might seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you look around in classified ads on and offline, you’ll find this stuff for sale all over for pennies on the dollar.

You might even have some yourself right now! A little bit of extra time on the build can produce a goat pen to be proud of.

Bespoke Goat Mini-Barn


For some of us, shabby, improvised homesteader chic is just not an option. We want all of our buildings to be a reflection of ourselves, and if you’ve got the skills, the time and the materials you truly cannot do any better than this bespoke mini barn.

This is the Ritz of goat shelters and suitable both for keeping them put up and in one place and letting them tuck tail at night or during inclement weather.

This design could also easily be expanded with some simple calculations for a herd of any size, and it really does look like an upgrade for your property.

Super Simple Tarp Hoop House

It’s easy to get caught up with the idea of hammering posts into the ground and nailing pallets together when you’re on a strictly limited budget and just need a goat pen in a hurry.

But you might not have to go that route at all. This “hoop house” shelter consists of little more than the simplest of wooden frames, a welded fencing wire skeleton, and a sturdy weatherproof tarp draped over the whole thing and secured.

It’s cheap, it’s effective, it’s reasonably mobile and it is certainly workable for a smaller backyard herd. This is one of my favorite designs on our list; make sure you check it out.

Woven Wire Pen

Another woven wire pen, but this goat herder cleverly uses some stout wooden posts to reinforce the weak points.

Goats, as you may or may not already know, are notorious for leaning on, pushing on, and ramming fencing, and oftentimes the posts are the weak point that will start to tilt and then sag before the fencing itself will fail.

I don’t think you’ve got to worry about it if you go this route! Basic and affordable materials complete this build and keep it budget-friendly.

Traditional Goat House

This is a great video showing how you and a partner can easily make a fully framed, raised traditional goat house.

Yes, you’ll have to invest a little bit more in materials, and if you don’t have any construction experience it looks a little bit intimidating, but the design really is simple, and it’s undeniably effective.

If you live in an area with harsh weather or just really cold winters, I urge you to consider upgrading to a shelter like this because your goats will likely need the protection.

The maker of the video will take you through the construction process from materials to assembly step by step, and even covers roofing.

Pallet Paddock Fence

Another one of my favorite designs on this list, and one that’s remarkably clean and tidy-looking. This goat owner uses large pallets to make a cheerful-looking and, most importantly, sturdy fence for his goats, complete with a partition of wire fencing on the inside.

You might like the look or you might not, but there’s no denying that pallets are sturdy enough to stand up to nearly constant attention from goats. They are easy to handle, basically modular, and, best of all, if you have a good source they can be had for free or for very, very little money.

From a cost-benefit perspective they’re very hard to beat, so consider them if you are pinching pennies but unwilling to give up strength and security.

Complete Goat Pen Made From Pallets

If you are plum crazy about pallets or, somehow, just have tons of them on hand, you can use them as they are to build every single element of your goat enclosure. No, I’m not kidding!

This one really takes pallet usage to an entirely new level: the fencing, the goat house, and even the playground structures for the goats on the inside are made entirely from pallets of different kinds, or else from the wood that was harvested from other pallets.

It just goes to show you that where there is a will, there is a way for homesteaders!

Picket Fence Goat Shelter

When it comes to building a nice, framed shelter for your goats, the temptation is there to look for exactly the right kinds of materials to do the job according to a strict set of standards. I can admire this, but much of the time you’re just imposing unnecessary restrictions on your efforts.

This good-looking, sturdy, and undoubtedly effective shelter is made with common framing lumber, fencing pickets, and a corrugated metal roof. I think it looks quite charming, and anyone would be proud to have a shelter like this for their herd!

DIY Modular Stalls

If you already have a sizable barn, you might simply be best served by creating separate stalls or interior paddocks for your goats. No, you don’t need to get into a major remodel. Or at least you don’t if you use this clever, simple plan for modular stalls.

This video will walk you through a great example process that you can adapt to your own barn or other structure.

This is the perfect way to keep some of your goats separated if they’re picky about sleeping arrangements, or make a good workspace that can keep your goats contained while you process them one at a time.

Framed Goat Shelter

This is another really nice traditional goat shelter made using common framing techniques and typical dimensional lumber.

This is another design that is achievable for almost anyone with a little bit of DIY ingenuity, but if you already have framing or construction skills from your job or a previous life, this is a shoo-in and can be built very cheaply.

With concreted posts, sturdy walls, and a properly attached corrugated roof it is certainly one of the sturdiest on our list, and one that your goats will really enjoy.

Final word: once you’re done building one of these beauties, be sure to add these extras inside the pen to keep your animals entertained!

goat pens Pinterest

Leave a Comment