August 25, 2016

Little Barn: Interior Wall for the Milking Room

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.

25 comments:

  1. Good design. Nice plan to feed food for them so that food will not be wasted.

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  2. It looks so civilised and tidy. How long did that last? ;)

    I really like the design and the fact it is relocatable. Because if they do move into the bigger barn at some point, they'll be familiar with that particular set-up. Less drama, happy farmer. :)

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    1. So far so good! The goats like it because they can see everything that's going on. :)

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  3. LOL, hey those feeders are like what I had for the five pygora girls. We are so far from that tidy solution with the two wethers it's laughable. One small shallow tub, with a few bites of mineral dressed cob, gently dropped from the tractor as I head up with the bags of hay to the horses.Once finished they race up to share the evening hay with their keepers Cooper and Dandy. :-)

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    1. But your entertainment value is priceless. :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Floor! And it came out really well!

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  5. What an excellent idea and functional implementation of a plan. I can now see a variation of your design for our sheep feeder system. (Supplemental feed for bred ewes)

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    1. I've never had sheep but I should think it would do very well for them too. :)

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  6. I love it and may steal the idea, next year we are re-doing the goat area so I am looking for ideas :-)

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    1. Good idea to look ahead for ideas! I'm thinking that if we added a second frame of 2x10s on the goat side, it would create a stall-like look and possibly keep them from getting their noses in their neighbor's feeder. Might try that someday to see!

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  7. I'm curious as to why all the studs got dado-ed into the upper and lower plates? It's a very nice touch but something I wasn't expected to see in such a wall.

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    1. Ed, he said he did it for added strength. He didn't trust nails along with pushy, shovey goats that like to try and stand on things. So far so good!

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  8. Bloody brilliantly Leigh!
    Caroline

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  9. Looks like you have found a good system for your herd. Will be on the look out for more progress on the big barn.

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    1. Well, in theory it's a good system. But you know goats, they'll test things in ways the humans never think of. :) Hopefully the big barn will be next summer's project!

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    2. Indeed. They are also masters of building inspection. Between the goats "let me stretch out while dancing on my hind legs and applying all my weight to this board you are adding just to check if it is load bearing. " And our old Pyr "just checking to be sure distance between 2x4's is close enough to not allow my goats to get their hoaves stuff". It is a wonder the barns around here ever got finished. But in the end we passed caprine and canine inspection.

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    3. LOL, so nice to have help like that. Dan's chicken Sister has been a real help too, making sure there are no bugs anywhere he's trying to dig or level the ground. And the squirrels have been testing out the new roof by bombing it with partially eaten pecans (which makes me very glad we went with the heavier gauge stuff!)

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  10. Sounds great! I think people are just like goats wanting what others have! Nancy

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    1. Nancy, that's very true. They are actually most like toddlers (which a log of so-called human adults are too :)

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  11. Wow Leigh this is a great set up. How funny that they learn their set places. I hope it is making milking easier for you.

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