October 16, 2018

Barn! Done!

I think some days Dan thought we'd never get to this point. But it finally did, and the barn is done!

Before I give you the tour, however, I'd like to show you a photo of the original building that stood in that spot.

Photo from January 2010. Original goat shed behind on left.

You can see that the new barn pretty much fills the same footprint, with the carport slab becoming the floor for the milking and feed storage room.

Now, on to the tour. Hyperlinks will take you to other blog posts with more information. This is the milking room side.

Several of you asked me to report how the rainwater catchment tanks worked. As you can see, very well! The problem is that we're not happy with the experimental filtering system Dan tried. It catches the debris, but the water isn't as clear as we like. It will have to be changed but that's a topic for another blog post. As a side note, the tanks are a favorite shady napping spot for our best rat catcher.


Moving around the corner toward the back we're greeted by the girls.

The overhang gives them a nice loafing area. It's also a place to feed the little girls so their mothers can eat in peace.

I slip a hog panel behind the barn doors until everyone is finished eating.

Here's a view of the entire back of the barn.

This area is completely fenced in to make a t-shaped corral. Gates on the other end make pasture rotation easier.

Continuing around to the other side...

Note the long windows at the top. Those are for the hay loft.


The timber posts and beams were home-milled. The hay feeder is directly under a hay chute in the hay loft.

Hay loft ladder

Hay loft with hay chute. Windows in the earlier photo are on the right.

The does are fed along the milking room wall.


From the milking room...

Every doe knows her spot & comes willingly when it's time to eat. Each
is kept from helping herself to her neighbor's feed by a clip to her collar.

This set-up makes it easy to bring the milking does to the stanchion for milking, and then back again.

Daisy on the milking stand.

The white cabinet in the background was originally in our kitchen before we remodeled. (If you're interested in kitchen remodels, I have before and after shots of ours here.) I'm glad we saved the cabinet because it's perfect for storing my goat supplies. Also for filling feeders.

Trash cans hold feed, minerals, etc.

To the left of the cabinet is a rack for holding the bucks' feeding pans.

The calendar helps me keep track of pasture rotation.

On the right is a handy shelf for supplies I want to keep at the ready.

One of my favorite features in the skylight.

This wasn't a part of the original plan, but came about because we had purchased metal roofing panels for a new carport roof. When the carport proved to need extensive repair, we decided to use the panels for the milking room roof instead. However! The panels were 16 feet long and we needed 18 feet. We filled in the difference with translucent poly-panels.

When it's dark out, a solar shed light works very well.

On the opposite wall is my workbench and shelves for pasture seed.

The last wall holds a flashlight by the front door, broom, whisk broom, dust pan and step ladder.

The shelves contain extra feeders and various odds and ends that don't have a home yet. 

In the center of the room next to the milking stand is my drying rack.

I lined the shelves with layers of fiberglass window screening. Between the layers I dry chopped greens and herbs for the goats. They get a handful or so on their morning feed ration for extra vitamins and minerals.

My home grown vitamin and mineral mix. Details here.

This is stored in one of the trash cans near the cabinet with the other feeds.

And last but not least, the finishing touch, hung just yesterday.

A barn warming gift from my good friend
Goatldi, who blogs at New Life on the Farm.

It graces the corner of the milking room.

This is definitely the biggest project we've ever done. A barn has been under discussion for years, and I can't even remember how many plans we drew up and how many ideas we tossed around. I lived with a lot of make-do arrangements, and it was from those that many of the ideas came for this one. It's a wonderful feeling to finally check this project off the to-do list.

Thank you so much for taking my tour! I hope you enjoyed it!

Barn! Done! © October 2018 by Leigh  


Michelle said...

It's all wonderful, Leigh; I can imagine what pleasure it gives you to use this thoughtfully-planned structure and surrounds!

The Wykeham Observer said...

Everything is so clean and orderly. I like the windows for ventilating the hay mow. The girls are happy and kitty too! Phil/MN

Gorges Smythe said...

Very nice!

Unknown said...

Wow. It looks great.

Maria Zannini said...

You did a great job! I love how efficient it all looks.

Mama Pea said...

What a totally fantastic job! Both of you must feel really, really good to have worked so hard on and finished this barn that means so much to the health and safety of your goats. Plus, makes keeping and caring for them so much easier (and pleasant!) for you!

You stated the one big advantage to having a project take so long . . . working with different temporary places and configurations that teach what you really need and want in the final structure!

Thanks for the tour!

tpals said...

Beautiful! Everything in its place.

Mama Pea said...

P.S. That Goatldi gal is a real gem, isn't she? :o]

Ed said...

Well done!

Seeking Serenity said...


Theresa said...

What a lovely barn! Congrats you two on a job so well done. I'm betting you will love that barn as much as your beautiful home, and why not. You've thought of everything!

Annie in Ocala said...

It's beautiful! Thank You for taking us along on the planning, an building process. The ups and downs of getting it done 'on the cheap'. Although not cheap for sure the home milling, learning, building it custom for your needs is invaluable to many of us dreamers... Living close to the land means making life for the critters we depend on as comfy as we can, an although they probably don't care much beyond proper shelter, food, water and routine having the care givers happy and content goes to benefit all...

Mark Shaw said...

Looks brill

Fiona said...

That really made my morning. We are sorting and storing a load of feed. We were yakking about better use of space. I think with a big barn you get a bit careless with the amount of room. You have given us some great ideas. God bless you and keep your barn full of the joy of animals and a job well done.

Agent X, not said...

Nice! You guys are amazing. Love the blog, and enjoy following your journey.

Goatldi said...

Takes my breath away Lady!

Love every inch of it, every photo ,except the cute goat butts lined up to eat is the best <3. This barn is well planned , well executed and shows goat love more so than any from the ground up barn I have seen in 35 years. You and Dan get the Caprine Oscar for this one.

I am thankful that you hung the bell in a place of honor on your beautiful barn and may you enjoy it as I have for many years to come. I expect it won't be long before your girls come to the bell being rung for everything from milking to chow time. May you all enjoy this beauty in good health for years to come.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks Great Leigh! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

So many creative and time-saving ideas. What a reward for you and your goats to have that all done! Thanks for sharing!

Henny Penny said...

Oh, the new barn is just wonderful! That would be a dream come true for me. Bet you look forward to milking time now. My favorite place is the hay loft and how the hay drops down into the feeder. I Love it all!

1st Man said...

Oh wow! Very impressive!!! I think you all should design barns for people. It's obvious that your barn was designed by you both to be practical and usable and convenient. Just wonderful!!! Congrats and enjoy!

Nancy In Boise said...

That looks absolutely wonderful! And attractive too! I also love the way you really organize things since I think that makes life much easier down the line. Great job and I love the color and the Bell.

Kris said...

Absolutely positively A W E S O M E !!! Terrific setup, creative use of new & repurposed material, overcoming time, $$ & injury to boot. You guys show us that persistence pays. Thanks for all the updates and reveals and letting us share your accomplishment. You guys R O C K !! Now, if you'd just make the rope on that bell a little longer, the girls can learn to ring for room service. LOL


M.K. said...

That's a beautiful barn, Leigh! You've both done so much hard work, and it has paid off. It's so nice and organized/tidy inside, and you have everything you need to keep healthy, happy animals. Looks great!!

Unknown said...

Very nice! I'm so happy to see this all come together for you. :)
- Amanda (littleredfarmstead.com)

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you and your flock. I am in the process of planning a small barn area with covered lean-to and open turn out for our horse, pony and old sheep. Seeing how beautiful yours is inspires me.

Susan said...

It is perfect! And what a thoughtful, charming addition in that bell - isn't she a treasure? I imagine that this is a wonderful space for all of you - the goats must love it! It is so nice to be able to build a custom space that is well thought-out and attractive to boot! Congratulations!

Mike Yukon said...

The barn looks great and well thought-out. It should serve you well for years. The project reminds me of the movie Jeremiah Johnson, when Bear Claw told Jeremiah, “You’ve come far pilgrim”!

Leigh said...

Thank you to everyone for all your kind compliments! It is such a relief to have it done before winter sets in. :)

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Love the tour, love the barn. I would live in there in a second. Nice job both of you!

J. said...

The barn looks great!

Leigh said...

Donna and J, thanks!

Dawn Rae said...

Thank you so much for the tour of your barn and set-up. I don't have goats yet. Don't even live on my land yet. But I'm constantly trying to educate myself about how much barn area I will need. I appreciate the tour.

Leigh said...

Dawn Rae, good for you for doing your homework first! This barn is my third set-up for goats. I started small (about 10x14 feet), doubled that, and then we built this barn. You need the most room right after kidding season as the kids are growing. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm always happy to encourage and enable!