Kitset shelters a good fit
by Jill Dickie
Grazing stock in paddocks will often find shelter by huddling together, ducking for cover under or behind a treeline, or hide in a valley, but for other animals such as donkeys, horses or goats a small shelter needs to be provided.
There are many options and sizes available in kitset form, and several New Zealand companies provide information on their wares.
The kitset option provides a shelter as a flat pack unit with all parts included, and all you need to do is put it together in an afternoon, preferably in the position you need to use it! Depending on the size and the animals the shelter is for, you may choose to build it on skids to enable towing to a new patch of grass.
If building isn’t your thing, or time isn’t on your side, you can hire a local builder to install it, although a certain amount of negotiation may be required regarding price and time availability!
You can also have a shelter constructed by the retail company and delivered complete, and lifted into position ready-for-use. Many lifestyle block owners prefer this method as it is an instant answer to an immediate problem if bad weather is forecast.
The beauty of having the ability to gather together a hammer and nails to construct the shelter yourself is that you can personalise it to incorporate a small yard if required, such as a dry area for stabling horses or donkeys. In this case, you may even like to add a cover over the yard to create a dry, stable type of area for farrier work, veterinary care or safe feeding.
In the case of goat shelters, you may need a small yard with a milking area or even a raised platform to save your back when hoof trimming. Your shelter building may also be used for feed storage, a small amount of hay, or have a tack shed added onto it. Before purchasing it is advisable to have a solid plan around your requirements, then research the plans readily available from retailers — a much quicker option than drafting something yourself or ‘making it up as you go’.