Still very much under construction . . .

Welcome, folks.  This site is very much under construction and, More

DRAFT: Building the Barn and Floor – Decisions

First rule, regardless of what you decide for a barn floor (or barn design), is to locate your barn in an area where water will not “migrate” into the barn.  If the area has poor drainage, that might mean you need to build up the area under and immediately around the barn foundation.

Before we built the goat barn, I had planned a concrete floor with drains as I have in my chicken house which has served well there.  However, before starting the goat barn, I decided to get opinions from my favorite goat group.  In the nearly two months which followed, I collected dozens points of view.  Most of those opinions included reasons for the decisions and the results as well as “if I had it to do again” comments.

Based on many conversations, I decided on dirt and have never regretted it.  A dirt floor will absorb the urine into the ground while anything else will collect it and will also retain some odor regardless of the composition or how well it is scrubbed.  With the dirt floor, some absorbs into the bedding and gets removed with cleaning.  When the barn is cleaned, it is taken down to dirt, then deodorizer is spread, then a generous layer of straw.  A good cleaning in early October and then waste hay – always an issue with goats – provides wonderful thick bedding for winter.  A second thorough cleaning is done in the spring after a winter of goats inside much of the time because of our frequent western Washington rains.  I do, however, prepare fresh bedding for kidding in the kidding area at least two weeks prior to due date.

I have never had an ammonia smell which I did have, even with weekly cleaning, when they were on a block floor before their barn was built.  One of the biggest dangers to goats is pneumonia with one of the main causes being ammonia in their barn.  Most important: If you smell ammonia, clean it immediately; you should never smell ammonia in your barn.  Remember, when your goats sleep, their noses are near the ground so if you can smell it, it is filling their lungs.

Another thing that matters is ventilation. We left the space between the tops of walls and the roof open so there would be air flow. There is one small door at the bottom so there can be ventilation going up even when the large door is closed.  (Do note there is a difference between ventilation and drafts!)

Keep in mind that the general rule is you should be comfortable sitting on the floor yourself – in other words clean.

I read that goats will not use their bedding area for a bathroom but will go outside. Well, my goats NEVER read that book!

 

Moonlight for sale $250, Vancouver, WA . . . . . . SOLD

Moonlight is sold and living in Lakeview, Oregon, with his own herd where he will become Daddy to some great kids.

Registered Nigerian Dwarf, VanEden Dollies Moonlight (D-88143). DOB 4-16-2016 More

Yogurt

Although I like my goat milk yogurt, I didn’t make it too often. I had one of the yogurt makers that uses the small jars with it being gone within two days!  I had been hearing about the Instant Pot so I joined the facebook Instant Pot Community to learn more.  I was skeptical about another appliance, but when I learned it has a yogurt feature, More

Look what we did – My girls and me!!!

Ginger and Dollie gave their wonderful milk for great cream cheese! In the intitial judging, both of my entries received blue ribbons. Later, in the celebrity judging and Judge’s Choice, we received first *and* second!
(This is the recipe in the “Milking and Products” section.)

Fair-2017-Ribbons

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Some good from heartache

I posted on a local goat facebook site that I was looking for orphans or rejected kids for my doe who lost her babies and really needed someone to love. More

Ginger lost her twins

First, Ginger’s due date was February 28th based on Day 143 which is when most of my does kid.  Gestation is officially 145-155 days.  On Monday, March 7th, Day 151, at 2:00 a.m., Ginger started calling but did not appear to be in labor as in no contractions.  More

Pregnancy test results

Pregnancy test results are back as of January 14th.   Big disappointment is that Summer is NOT pregnant and was dried up at the end of November so she would have a good three-month rest before mid-March kidding. More

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