|Very rough sketch of the Little Barn floor plan.|
Let's see. I told you how we changed the name of the goat shed to the "Little Barn," and showed you the new hay mow. The next step was to begin working on the milking room. Dan started by building a new wall to separate the goats from the milking area. The old one looked like this.
|This old photo was taken back in Nov 2014, right after we added|
the overhang to the shed. This is the wall we wanted to replace.
My idea was to use the wall for feeding as well as separating. After a lot of brainstorming, we came up with this.
|Rough sketch of an idea to incorporate feeders into a milk room wall.|
Dan did an excellent job making it a reality and I'm only sorry I didn't get any photos of its being built. I was busy in the kitchen!
|The feeders hang on the outside because I have a couple of goats who|
are forever knocking them down and dumping feed all over the place.
Theoretically, it can accommodate six goats.
Realistically, keeping each goat in her own spot is another matter, because in the goat way of thinking, what other goats have is always better than what Self has (even though it's the exact same thing). So I added eye screws with double ended bolt snaps by each feeder for clipping to their collars.
|The eye bolt helps hold the feeder in place.|
The double bolt snap helps hold the goat in place.
That kept them from running around, but they could still manage to get their noses into their neighbor's feeder. In the end I had to assign places and rely on routine to keep peace at feeding time.
As with all things goat, peace in the barnyard largely depends on routine. In the morning they get fed one at a time on the milking stand. In the evening I put three goats on the feeding wall, one (Violet, who can somehow manage to wiggle the snap off) goes on the far wall and the last one is fed on the milking stand. Now that they know the routine, they let me clip them to their spot and then wait to be fed. Routine is a goat keeper's best friend.
|They are amazingly calm and patient once they know the routine.|
I'd also like to mention that the feeder is a stand-alone wall. We'll be able to move it to the Big Barn eventually. In the meantime, the next step for the Little Barn is to make a proper milking room. I'm very excited about this, because I've been making do for five years now. Details soon.