Saturday, October 15, 2011

Barn Building Progress

So here's the progress report on the new barn.  The goat stalls are finished.  These consist of a main stall about 16X10' for day use and next to it a 16X6' stall to put kids in overnight when I'll be milking the does in the morning.  These stalls have a removable panel in between them so kids will be able to see their moms and even sleep with just a wire panel between them.  If it proves better to have complete separation I have other stalls at the south end of the barn that can be kid overnight stalls.  The name of the game with this barn is flexibility so the kid overnight stall has 2 hay mangers placed in such a way that it could be divided in half if need be.  Beyond the kid stall there is a row of 4 kidding/lambing stalls and they are created by dividers that are created as needed by dropping 2X6" boards into metal tracks.  This means I can have 1 big stall, 2 slightly smaller stalls for 4 individual stalls.  Each has it's own gate  (or will have when my brother Jeff gets back from sailing his boat south)  and the aisle itself will be usable in a pinch for yet another kidding place.  Can you tell we were low on room last year?

Here's the kid overnight stall.

Notice that we have yet another style of manger here.  Jeff and I designed and built this on the spot starting with a length of 2X6 screwed from the other side as the bottom.  We created both sides by taking 3 pieces of 2X6 and sawing one of them diagonally in half to form the slant for each side.  Pieces of scrap livestock panel were attached with fencing staples, a piece of shiplap siding provided a handy groove to cover the sharp ends of the top of the wire and provide some height.  Strips of shiplap edges covered the other wire edges at bottom and sides.  Here's a closer shot:

Notice the peek gap in the stall partitions?  It's so that animals can peek in and out to see what's going on.  When the dogs are in the center aisle instead of with the goats they'll want to keep an eye on stuff and the goats certainly like to look out to see what's happening.

Outside the main herd stall is a 16X16' run-in shed area.  It's got openings to the north and west.  Since the wind whips across this field from the north we'll have a sliding barn door to keep the chill out during the cold months.  During summer the breezes will help keep everyone cool.  The floor of this run-in area is sand and gravel.  We'll build some platforms for here and in the stalls.  Goats love to jump  up on stuff and they especially like to have somewhere to jump up onto when the guardian dogs are feeling frisky and playful.  The windows haven't been put in yet. Still waiting on that except for the buck stall which is already occupied by a full grow buck, a full grown wether and 2 young wethers.
Here's the run-in area.

This run-in area is across a center aisle from the sheep run-in area which is designed and built the same way.  With long spans of 16' for the walls we had to figure out a system to stabilize the walls.  We framed them up and then hammered a 5' piece of conduit pipe and attached the wall to it like this:

We used cedar boards as apron boards along the bottom to keep drafts out.  The cedar is resistant to rot of course and can be replaced easily if needed.  The sill of the wall is more than 6" off the ground.

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