|Surprise was not pleased with the situation. Lily, in the background,|
worries she might have to share a stall with Surprise & her attitude.
"What are you going to do about the Princess?" Dan asked. He was referring to Surprise. She and Alphie had been residing in the birthing stall, but it was time for them to be moved out. We both knew Surprise wouldn't like that.
When we expected our first crop of kids two years ago, we divided the goat shed into two stalls. That gave me a way to separate the expectant doe and give her privacy for birthing and the first few days afterwards. Since Surprise had the first due date, she was the first to spend time in the birthing stall. For some reason she liked having it all to herself and claimed it as her own from that day onward. Even Jasmine, who could make Surprise mad by hogging anything good to eat, respected her territorial claim to this stall.
However, the time has come for Ziggy to use this stall.
|Ziggy waddles back to the goat shed.|
Ziggy, who looks like she could pop at any moment. Ziggy, whose next potential due date is April 5th.
All of this points to our need for a better goat facility. We were happy to have this outbuilding to begin with, and glad to be able to divide it into a chicken coop, goat shed, and milking room.
|In Jan. 2010 we modified one of our two existing outbuildings. We added|
a goat stall on the right, and made the left side into a chicken coop. In the
middle, where the door is, we made a milking room and feed storage area.
As I've lived with it, however, I've made mental notes of what ought to be changed:
- I'd like a large, general area for shelter and loafing
- I'd like room for two private stalls, to be used only for pregnancy confinement, kidding, or for other hospital reasons.
- I'd like a larger milking area, with both an "in" door and an "out" door for the girls being milked. Otherwise there's a goat clog as they try to push through at the same time.
- I need a kid stall, to separate kids from their moms overnight, so the moms can be milked in the morning.
- I need a gating system to accommodate all this plus give me room for the wheelbarrow.
Building a real barn is out, because of cost. This shed, except for the leak in the roof ("fixed" with a tarp) and the deteriorating siding, is structurally sound. While nothing is set is stone yet, the current idea we're looking at is this...
|Very rough, non-technical sketch of idea for goat shed using existing shed|
The idea would be to add a gambrel or arched roof on to the front of the current shed, creating a loft which is open underneath. The open area would serve as an open air loafing area and rain shelter. The goats would still be able to go inside if needed. Hopefully, we could use the loft for storing hay. The chickens would be moved to a new coop and I'll be able to convert the current coop and milking areas into stalls.
We're talking about putting a milking parlor and storage area out of the carport of the other outbuilding.
|The carport on the left might be an option for a milking parlor. You can see|
the goat shed behind it to the left, not far away. The carport would have to
be enclosed, but it would be easy to run a water line out there. I'd love that.
There are a lot of details to work out and likely changes to be made, but this is the direction we're thinking in for the time being. The first step will be building a new chicken coop, which Dan hopes to do this summer. In the meantime I'm thankful for what we've got, and happy to make do.
The Princess is Peeved photos and text © March 2013