Monday, January 30, 2012

Barn Update

Okay, at last an update on the barn project.  I've been too busy to write.  I hope the ewes and does are all bred.  If so it's going to be achingly cute around here this spring!  I'm hoping the barn will hold the increase in animals.

I forgot to get some shots of the front of the barn so we'll start with the center aisle.

Here is the main goat stall.  All the does live here and the milking does are separated overnight into an abutting stall to the left.

The below photo is of the stall the does stay in overnight.  Two junior does are watching.....
I like that when separating moms and babies they can still see each other and indeed sometimes sleep next to each other on either side of the wire.

This photo doesn't show this area very clearly but there is a aisle (with gate on it so it can be yet another pen) with 3 potential kidding/lambing pens to the left and one double sized pen at the end.  I say 3 potential pens because the pens are created by sliding 2X6 lumber into metal tracks and that allows the creation of more small pens or less larger pens depending upon what is needed.  I also have 2 medium sized pens 8X12 and 8X16 that are available for weaning groups, sick bays or whatever.  Note the gaps in the gates at adult eye height.  That's so they can see out, see their neighbors, see the new babies in the next pen, etc.  The gaps are high enough to not create drafts for the kids but low enough that kids can peek out once they are coordinated enough to stand on their hind legs.

Below is the ewe stall.  Like the main goat stall it opens out into what I call their "solarium".  (No, they don't have a den, rec. room or library!)  I don't yet have any photos of the solarium area showing the clear panels that my brother Jeff built to cut down on wind while allowing maximum light.  These panels are either removable (on the east and west sides) or in sliding barn door form  (on the north side) so that summer's breezes will be welcomed into the area.

Also like the main goat stall, it has 2 doors out into the solarium.  A human-size door and a sheep sized door.  I like two doors when there are new herd/flock introductions because no members can be cornered inside.  For instance I kept both doors open when I first put the ram in with the ewes.  I keep only the smaller door open when it's cold and I want to minimize breezes in the barn.

Below is the insulated box that covers my well  (yes, we built the barn around it on purpose), the pump, the hot water heater, and the batteries that run the pump.  The well pump is by Simple Pump  (  )  and runs off of 2 car batteries with a battery tender that keeps  them charged.  If we lose grid power the batteries would likely run the pump for close to a month without recharging.  Attaching a handle I have would allow us to pump by  hand if we needed to or a solar panel could be used to recharge the batteries.  I like this pump a lot.  When animals depend upon me for water I need to know I have access to water even if the grid goes down because of a bad storm or other grid damage.

The insulated well box comes off (the side aisle side of it) for access to work on it.  The top hinges open for quick access.  It hasn't frozen yet and I can put a light bulb in there for heat if needed but the 4 gallon hot water heater keeps it warm enough in conjunction with the rigid foam insulation.
Notice the bucket stand that Jeff made.  It makes it easy to fill both the small buckets and the 5 gallon buckets.  The laundry faucet is kept from freezing with a small insulated box that fits over it when I finish chores.  It's a perfect system.  The bucket stand top is lined in roofing rubber to keep small spills from going all over the floor or rotting the bucket stand.  I love having cold, warm or hot water whenever I need it!!  This really beats carrying water by hand to the small barn we used last winter.

I think I'll stop this post here and do another one with photos of the milking and milk room and other parts of the barn.

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