Our barn is where our goats live, hang out and sleep. They are allowed to come and go as they please.
barn was originally an old tobacco barn. We have done a lot of work fixing
it up to become a good barn for goats. We added a hay loft, stalls and
a floor. The barn originally was bare wood and had just dirt floors (that
became a muddy mess when it rained). We added a good coat of paint, wood
floors in the stalls, and a "paver block" floor in the center
aisle of the barn.
This is the South Side
of the barn (which faces toward our house) and the "Front" road
side of the barn. The lower windows were the windows salvaged from Larry's
sister house when she had them replaced. Larry has painted around the
windows in a "3D" manner to make them look like they have molding.
He also painted the white "trim" on the barn to look like there
is trim (there isn't really, it is just painted to look like there is).
This is the "Back"
side of the barn. The windows are not painted like they are on the "Front".
Since this was a tobacco barn, it also has big ventilation windows/doors
that can be opened to give the barn plenty of air. We open and close these
windows depending on the weather.
can see our goat play area made with cinder blocks, dog houses and large
wooden spools with "gangplanks" between them. There is also
a bench for us to sit on and enjoy visiting with the goats. There is a
wooden deck in front of the door for the goats lounging enjoyment. In
the winter we hang a tarp across this door that can be opened and closed
depending on the weather to keep the barn warmer and draft free.
This is the North Side
of the barn. You can see that most of our land is wooded and actually
quite steep (perfect for goats). There are doors on this opening and the
tarp can also be lowered to close off the barn when the weather gets cold.
In the summer, the tarp is removed completely. Rain from the roof is diverted
by gutters into a water tank.
house is on the other side of those pine trees you see to the left of
the barn roof.
Our barn currently
houses 21 adult does (female goats) and 6 chickens. During kidding season
the population of goats increases, but by Fall, after we sell some goats,
we will be back down to 20 does again.
Our 30' X 40' barn
has a total of 5 separate 10'X10' stalls (that have closable and lockable
doors) one open 10'X10' "loafing area", one 10'X10' chicken
stall, the milk room (10'X10') and the center Midway (10'X40').
Almost all the time the stalls are left open and unlocked. The only time a goat may actually confined in a locked stall would be if she were about to give birth or ill.
This photo is taken
standing in the North side doorway, looking through the barn and out the
South side door.
We white wash the
inside of barn every couple of years. You can see it does wear off, which
is why you need to redo it every once and a while.
The floor is "paved"
with "cap blocks" (2" thick cinder blocks). It makes a
great floor because it is not slippery, it drains well and the floor can
easily be swept each day.
Along both sides of
the "Midway" are stalls.
There are two long
hay racks in the Midway (on the right side)
This is the "street
side" on the inside of the barn. The door leads into the milk room.
The goats can come
and go as they please. All the doors except the ones to the milk room
and Chicken Stall are left open all the time (except during kidding season,
when the stalls are used as kidding stalls).
Every stall/area of
the barn has at least one hay rack, and some have access to two. The hay
racks are mounted in a way that two stalls can share one rack. The more
areas to eat, the more peaceful life is in Goat Land.
Here's the "Loafing
Area". Attached to the wall is a table, built out of a door and and
a single "step" built from a 2X6 to make it easier to get on
the table. The goats love to lay on the table (and under it) and we have
a table in many of the other stalls as well.
Attached to the post
to the left in the foreground is a push broom head (that long irregular
black thing), which the goats love to rub on. You can see another push
broom head mounted to the wall in the right stall just under the window.
The windows are covered with hardware cloth for safety.
The black thing on
the floor of the stall is the back of a chicken.
These are two stalls
located on the "Back side" on the barn, toward the "North
side". You see the long hay rack located in the Midway area. This rack
can also be accessed from the stall. In the stall to the right, you see
a hay rack that also can be accessed by the stall to the left.
This is a view of
the stall near the South side door. You can see the long hay rack located
in the Midway area.
The door to the right
leads to the Chicken Stall. There is a chicken sized door at the very
bottom right of the stall door that the chickens can go in and out of
as they please. The adults goats cannot get into the Chicken Stall, though
the kids can (for a while) get through the chicken door and do enjoy taking
naps in the nesting box.
Our barn did not come
with a second floor, so slowly, Larry has built a very nice hay loft second
floor. It does not completely cover the entire lower area; the side stalls
are left half "open", to let in light (that comes in through
the big "ventilation" windows.) We can store 400 square bales
of hay for the winter in our current loft. We can drop hay into the all
the hay racks directly from the loft.
note on how we keep our barn clean:
We sweep the entire
barn out each morning in the warm months, so there is no "bedding"
to speak of in the warm months. The goats don't need it and the barn
stays cleaner, drier and much more fly free. We have wooden floor stalls
as well as the "cap block" "midway". The urine drains
and/or evaporates nicely and we have no smell issue at all with no bedding.
In the colder months
we let the hay "waste" from the hayracks accumulate and cover
the floors, which creates nice warm bedding for all the stalls. We then
clean out one stall totally each day and leave the rest of the stalls
with bedding. Note that the bedding holds the urine and does not allow
it to drain and/or evaporate, so when you do clean out the bedding,
it will stir up a "funk" (big urine smell). This is why we
try not to let the stalls go longer than a week without cleaning.
In the midway we
leave "beds" under the hayracks which is only cleaned away
once per week, but sweep the majority of the midway floor each day.
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things here at Fias Co Farm. It is supplied for general reference and
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