May 23, 2011

Fort William -or- Why Nothing Is Getting Done on the House

I reckon I should begin by clarifying that we're not talking "William" as in "Prince," but "William" as in "Billy," i.e. billy goats. ;)

Hard to see in the dappled sun and shade, but behind
the corral panel is the spot for the new goat shed.

After we finished fencing the pasture last October, we decided we needed it needed it's own goat shed. We knew we'd eventually keep several groups of goats, and need to keep them separate. Dan started on it last autumn, building at the back of the pasture.

The foundation is of old bricks 

He used materials we had on hand, including old bricks and fallen pine trees.

1st course of logs

He worked on it until it was about four logs high....

4 logs high

.... and then, when the weather got wintry, turned his attention to working on the house. We finished the second bathroom, got started on the kitchen, and worked on the back porch. Once we put a deposit on the two Pygmy bucks however, we knew this project needed to get done ASAP.

Just high enough for people too

He worked on getting three sides done with windows, and then started on the roof. The roof was the only thing for which we had to buy was materials. The metal roofing we found 2nd hand, but the wood for framing had to be purchased new.

Dan finished the roof before we brought the boys home.

The "billy boys" accepted it as home quite readily. (I made the Pygmy goat size hay feeder out of an old tomato cage.)

Window with welded wire fencing

Scraps of welded wire fencing over the windows are as much to keep unwanted critters out as it is to keep goats in. In the winter, we will cover them to keep out wind and rain.

Roof about compete

It's not complete yet, but it's serviceable for the summer. It doesn't have to be air tight, but it does have to protect them from wind and wet. Before next winter we will add a fourth wall in front and a gate. The gate probably isn't necessary, but I like to be able to secure them for whatever reason. Gaps between the logs will need to be chinked. We also want to make sure the drainage is adequate as well, because we don't want our goats having to live in mud.

It looks kind of neat and was fun to build. The materials were mostly free, but the project made Dan wonder if this was really the best way to approach it, because what we save in money, we spend in time and energy. Working with logs is a real challenge, especially in terms of getting everything plumb, level, and square.

McGruff and Chipper

They actually don't share very well.

As excited as we were to get started on the kitchen, we're also excited about our goats. Our animals needs always take priority. Plus, there's just something about being outdoors that makes me not want to go indoors. As with everything else, it's one step at a time.


Renee Nefe said...

the new goat shed looks great, but I totally get why Dan felt that way about it. I've had many times where I've said "I can make that" but then I realize I don't have the time.

Lynda said...

Oh a shed after my own heart! I think your shed is perfect! I want TWO!!! I wish my husband was as handy as yours. He hires people to do things and they just don't have the *vision*. You are really lucky.

Tami said...

Dan is "The Man". I love the little log "cabin" for the goats. (Makes me want to read my Lttle House books.)

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Shed...that is a mini log cabin. People in the pioneer days didnt even have homes that nice. It is really cool. I would love to have something like that.

Leigh said...

Renee, I have to remind him that building a log cabin has been one of his lifelong dreams and that despite the work, he had fun doing it! LOL

Lynda, I'd offer to hire him out, but one was enough, LOL. I think the next one will be more conventional. In fact, he's got me thinking about what I want in a larger more permanent barn.

Tami, the Little House books are some of our favorites. We read them over and over again! (We're currently re-reading By The Shores of Silver Lake

Jane, Dan jokingly says he's going to build some bunks in there and we're moving in. :) Actually, it's a beautiful spot on the property. Back from the road, under cooling oak tree shade, and it catches the breezes. The goats literally have it "made in the shade."

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I think that log cabin is awesome!! Sure it might have taken a while, but what a great way to use up what is there and make it work! Nice!!

BrokenRoadFarm said...

Looks great! And they are adorable!

Benita said...

It may have taken a bit more work to put together, but there is something so cool about a log structure. It blends in so well with its surroundings.

Sherri B. said...

You are so wise to think about the goats in the mud. I worried so about the chickens in the mud this season. We will have to rethink that problem before fall comes. It will be so comforting for you to know that they will have a wonderful secure structure for any type of weather.

Have a great week.

DebbieB said...

You guys are such good stewards!

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

We run into the same problem, using recycled free materials b/c its easier on the checkbook and always fun to see what you can make with the bits and pieces but really does eat up time. Oh, finding balance, its a daily challenge, yes?

I love the log idea.

Susan said...

What a wonderful structure! My guys would love one of those! What handsome boys.

Kathy said...

This is SO WAY COOL!!!!!!
We're needing shade in a couple of the pens here, but it's hard to convince the Hired Hand that the sheep don't like shade sails as they flop all over in the winds. You always give me more ideas than I have time, or energy to do, Leigh. Thanks for keeping that bar raised! :)
Hugs from the SW...

Sarah said...

I can see Dan's point because the way things are for us now, my time is FAR more valuable to me than money when we're home. I'm sure that will change later. BUT I think its so neat that you were able to construct practically the entire project from things you had on hand or obtained for free or mostly free, and it looks so nice! Not tacky like a lot of things put together with hodge podge. Good job! Your goat boys are going to be living in a rustic Taj Mahal.

Leigh said...

APG, I think so too. And really, even for the extra time it took, it's nice to have those logs doing something useful.

BRF, thanks!

Benita, this has always been our dream. It's a shame it's just for the goats, but at least we have one. :)

Sherri, that's really bothersome, isn't it? Animals in the mud. We do get muddy around here sometimes, but we make sure our critters have a way to get out of it. I'm sure it's healthier for them too.

Debbie, aw, thanks!

Megan, that's so true about finding a balance. Especially when one has a work schedule! I'm glad we did it though.

Susan, thanks! I'm not sure how well Gruffy and Chipper actually appreciate it's aesthetics, but they do love it for loafing.

Kathy, LOL. I hear you about the time and energy. This time we had to get something done and I think it works pretty well.

Sarah, I think you hit the nail on the head. Which is more valuable at the time, time or money. I think it was frustrating toward the end because it took so long. Now that we can step back and enjoy it, we're glad to have it. :)

* Crystal * said...

Wow!! Great job, your lil goat cabin looks amazing!
The boys are just too cute for words...


trump said...

Looks like the little guys will be having a very nice home. Will you be putting in a.c at all,lol. Richard from Lebanon county's Amish community.

Leigh said...

Crystal, thanks! It is kind of neat, isn't it?

Richard, they seem to enjoy it. If I put in AC, they might not want to leave once the weather gets hot! LOL

Kaat said...

I am SO impressed!

Mama Pea said...

I LOVE the rustic beauty of the log buck barn! All bucks should be so lucky. I have a feeling by winter you'll have it made as snug and cozy for the boys as can be imagined!

Mim said...

I love your shelter and your bucks are just the cutest little guys!

Peggy said...

Great looking shed! Love the rustic look!

Leigh said...

Kaat, thanks! DH would actually like to move in, LOL

Mama Pea, somehow I doubt they appreciate it's beauty. :) They like the shelter though.

Mim, thanks! I never dreamed Pygmy goats were so lovable. Can't wait for our Kinders!

Peggy thanks! Rustic is us. It was always our dream to build a log cabin. We just didn't know it would be for goats instead of us. :)

Robin said...

That is a really cute shed! I like it!