Finally remembered to take a camera up to the barn. It was below freezing but I figured I could get a few photos before the camera shut down.
Today some notes on a few little things that have worked out well in our barn.
First of all, I love how much sun comes in. The goat side is on the west and the light streams into their stalls and their run in area.
Here's the stall. Notice the black rubber bumpy itching panels. They still haven't really gotten the hang of them. Notice Vera watching in the doorway keeping an eye on the does. Do you think she's counting to make sure everyone is in?
Here's the other end of the same stall.
Here's the doe stall for when I separate the milkers from their kids overnight. They can still see each other and often sleep near each other on opposite sides of the wire panel.
There's a goat and dog sized door into the run-in area. Here's Stella peeking out. She's due April 4 but it's her fist pregnancy and she's not big yet. I hope she only has 1 or 2.
The run-in area is nice and large. The does have half of it and the ewes have the other half. I put a platform in the goat side and my brother built a dog house.
I chose the size of the doghouse to be big enough for both to fit in but small enough that they could build up some heat in there. The opening faces the exit in case they need to leave and do livestock guardian duties quickly. The siting of the doghouse also provides a windbreak against west winds, something the goats appreciate. They like to lounge on top of it in the afternoon sun when it's not windy.
Then there are those goat housekeeping problems....
So after a couple of years of grabbing a handful of waste hay to sweep off the goat "berries" I decided that maybe what I really needed was a windshield brush since it would do double duty; sweep off berries and the scraper could be used when they'd been stepped on and smooshed onto the surface! It hangs nearby on a bit of framing.
Another idea I had was the piece of scrap 2X6 that I lay along the top of one of the hay mangers on the center aisle side of the stall. It allowed me to balance feed bowls, flakes of hay and buckets of water up there so I didn't have to be holding stuff when sidling through the gates. While that worked well the board did get in the way of filling the manger it was on so I had to move it and sometimes it would fall off into the aisle. I decided it should be hinged so that it could be flipped up when the manger needed filling and down when I needed to balance stuff on it. Feed pans and water bucket on it waiting to be taken away when I leave the stall.
You may notice that the goats are pretty pudgy. (They only get 1/4 cup of grain so they are not being overfed, honest!) Between all their fur and their full rumens they rather look like ottomans with heads and tails. Because of this I've been considering myself to be royalty; Queen of the Ottoman Empire!
Here is the ewe stall. They are expecting dinner.....
Chores are done and Vera is on watch duty. Fergey is probably patrolling the perimeter already.