November 6, 2014

Make-Do Improvements on the Goat Shed

Once the last of the old coal barn was torn down, we got right to work on what we had planned for the salvaged roof and posts.

Eventually we will build a new goat barn in the same spot, but with repairs to the front porch now necessary, we decided to make a few improvements on the old goat shed for the time being. We had plenty of materials from knocking down the old one, so that's what we used. The entire project was a huge challenge and we talked about so many ideas as we ran into problems, that now that it's said and done, I really don't know how to explain it. I'll let pictures do the talking with a few bits of information here and there.

We started with the roof, 1st snapping a chalk line and cutting it in half

We balanced it on the wheelbarrow and hand truck to move it.

But the fence was in the way

T-post puller, a very handy tool for brace posts too

No fence is okay because the goats are all elsewhere until
the newly planted pasture seed gets a chance to grow.

Now to get it up there

The proper tool would have been a block & tackle plus either on overhead
tree branch or a tripod. We had neither and so used a come-along.

Our audience

At this point Dan built a ledger across the top of the
shed doorway. The roof is still tied onto the tree.

Also we realized that the roof section did not need to be so long. Dan cut
it down from 14 feet to 10 feet, making it quite a bit more manageable.

4 feet shorter and easier to manage

We reused the posts and header to support the roof once again.

I think this is where I'm supposed to say, "Do not try this at home!"

First half up

The next day we got the second half of the roof up.

We decided to put this one up from the side instead of the front.

Once we got it up, all we had to do was push it over. 

Goat stall door on the right, milking room is center, feed & hay storage on left

The last thing we did was cover it with a tarp because it had a few leaky places. The shed roof was covered with a tarp almost five years ago, although it probably should be replaced. The one thing left to do will be to put the fence and gate back up.

I am extremely happy with this improvement. Before when it rained, the ground outside the goat stall door became horribly muddy. The roof will keep the area dry, keep rain from blowing in, and give the girls more loafing room, especially when one or both stalls are occupied during kidding. The roof covers the door to the milking room too, another plus. It should serve us well until we can get the real goat barn built.

For Phase 2, click here.


Dawn said...

well done the two of you, what an acomplishment, its surprising what you can do when you work together.
I am glad to see we are not the only ones who have an animal audiancewhen we are doing something, even when deliverys arrive they are lined up watching :-)

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

As you promised.. great re-cycling! Whenever we move or re-site a large item my husband always says "If they could build the pyramids without diggers and cranes we can move this piddling thing!" and we do.

Leigh said...

Dawn, thanks! And what would we do without our audience, LOL. They are curious about everything.

Gill, I like that saying!

Farmer Barb said...

The great thing about dry loafing space is that it provides a stress free area for those lower on the totem pole. Awesome use of everything. I like the come along concept. For those without large equipment, it makes things seem possible!

Unknown said...

Good job! I love recycling stuff :)

Renee Nefe said...

we do a lot of "don't try this at home" projects here too. In fact today I need to figure out how to make a sheath for a sword... talk about expanding your skill set!

Looking great!

Anonymous said...

Excellent job! Recycling at it's best!!

Woolly Bits said...

argh, yes, those "don't try this at home" situations pop up, when only 2 or 3 people try to do jobs that were meant to be for more hands! I still remember the situation, when we tried to lift the ridge board into position for the studio roof! high on an unstable ladder, lifting that thing with only one hand, clinging to the wall with the other - and that on 3 positions, with a 7 m long wobbly plank between us:( not one of our finest moments, but after heaving it into place - we all came down trembling, but glad that it was done:) the problem is that there's never any help around, when you most need it - even though they all tell you to just ask if you need a hand!

Mama Mess said...

Make do projects are homesteading at it's best!

Leigh said...

Barb, that is so very true about the loafing area. The biggest problem with the old setup is the 4 foot gate entrance. It's too easy to defend and keep other goats out. Dividing it down the middle helped, but only nominally.

Nancy, thanks!

Renee, especially with imaginative kids. :)

Stephanie, and it cost $0!

Bettina, oh my, that sounds exactly like what went on here! So true about always needing extra hands. Too bad our kids are grown and on their own.

the Goodwife, I agree!

DFW said...

You two are the best recyclers & re-users of stuff. Even if it's temporary, you solve the problem!

Tommy said...

very cool. great to see how you can reuse what's already there on your place!

Debby Riddle said...

Now that is amazing! Ha! where there's a will there's a way!

DebbieB said...

BRILLIANT! Excellent example of Re-Use, Re-cycle.

Mama Pea said...

There's always that moment in projects like that one when you both know it's a bit on the unwise, dangerous side but you really have no choice. (Although I do sense you and Dan are like we are and take as many precautions as possible!) My better half always says, "If you can imagine it, you can figure out how to do it." I'm not real sure I can wholeheartedly agree with that in all instances though!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this reminds me of all of our "re-construction" projects and how many times we were lucky enough to not get hurt. Reuse, recycle and reduce, that's how we roll. Looks good!

Kev Alviti said...

Great step by step! It'll make no end of difference to keeping the mud out. I've found that sometimes trying to do the permanent solution isn't always possible and temporary at least gets the job done.

Sandy Livesay said...


I love animal audiences, it makes you wonder what their thinking while they watch you work.

Now that's what I call great team work and a job well done.

Unknown said...

I think accomplishing something like this would have seen us heading for divorce. You work so well together.

Simply Handmade Farmhouse said...

Looks great.

Leigh said...

Deb, it's one of the blessings of not having much money. :)

Tommy, thanks! It serves two purposes, we get a new improvement, and we don't have to take the stuff to the landfill!

Debby, getting it ready in time for our boy. :)

Debbie, thanks!

Mama Pea, we probably all do too many of those kinds of projects. Dan has a pretty healthy respect for what can go wrong so he goes to extra measures to take precautions. Thankfully it all worked out.

Ruth, yes, very thankful no one got hurt. Funny, if it works out its brilliant, if it doesn't it was stupid. We hit both on occasion!

Kev, coming from a professional like yourself that's a good word! Dan was never much for temporary in the past, but needs must, and we have too many other things that need doing. I'm thrilled with this project.

Sandy, I always wonder the same thing! LOL

Lynda, well, we have rules about our projects, which helps. ;)

Teresa, thanks!

small farm girl said...

Nice! Good way to repurpose!