March 22, 2015

Goat Barn Preliminaries

The goat barn is going to be our building project this summer. Or perhaps I should say, starting on the goat barn is going to be our building project this summer. It will be the biggest thing we've undertaken so far. It will require a lot of time and money, so we'll just do like we always do and take it one step at a time.

Before we can actually get started, several things have needed to be done first. One has been a place to store hay. We used to store it in one of the two original outbuildings.

Photo from "Homestead Haying" (May 2013) before adding tarp walls.

It looked better in those days and has since been torn down to make way for the new barn. The new barn will have a hay loft. In the meantime, we decided to make a hoop house for temporary hay storage.

After we tore out the old front porch floor,
Dan used the boards to make a base.

6 ft by 12 ft is enough room for three round bales of hay

Covered with multiple layers of plastic and tarps it's not
very aesthetic, but it's functional (in more ways than one)

The other thing we need to do is to trim back this old oak tree.

Dan's truck is parked on the concrete slab which will
become my milking room and the center of the barn.
A sketch of our round barn plans can be found here.

Like it's sister tree, it is old and loses a lot of limbs. The last thing we need is for it to come down on the new barn some stormy night. Dan plans to cut back the branches enough so that won't happen. This will be some of next winter's firewood.

Even though there is no building activity yet, we think about this project constantly. Once Dan puts the finishing touches on the bay window, our attention will turn to the barn in all seriousness.


Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

This is a great idea for hay.
I'm going to share this with my brother... he'd love it and would definitely use this idea.

barbara woods said...

our house has been in hubbys family since 1885 so we are slowly rebuilding it. still need to do the living room and add another bathroom but we are retired and it's a lot slower now

PioneerPreppy said...

Ya that Oak looks like it is on it's last legs alright. When they start dropping their limbs like that the count down has usually begun. Will make some good firewood though won't it?

Good luck and happy planning on the new barn!!!

Rosalyn said...

Exciting! I look forward to see how your interesting barn plan comes into being. :) And yes, that poor old oak unfortunately looks like it is on its last legs.

DFW said...

As usual, love hearing about your new projects & the things that need to adjust according 'to plan'.

Farmer Barb said...

Friend, I'm thinking portable saw mill. Bring that oak into good use. My neighbors have been harvesting beams and planks from local trees being cut down. It is now a gorgeous post and beam barn.

That tree will be the enemy as long as it stands.

Farmer Barb said...

by the way, how will you move the round bales? Aren't they 600 pounds?

Chris said...

I love how you found a low cost solution for the temporary hay storage first-up. I'm sure as you progress through the barn build, you may find temporary areas to store hay under too.

This will be exciting to watch. Quick question though, do you have to seek approvals to build? We don't have to, if the building falls within certain height and boundary limitations. But its a small area (5x5 metres) and anything above that needs approvals.

Leigh said...

Patricia, we found the idea on the internet! A great place for good ideas. :)

Barbara, it's a very slow process indeed. I hope you find your renovations as worth it as we find ours.

PP, fortunately nothing has gotten hit with branches but we don't want to take a chance! The other tree had a lot of interior rot which we didn't know when we took it down. We were fortunate that that one never hit anything either.

Rosalyn it's always sad to see an old tree die. But it also means I can plant several replacement trees. :)

Deb, here's hoping it does to according to plan!

Barb, Dan would love a saw mill of some sort. Not only for that tree, but for the many pines we have in our woods. Finding one at the right price is the problem!

To move those bales we currently roll them. It takes the two of us, but we can get them off of Dan's pickup and into the hoop house. We plan to put a pulley system into the barn to hoist them into the hay loft.

Chris, permits here are the similar, i.e. depending on square footage and whether it need electric and water, etc., especially since we are outside of city limits. If we continue with the round barn plan we'll need one; if we choose another option it will depend on those factors.

Unknown said...

I use a hoop house for my chicken run, it's amazing how fast & cheap you can have one up and covered!
We are contracting our barn/garage/storage/workshop out, but as soon as it's done, I start the planning to relocate the 10x14 shed for use as a goat barn. Can't wait!

The Cranky said...

A round barn?!? They used to be extremely popular around here; sadly, not many of them are built anymore. However, those who do have them tend to maintain them beautifully.

Can't wait to see it!

Kev Alviti said...

I think spending plenty of time planning a project like that is really important and time well spent. I had big plans for this place (still do) but they've all changed in the three years I've lived here as I've got to know the land and what I do is constantly changing. Looking forward to seeing the barn, as for the oak I'd reduce the whole thing right back and just plant a couple more to succeed it (maybe grown from its acorns) I think wr sometimes hold on to trees too long whereas we'd be better planting some new ones for future generations (although I know you already do that)!

Sandra said...

Sounds like you will have a busy summer! Good luck with your barn project. :)

Bill said...

I love the hoop house hay storage. Great idea.

Our barn has a hay loft and we keep square bales in it. Hoisting round bales up there would be quite a challenge!

Leigh said...

3 Roosters and a Chick, gotta love those hoop houses, so versatile. I've even seen them turned into goat barns!

Jacqueline, well, I'm hoping we can pull it off. :) They truly are a thing of beauty.

Kev, I very much agree with everything you're saying. There's a lot of wisdom in waiting and observing before making plans. About the trees, our 4-H group (many years ago) went on a field trip to one of the state forests. Very interesting talk about managing trees. They used selective clearing, acknowledging that it was better to take a tree while still useful than to let it die and rot. Clearing let saplings grow up in their place. Made a lot of sense to me.

Sandra, we'll see! ;)

Bill, Dan and I have an ongoing discussion about round versus square bales. He's right when he says they are easier to handle, but the are also much more expensive to buy. You see the dilemma! Mostly we plan to grow and harvest our own hay for which we have no baler, so it will be tarping loose hay into bundles to hoist them up.

Sandy Livesay said...

Another great project to be completed in the near future. I know you, and Dan will have this goat barn done before you know it.

A great use of feedlot panels!!!

Karen@ said...

Great idea for hay storage. I'm so grateful that our place had almost all the outbuildings we needed when we bought it. It was a major factor in deciding on this place. You're going to love it when it is done.

Harry Flashman said...

You folks are building a nice compound there.

I am looking forward to when you get around to building the armory! ;-)

Ed said...

These days, most of my wood projects are furniture based which means I have to be precise. I think that is why I love to do things like building small barns or buildings where precision isn't quite as necessary. I can't wait to see your barn take shape.

Barns are a lost art anymore up here and have been replaced by metal sheds. Soon there won't be anymore barns around and that is a shame in my opinion.

Renee Nefe said...

I see the snoopervisor approves of the hoop house.
I've been wanting to make one of the greenhouse ones.

Mama Mess said...

I have to say hoop houses are great for a shelter on a budget. We've used them for hogs and that's what the goat girls are currently living in. They do quite nicely in a pinch!

Erika keller said...

We stored our hay in a tarp covered hoop house. And have another covered in greenhouse plastic for season extension. Cattle panel are great for so many things!
What a great sounding project! I love the idea of a round barn. We had a 24x36 pole barn built last summer (the old saying-you either have time or money, never both!)

Connie said...

Hello Leigh, I am so happy to meet you and to have found your delightful blog. My husband and I purchased a fixer-upper built in 1905 on an acre of land last spring. Until last year we had never had a place when we could grow a garden and it was such a joyfully happening. I had more vegetables than I knew what to do with. So, I sat boxes along the road with a free sign on them. It was great watching cars stop and bag up stuff from our garden to take home with them :) Well, you are doing this on a much larger scale than us, but I think that our adventure in country life is something we can share. I am your newest follower and I hope that you will visit and maybe even follow me back. Oh, I love your goats! I have been trying to talk my hubby into us getting one.
I do hope to hear from you, have a lovely week.
Connie :)

Mark said...

Looking forward to seeing the progress on the goat barn, whatever shape it takes and however long it takes. Sometime this spring we'll be getting a larger hoop house frame from friends. I'll have to buy or make the shell, but we are looking forward to having the extra space. The first thing that goes in is the tractor.

Leigh said...

Sandy, I hope so!

Karen, existing outbuildings are a blessing indeed. I only wish ours had been in better shape (and larger).

Harry, I don't know about a compound, LOL. It's just going to be a barnyard. :)

Ed, most of the "barns" around here a just metal buildings as well. Sad.

Renee, always a snoopervisor!

the Goodwife, agreed!

Erika, that is so true about time and money, which I suppose is why the hoop houses are so great. I should do a hoop greenhouse as well.

Connie, hello! And welcome! Sounds like we have quite a few things in common. :)

Mark, that's a great idea for a hoop house as well. I'm thinking, maybe we could just have a series of hoop houses instead of a "real" barn. It would be quicker and cheaper!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! Building that barn seems like a big project to me!! Hope it comes together quickly and without any problems for you. Sounds like you have things well thought out. Nancy