Monday, August 4, 2014

Preparing for Goats

Farmer G.
For the last three years, my wife and I have been keeping our pet goats, Hoover, Blackberry and Strawberry on my sister's property while we lived in a rental house in a nearby town.  Every few days we'd go water them, check their feed, and do whatever chores needed to be done.

Recently it was decided that our family would be moving to my in-law's house.  Their property is roughly 18 acres, which includes a barn where my wife kept horses when she was a teenager.  After many years, our animals and our family would be in the same place.

Before we could move anyone, though, we had to prepare.  Our first step was to clean out the horse barn, and build a new pen for the goats.  Gabriella dressed in her best farmer outfit for the occasion.

Cleaning out the barn and building the new pen took up a good part of the day.  First we had to move a pile of insulation that was being stored in the barn, then clean up the rocks, boards, nails, and various bits of old car parts that had been put in the building over the years.  Once that was finished, we raked and dug the years-old powdery horse manure left by the previous occupants.  In the area where we were going to build the goat pen, we dug down to bare earth.

With the digging and raking complete, we partitioned the barn into three sections.  On the left side we built the goat pen, fencing in a room-sized area with metal wire and a gate.  On the right side, we fenced off the length of the barn, setting that space aside for storage.  The center section of the barn was left open.  Later we'll clean up some more, and add windows to the goat pen so that it can be closed up against winter weather.

Gab and Christy show off the new goat stall.

New pressboard for one side.
Gate and new fence.

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