Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen

Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen (Compared & Contrasted!)

When it comes to creating a comfortable and functional living space for our beloved goats, I’ve found that the choice of ground cover cannot be underestimated. 

The ground cover in a goat pen serves as more than just a surface to walk on; it plays a vital role in their overall well-being. 

Whether you are setting up a small backyard pen or managing a larger-scale operation, selecting the right ground cover is crucial.

Importance Of Choosing The Best Ground Cover For Your Goat Pen

Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen

The ground cover you choose for your goat pen has a significant impact on various aspects of your goats’ lives. 

Firstly, it provides them with comfort and protection by offering an appropriate surface that is gentle on their hooves and joints.

Additionally, the right ground cover can help maintain good sanitation practices by preventing the accumulation of waste and ensuring easy cleanup. 

Furthermore, by investing in suitable ground cover, you can enhance the overall health of your goats.

Certain types of covers serve as natural sources of nutrition, providing additional forage options to supplement their diet. 

Additionally, an effective ground cover helps prevent parasites from thriving in the pen environment and minimizes the risk of diseases.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Ground Cover

When selecting a ground cover for your goat pen, it is essential to consider its durability and resilience. 

Goats are known for their energetic nature and love of exploration, so you’ll want a ground cover that can withstand their heavy traffic.

Look for options such as thick grasses or sturdy clovers that can endure the constant trampling and digging. 

These types of ground covers will not only hold up well under the goats’ hooves but also provide a soft surface for them to walk on.

Nutritional Value for Goats

Another crucial factor to keep in mind when choosing ground cover for your goat pen is its nutritional value. 

Goats are natural grazers and consume various plants to meet their dietary needs.

Opting for ground covers that offer additional forage can be highly beneficial, as it provides goats with the opportunity to nibble on fresh greens while inside their pens. 

Look for options like alfalfa or clover, which are known to be nutrient-rich and can supplement your goats’ diet effectively.

Ease of Maintenance and Cleaning

Maintaining a clean goat pen is vital for the health and well-being of your animals. 

Therefore, selecting a ground cover that is easy to maintain and clean should not be overlooked.

Consider using materials like straw or wood chips, which are relatively hassle-free when it comes to waste removal. 

Simply rake out the soiled areas regularly, ensuring that any droppings or debris are promptly removed.

Alternatively, rubber mats can serve as an excellent option since they are easy to clean with water or disinfectant solutions while providing a stable surface. 

Best Ground Covers for Goat Pens

Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen

Here are some of the best ground covers for goat pens in my experience. 

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass, with its resilient nature and adaptability, is an excellent choice for a ground cover in goat pens. 

This grass variety thrives in warm climates and is known for its ability to withstand heavy grazing and trampling by goats.

Its sturdy growth pattern makes it highly durable, allowing it to recover quickly after being grazed upon. 

One of the major benefits of Bermuda grass is that it provides goats with a lush and nutritious forage option.

Its high protein content can supplement their diet, ensuring they receive essential nutrients while grazing in the pen. 

Additionally, Bermuda grass forms a dense mat that helps prevent soil erosion and suppresses the growth of weeds.


Alfalfa is another popular ground cover choice for goat pens due to its exceptional nutritional value and ability to enhance soil fertility. 

Known for its deep root system, alfalfa draws up valuable minerals from deeper layers of the soil that may be lacking near the surface. 

This makes it an excellent source of additional nutrition for goats as they graze on this vibrant green cover.

Alfalfa contains high levels of protein, vitamins, and minerals, thus providing goats with a balanced diet when consumed as part of their grazing routine. 

Moreover, this leguminous plant fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the soil naturally, acting as a natural fertilizer that enriches the overall fertility of the pen.


Clover is widely recognized as a versatile ground cover option suitable for goat pens due to its numerous advantages beyond being mere foliage underfoot. 

There are several types of clover commonly used in goat pens including red clover (Trifolium pratense) and white clover (Trifolium repens).

Apart from offering sustenance to goats with its succulent leaves, clover acts as a natural fertilizer, enriching the soil with nitrogen and improving its nutrient content. 

Furthermore, clover exhibits vigorous growth patterns that help suppress the growth of unwanted weeds, reducing the need for additional maintenance and weeding efforts.

It is a beneficial choice both for goats’ dietary needs and for promoting a healthy, weed-free environment within the pen. 

When considering ground cover options for goat pens, Bermuda grass, alfalfa, and clover are standout choices due to their unique characteristics and benefits.

These ground covers not only provide a resilient surface that can endure goats’ activities but also offer nutritional advantages that supplement their diet. 

Whether it’s Bermuda grass’s ability to withstand grazing while providing dense coverage or alfalfa’s contribution to soil fertility and enriched nutrition, or even clover’s dual benefits as a natural fertilizer and weed suppressant – these popular ground covers prove indispensable in maintaining an optimal environment for goats in their pens.

Alternative Options for Ground Covers in Goat Pens

Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen


Straw is a common and readily available option for ground cover in goat pens. 

One of the primary advantages of using straw is its affordability. 

It is relatively inexpensive and can be easily sourced from local farmers or agricultural supply stores.

Additionally, straw provides excellent insulation, keeping the goats warm during colder months. 

However, it’s essential to note that straw may not be suitable for all situations.

While it can effectively absorb waste and provide cushioning, it tends to break down quickly and can become matted or compacted if not regularly replaced. 

Therefore, regular maintenance is crucial when utilizing straw as a ground cover in goat pens.

Wood Chips

Wood chips are another alternative worth considering for your goat pen’s ground cover needs. 

There are various types of wood chips available, but it’s essential to choose those that are safe for goats and do not contain toxic substances such as black walnut wood. 

Wood chips offer several benefits beyond being a ground cover; they also act as natural insect repellents due to their aromatic properties.

Furthermore, they have the advantage of being long-lasting compared to other options like straw, as they take longer to break down. 

However, it’s crucial to replenish the wood chips periodically to maintain optimal coverage and ensure their effectiveness in preventing soil erosion.

Rubber Mats

If you’re seeking a more durable and low-maintenance option for your goat pen’s ground cover, rubber mats might be an ideal choice. 

Rubber mats provide excellent traction while minimizing soil erosion caused by heavy goat traffic. 

They are easy to clean since waste can be easily swept or washed off the non-porous surface without seeping into the ground underneath.

These mats also offer added comfort and shock absorption for goats’ hooves by providing a softer surface compared to bare ground or concrete. 

However, it’s important to select mats specifically designed for agricultural use to ensure they are resistant to wear and tear caused by goat activity.

Best Ground Cover For Goat Pen: Conclusion

Choosing the best ground cover for your goat pen is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your goats and maintaining a clean, hygienic environment. 

While traditional options like straw offer affordability and insulation benefits, they require regular maintenance.

Wood chips provide longevity and act as natural insect repellents but need periodic replenishment. 

Rubber mats offer durability, ease of cleaning, and added comfort for goats’ hooves.

Consider the specific needs of your goats and the practicality of each option in terms of maintenance and desired benefits when selecting a ground cover. 

With thoughtful consideration, you can create a safe and comfortable space that both you and your goats will appreciate.

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I have a Masters degree in Communication and over 5 years working in PR. I have a wife and four children and love spending time with them on our farm. I grew up on a farm with cows, sheep, pigs, goats, you name it! My first childhood pet was a pig named Daisy. In my spare time, I love holding bbq parties for my friends and family

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