December 9, 2020

Dan's Winter Project

Do you remember this?

It's a photo from last February, when I blogged about heavy rains flooding the buck shelter. The boys were standing in six inches of water and we had to move them out.


Every heavy rain since then, Dan and I are concerned about a repeat performance, so we've been discussing options. Those options have all been variations on one of two ideas: do something to prevent the shelter from flooding again (like a seasonal pond), or move the bucks' home to a new location. After tallying up the pros and cons of each, we realized there are more incentives for moving the bucks rather than messing with drainage. The biggest incentive is that having them closer would be more convenient for water, hay, and feeding chores! The other problem is that the roof in the buck shelter has been leaking, so a repair would be necessary if we left them there, in addition to fixing the flooding problem. 

After discussing all the concerns and options, we decided to build new buck housing and tear down their current shelter to re-use the materials. We'll put the boys back in the old buck barn for the time being.

So Dan's winter project is building the new barn. Here's where we're putting it.


The blue above is the location of the new buck barn. We're going to re-do the chicken yard to set up an area for the bucks that will facilitate a new pasture rotation plan. Please note that nothing is to scale!!! But you get the idea.

It will be a gable roofed building. One half will have three exterior walls and a pony wall will divide the two halves. That will be the bucks' side. The other half will be open (no walls) and used for feed and hay storage. 

Here's how it's going so far!







There's no specific time table for this, but we've had some pretty weather so hopefully, it will move right along. After that, it will be fence repair and rearrangement. 

23 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm trying to understand why you would have NO walls around hay and feed. I'd think that you'd want at least two (including the inside one) and preferably three.

Leigh said...

Gorges, because as long as everything is out of the rain, it will be okay. Actually, that's how most farmers store hay around here nowadays, in huge open carport like buildings. The barn is situated with it's walls to protect from wind (and blowing rain). The bucks current shelter is three walled and open on one side, so we're just extending the roof for a covered area for storage and the humans to work.

daisy g said...

It looks like a great plan and the bonus is that they will be closer so that you can keep an eye on them. How wonderful that Mother Nature is cooperating so the job can get done!

wyomingheart said...

That looks very sturdy, so far! Did you harvest the beams and posts from your sawmill? The open area for the hay or feed could also double for an exam / medical area, because it would always be dry! Do you know how much room they will have to run out? Looks really great, so far, and thanks for sharing!

SmartAlex said...

That looks like some serious good construction. I love watching other people's projects

Leigh said...

Daisy, having them closer is a real plus. Of course, it also means they will be closer to the girls, which is a set-up for increased antics!

Wyomingheart, yes, Dan milled both posts and beams from pines on our property. From experience we know that this is the best direction for placing doors and openings. Most of our weather comes from either the NW or the SW, and we have very little trouble with doors and openings facing this direction. There will also be a decent roof overhang, which will increase the covered area.

I can't quite visualize your question about the room for run out. Do you mean run out to the pasture or a barn door for the goats?

Alex, this is how Dan love to build! We have the advantage of lots of pines in the back and a small portable sawmill. It's wonderful to put our own resources to good use and have very little waste.

Mama Pea said...

At the ridiculously high cost of lumber today (at least in our area), you're so far ahead of the game to be able to "make your own." (Self-sufficiency at it's best!) My first thought when I looked at the diagram was that it will be so much more convenient a location, for you humans (!), to have the bucks situated closer.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, not having to haul hay, feed, and water so far is a big plus! Not that they were really all that far away, but as we get older, we'll appreciate the convenience. :)

wyomingheart said...

Yep, sorry for being confusing, but I meant the door, or even if it will have a door. Thanks, Leigh.

Ed said...

Building would be so much easier if you only had to dig a shallow hole and throw a concrete block into it to build off. Up here we have to go four feet deep minimum and then fill that with concrete before starting. It makes every building a bit more complicated and a lot more work.

Cockeyed Jo said...

The new buck pen is closer, but not too close for the humans LOL Being able to mill your own wood is a definite +++ to infinity. I might of missed it on your diagram, but where is the does' shelter? You may still want a run off pond on the low spot. If you dig it deep enough, you could stock it with fish. Fish water is excellent for the gardens.

Cockeyed Jo said...

Also, if Dan keeps going, he'll have it done before winter officially starts on the solstice. And, Dan's next project will be?

Fiona said...

God Bless your Carpenter builder husband. My dear Ralph is good at so many things but not this kind of construction. We need to add a ram shelter to the side of the woodshed. It's convenient to the old orchard where the rams spend their days. It's a simple lean to construction but I think we will hire a young Amish to build it. I am a coward☺️

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, that's always the challenge with the written word. :) There will be a gate in the pony wall, for Dan and I to get in, and a door (not sure what kind yet) on the left wall for the goats. We'll re-do the fence for pasture access.

Ed, we're fortunate to not have problems with frost heave, which makes foundation building a whole lot easier! Dan might have gone ahead and poured a concrete footer if it hadn't been for all the tree roots in the area. But he figures this will do.

Jo, the does are in the building labeled "barn." It probably should say doe barn and milking room, but for some reason that diagram just had it as barn.

More good weather on the way so, hopefully, progress will go swiftly! After that, we need to start working on fence replacement and repair.

Fiona, I don't know much about construction either, but surely wish I did! I'm sure though, that if you hire a young person, he will be very glad for the opportunity!

www.self-sufficientsam.blogspot.com said...

That Dan is amazing....just tell him to be careful. Ever since that fateful day I worry when ever he is goin gfor antoiher project! LOL!
Great plan...do you have to worry about the smell or will they still be far enough away? Bucks can smell pretty bad can't they?

Leigh said...

Sam, I'm very thankful for Dan's amazingness!

Yes, the bucks can get pretty stinky during breeding season! So it's always helpful to have them downwind, lol. During the rest of the year they aren't bad, fortunately! This location is closer but not too close. :)

Goatldi said...

Quick answer without reading all the great comments.

I know this situation ask me how I know no don’t. Lol

Brilliant analysis and plan. Will look forward to completion and photos. This is your earthly forever home. You two are in this for the long haul. This is apparent by your analysis and building plans.

Very nicely done!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Sounds like the right plan Leigh. Much easier than effectively trying to replumb a naturally occurring event.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, some things make for great stories, but only way after the fact! Few people seem to think in terms of a forever home for themselves. The common mindset seems to make improvements that make the house sellable, not what suits the current occupants. But why would I want to live in a place designed to please somebody else? Not modern thinking, I'm afraid.

TB, Dan's quick fix for the flooding problem was to build a berm in front of the current shelter. This has kept it from filling with water again, but the floor can still be soggy. Add to that the leak in the roof, and the new project will make things easier all around.

Retired Knitter said...

Glad your animals won't have a repeat of last winter. You are lucky to have such a handy spouse.

Leigh said...

Me too, otherwise I'd have to learn how to build it, lol

Chris said...

Did Dan scorch the timbers or creosote them? Both are good for pest prevention, but scorching is better for keeping moisture out. I think you two made the right choice in moving the barn. It's looking great so far, and I can't wait to see how Dan transforms this more.

Leigh said...

Chris, he painted the ends with barn and fence paint. Since the posts are home-milled and untreated, they need something! Hopefully, there also will be some protection from the overhang plus the overhead trees.