Photo from January, 2010 of one of the two original outbuildings. Dan cut
out the door on the right & added the gate to make a goat stall. Chicken
coop is on the right, feed storage & milking room are in the middle.
Living with them, however, has helped us see problems that need to be addressed:
- space for does, birthing, newborn kids (all at the same time)
- traffic flow
- mud and manure
- goat social structure & doors
|Photo of the new goat shelter. It's best if hay feeders have more|
than one side, otherwise there are arguments as to who owns it.
We've been dabbling with barn ideas ever since we moved here four years ago. I showed you one idea, in a post entitled "The Princess Is Peeved". That idea was only the beginning and has off an official barn brainstorming session. The idea we are favoring now uses the other outbuilding, the one we call the coal barn.
Another January 2010 photo. We call it "the coal barn" because the section on
the right still has a goodly bed of coal, once used to heat the 1920s built house.
This building, including its carport on the left, measures 14 feet by 32 feet. The building is 14 by 18, and the carport 14 by 14. The carport has a cement floor and is currently used to store hay. The middle part has been Dan's workshop. We opened up the part on the right for garden tools and equipment storage.
There are several reasons for tearing this down and building anew in it's place. For one thing, it's begun to lean a bit more since we've been using it, and the floor in the workshop is getting unsteady; we aren't entirely certain that it won't fall down on it's own. By using the same footprint, our property taxes won't be raised as much as if we built a larger barn.
The new building would look roughly like this...
|Just an idea. Nothing on this sketch is of proper proportions! A loft would|
be 14 ft by 24 ft. The bottom would be 14 ft by 32 ft. Milking room, 14x14
|From the end. The overhang on the left would extend the loafing area for the|
goats and protect the ground from becoming muddy. We considered another
overhang on the right, which would function as a carport for our two vehicles.
The hay loft would be open, but the proposed floor plan for the bottom:
|click for larger view|
The hay feeder would be centered in the remaining space. Being accessible from both sides means no goat could chase all the others away, not without running around in constant circles anyway. We found this worked well in the new buck shelter. There would be a hay shoot over it, from the upstairs loft.
A wide, 8 foot door will open out into an open, covered area, giving access to forage. The door would be either 2, four foot sliding doors, or perhaps a garage door, depending on what's most economical at the time. Our current 4 foot wide shed doors make it too easy for one goat to defend the shed, keeping all others out. A lean-to roof will not only provide a larger covered loafing area, but also protect the ground from rain and the ensuing mud!
The carport would become the feed storage and milking room. The concrete floor means it could be hosed down if needed. I want entry and exit doors for the goats to prevent crowding at the door, as well as blocking to prevent the next goat from entering. The doors here would be half doors, so that I could see into the goat area. A sink with a point-of-use water heater would be wonderful. Cabinets and shelves would store equipment. Trash cans with stored feeds would likely be in the middle.
Also in the milking room would be stairs going up to the 14 foot by 24 foot hay loft. Hay would be loaded into the loft with a pulley system. That's the plan at the moment.
Good ventilation is important, but the exact location of windows is yet to be determined. Doors I'm more certain of. And of course any of it is subject to revision.
There is much to be said for being patient and living make-do. I am thankful we have two outbuildings, even though they are old and in need of repair. They have not been ideal, but they've been a starting point. Even so, it's almost impossible to imagine this barn actually being built. Even a small barn will be expensive. Still, if we approach it like everything else around here, one day at a time, one step at a time, we may eventually see it done.
Barn Brainstorming © July 2013