April 12, 2019

Kid Proofing the Hayloft

When we built our barn, Dan installed a gate at the bottom of the hay loft ladder to keep the goats out.

Hay loft ladder

Besides crawling between the steps, they also slip between the ladder and the wall on the right.

Yesterday morning I found this ...

They not only climbed up by themselves,
but they climbed down by themselves too.

That was it! It was time to install a kid deterrent! I cast about for some ideas and finally came up with this...

Kid-proof hay loft ladder (I hope!)

It's a scrap of beadboard paneling leftover from our kitchen bathroom remodel several years ago. It slips in and out easily, and so far so good!

Unfortunately, it will probably deter the cats too.


But some things can't be helped.

Kid Proofing the Hay Loft © April 2019 by


  1. Don't underestimated cats. I think he will easily jump over it.

    We have new neighbours and I saw their 4 year old son on the roof yesterday,climbing the horizontal fence up on it ;-) Kids what kind ever are all the same ;-)

    Kind regards, Wendy

  2. Wendy, I probably shouldn't underestimate my goat kids either! LOL

  3. Oh my gosh, that is so wonderfully funny! I guess Wendy is right...kids will be kids, no matter!

  4. Too, too funny! They have sooo much personality - even in pictures - just love them.

  5. It wouldn't give our barncats a moment's pause - they go where the mice might be (wouldn't it be cool to be have the athleticism of a cat for a day?), but I do see how the goats may be thwarted by it. Good thinking.

  6. Not so funny when you think of the havoc they could wreak up in the hay loft but cute as heck! Great pictures.

  7. Wyomingheart, it's true, all kids just wanna have fun.

    RT, the personality is what makes it so much fun. And they're all different! I have to say that this is the sweetest bunch of kids I've ever had.

    Mrs. Shoes, and the hay is a perfect hidey place for mice! Several of them sleep up there. Riley is getting old though. He'll probably want me to carry him up there now for his nap. :) The kids are still getting on the stairs, but the board is as far as they go.

    Mama Pea, fortunately no damage! I'm sure they ate their bellies full of hay though. :)

  8. They're sure inquisitive little rascals, aren't they? This made me laugh!

  9. Are you worried they'll overeat? I think I'd probably let them climb it until they get too big to slip through, unless it's dangerous in some way. Last year I watched Rocket tiptoe up the side of the a-frame until he could hook his hooves over the top, then heave himself over and SLIDE down the other side with a noise like a demolition site due to the corrugated panels on the a-frame. The first time I saw it I thought about removing the panels to stop him, but by the time I got around to it he had been up and down a dozen times, and it seemed I might make the situation more dangerous rather than less - he was a determined little cuss!

  10. Looks like you came you came up with a good solution. You must feel like you're running a nursery school. The baby goats are adorable. How do you ever keep up with all their names.

  11. Rose, they are endlessly entertaining! And all so sweet. I love having goats in my life.

    Quinn, if it was grain, yes! But they have free choice hay and that's the only thing that's up there. I do have some concern that they could fall, and until this time, they couldn't get down and would holler and holler! Mostly I don't want goat poop in the hayloft. :)

    That's so funny about Rocket! Great story!

    Henny, I hope so! It's true that goats are like a bunch of preschoolers. As to their names I do the best I can. More than once I have to stop and ask them, "now what's your name?" LOL

  12. When I was a kid, I had relatives who farmed. The stairs to their lofts were all in small rooms that I found dark and a bit creepy. I used to wonder why they did that. Now I know!

  13. that is hilarious! I laughed all the way through. This was most certainly a "picture is worth . . ." post.

  14. Amanda, during our barn design stages we actually considered something like that, except I was going to make the walls out of fencing rather than solid. I wouldn't like it dark either!

    Goatldi, one time several of them were standing on the steps and the top one wanted down. Knocked the rest of them over like a line of dominoes!

    1. Ladder bowling for goats! Move over goat yoga and no one gets peed on except perhaps the last kid in line. 😂

  15. Those little scamps. We too blocked the stairs to the loft - but we built a ramp on the outside of the barn under the lean to for the kitties to get to the loft. Yep, everybody's spoiled around here.

  16. MzGarden, actually, we thought about that too! Maybe we need to revisit the idea (with all our spare time, LOL)

    Goatldi, ladder bowling! I love it!

  17. Reminds me of the Norwegian story of the "Billy Goats Gruff" crossing the bridge to get to the meadow. In your case the meadow is up in the loft! Phil/MN

  18. To quote Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, Life always finds a way.

  19. Kids (of all kinds) will be kids. - Margy

  20. Phil, I have a memory of that story! These kids would probably love a bridge to play on (without the trolls!)

    TB, I think of that quote often. It really is true!

    Margy, that's exactly right. :)

  21. Goat proofing ladders is hopefully easier than squirrel proofing bird feeders.

  22. Ed, I have never been able to properly squirrel proof a bird feeder! lol. Now the songbirds and squirrels help themselves to leftover scratch in the chicken yard, so everybody's happy. :)

  23. The simple ideas are the best! :)

  24. Chris, I just wish coming up with simple didn't take so much brain power, LOL.


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