Ive done some figuring on the fence issue, but I really havent covered the design & size of the shed. I know Ive got to be able to work on & milk individuals & Ill need to be able to house any ill ones away from the herd( I guess), gotta keep the dorm from being co-ed, So, how many pens inside the pen? How big should they be? I expect to have a max of 12 to 15, counting kids & bucks, with no more than 3 bucks, till I decide for sure what breeds we will want.
Post by angelsprite on Jul 24, 2009 12:18:01 GMT -5
Justin, I'm trying to design a shelter that will end up being cool in summer, warm in winter. I want climate control in it too for the hot part of the summer and coldest part of winter. I want a generator just for that building. I want to be able to have the does kid in it, the bucks be separated in stalls in it, the milking be done in it, hoof trimming in winter, etc.
I still haven't decided on the dimensions so much for my own shed, but I see that the goats really need at least 12 by 8 ft of floor space to be comfortable. I'm figuring, probably the whole building won't be enclosed, but the part that we use for kidding and milking definately will be. Anywhere I have to sit still for long periods of time, I want it to be cool or warm enough.
When hubby and I build any new buildings now, we use wattle and daub. We buy pallets at the feed store for $2 each and after framing it up, we put the pallets upright in the walls, nail them in and fill them with mud and straw. We cut young pine trees on our property north of the farm and use those for corner posts and anything that we want to make really double strong. We just strip the bark and let it season in place, then seal with Thompson's. If we had the equipment to mill out our own timber, we could do more for less, but hey, we do what we can do.
It's very heavy construction and we put a couple of rows of cinderblocks at the bottom of the walls, to keep them from being down in the wet when it rains. We plaster it with portland, sand, and lime mix when it's all mudded. We use a staple gun to put up chicken wire to hold the plaster well.
That makes for a solid, comfortable building that will NEVER fall down. It's inexpensive. As you dig up dirt or clay to make mud, you are digging your stock tanks. The thing is, it takes time and some degree of craftsmanship, but it's easy. They've been doing it for thousands of years. It's a no brainer operation.
Once I have my mind set with how many stalls I actually want, and how big I want the kidding and milking area, then I'll be able to ask hubby to get a start on it. For now, I'm still working on it in my mind.
The only thing I know for sure is that you have to build the roofs of any part you're going to be working in high enough so you don't crack your skull. Our current goat shed is high enough for the goats, but not for people. We have to bend over. I really didn't realize that we would spend so much time in there. Now, I look forward to my regular skull fractures on an almost daily basis. A lot of other people around here built their goat sheds low too, and they have the same troubles.
One other thing, a baby cage, where the babies can see and hear their mothers through the mesh, but can be confined away from adult goats when necessary, is a wonderful thing.
Good luck designing yours. We'll have to compare pics when we get them completed.
Post by bugsy123in on Jul 24, 2009 15:30:41 GMT -5
Well just to give you an idea..............
I have 9 does and 1 buck (as well as 9 ewes and 1 ram) I have a 3 sided shed in each pasture that they use year round. My barn is only for sick ones, milking, and housing moms after birth. I have 4 pens in this barn (kidding/lambing jugs) they are 5x6. Each doe stays in one of these pens for 2 days (longer if there are problems), then they go into a "mixing pen" that is 10x20. In these mixing pens I put up to 5 moms and kids at one time and they stay there anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on weather. I have a feed room that is 6x10, a room for hay storage 6x10 and all of my halls have optional gates that can be added to make extra jugs if I run into a problem (like 2 yrs ago we have a 2 foot snow fall right in the middle of lambing with 15 foot drifts so I ended up with most of my herd indoors). We built this barn 3 years ago and I haven't found anything yet that I would change in this design other than adding an actual separate milking room (right now I use one of the lambing jugs). If I get the chance I would build a 10x12 milking room which would be enough space to bring the girls in 1 at a time and get the job done.
Post by justinoguy on Jul 24, 2009 19:19:29 GMT -5
Wow, I think I can mix & match the good parts of both of those. Ive been toying with the compressed earth block idea for a house, what a great trial run, build a goat pen. The pastures are pretty bare, so shelter is a must & some access to water a must. I am so lucky,, we managed to get our hands on a backhoe & its just big enough to handle the clay & stumps, slowly on the stumps & slowly on the clay, its a bit over 20 years old. Its a 3 cylinder & miserly on the fuel. Theres a few places where pallets are available. Maybe Ill go that way. Still working the pad out.
Post by angelsprite on Jul 25, 2009 21:54:48 GMT -5
Justin, Good thing you lucked into a back hoe. For the straw, we use old round bales or the wasted hay out of the goat pens. That works great. Mixing it is the most tedious part. Hubby fills the walls using a shovel and uses a trowel to smooth the mud on, then plaster. It's a great idea to put your plans into practice with the goat pen. You learn the skills as you go, so when you get to the house part, it's second nature, goes more quickly, and the finished product will look more like your vision. The matching buildings will add to the value of your place. Half timbered construction creates "ruin value". It's like building a castle. You know it's going to be there for a while, so it's more valuable than homes that are thrown up quick and in a couple of decades will be torn down quick if they don't fall down on their own. Half-timbered construction can last upwards of 2,000 years and it's cheap too. Cool, huh? It's also easier and less expensive to heat or cool because it keeps the outside out and doesn't take much to make the inside the temperature you want it to be. With the natural materials, it's also very "green". ;D We plan on using old beer bottles to install glass tubes throughout the floor and walls of our new house (when we build it) so that steam can heat the walls in the winter and a water system can cool the walls in the summer. Light a fire in the fireplace and it will heat a pool of water with steel rods, that will steam up through the tubes, and viola, warm walls, warm floor. In summer, a water pump can pump water up to the top, central tubes and let it trickle down through the tubes in the walls and floor to cool the walls. Very little electricity needed for a small pump. With that system and ceiling fans, I believe we will be able to keep it cool and pleasant with very little energy.
Sorry, I can't help a lot on your goat pen plans. I just know that what you need for your goats and what I need for mine are probably going to be two very different animals. But, it sounds like you are already having a lot of ideas taking shape in your mind. I know that the buildings have to be well ventillated. Any time we have animals in confined spaces, there has to be good air flow. I'm planning to have one area that I can climate control, so I don't have to freeze or bake anymore while watching them kid or milking, but in the spring, I want to be able to open it up and let the breeze blow through. And I also want to be able to see into the outside stalls from my seat here in my room. That means wire fronts. I already have the actual pens built, but not the housing for the central, biggest pen. My pens are different sizes and I can only say that one of them is about 30 ft x 40 ft, I think. The big pen is probably three times that size. The other two pens are about 16 ft wide and as long as the big pen. Then I have one small side pen for the big billy goat, but right now, the turkeys are in it. Oh, one other thing. Plant your trees now to provide shade in coming years. Plant good sized trees and water them well in the summer, so they will grow fast. And be sure the goats can't reach them or they will kill every tree you plant. Trees provide wonderful cool shade. You can't make shade like tree shade. It's the best. This is a fun thread! ;D
Looks like this is gonna need to be a lot bigger than I was thinking. The land out here is without a flat spot, so I have to move dirt & build a pad. I think I can cut a footing & run cement & rebar for less $$$ than cinderblocks & easier on the back, too. I have one scrawny tree saved on the West side of the location. Ill just have to spread the pad East & South, because on the North side there is a run off area that carries rain water from the properties up the hill. It moves fast enough to take the grass off the clay sometimes. Ive got some graph paper & will lay out a plan or 3 & see if I can come up with something that will give them a place to relax out of the weather & safe from predators at night, I am planning on a Siberian stove, from plans I saw in an Outback magazine. The chimney, made of clay & stones, is shaped like a cooling tower at a nuke plant, built over a hole that has a trench & a cover plate. Supposed to be efficient enough to smelt iron.
Post by angelsprite on Jul 26, 2009 17:09:43 GMT -5
Justin, Hubby did the cement and rebar for a few walls of the pig shed and they are holding up great. That's a good idea. He just used form boards, built in the shape he wanted, and he set his bolts to hold the framing in place. It went a lot faster that way.
Post by Rose's Goats on Jul 27, 2009 4:20:40 GMT -5
It's nice if you can have a couple different sized pens for the animals. I have one big pen (8' X 8') that holds 2 adult goats or 8 baby goats. Then I have two smaller pens (4'X8') that each hold one adult goat. And then I have one smallest pen (4'X6') that holds one adult goat. I like having different sizes because there are always times that you have to play "musical goats" and move everyone around.
As for the bucks I would put them outside in their own pen with a 3-sided shelter. I would not put them in the barn with your does or anywhere near it because male goats stink bad and are really annoying when you are trying to take care of the girls and they are busy jumping around and flapping their tongues at you. My two boys live outside all the time in a 20'X20' wire mesh pen with a 4'X4'X4' lean-to for shelter. They do fine out there and the only time I worry about them at all is when the temperature is below -20F. This winter I might convert the 16'X8' cow lean-to into a buck barn by putting a front on it with a door and a couple of windows. That way they can live inside that for the entire winter and have plenty of room to run around without being let outside.
Good luck with the barn. The tough thing about barns is that they are always too small, even when you haven't even built them yet!
Post by justinoguy on Jul 27, 2009 19:38:09 GMT -5
I keep working on the pad in the day & at night, my mind is churning on the layout. Once I think I have an idea, Ill draw it.
Now, I see the bucks stink? I wondered about the behavior if they were all cooped up inside the same barn. Maybe Ill put up a high wall to divide their area. I guess I better find out what "Stink" is, before I commit to having them in the barn at all.
Post by Rose's Goats on Jul 28, 2009 3:51:01 GMT -5
Oh, they stink!! Yes, they doO!!! Mature buck goats emit an oily musk that is their eu'd'parfum of choice. It is oil based and very hard to get off of your hands, clothing, etc. Also male goats will urinate down their legs and stick their faces in the stream of pee in order to get it all over their heads. Then they take their musky, pee-soaked faces and rub them on everything! This is how they mark their territory and tell the girls that they are hot men looking for love. Some bucks smell worse than others. Some people give their bucks a bath once in a while to cut the stench but the stink is pretty much unavoidable.
I keep my bucks outside at all times and have it set up so that I can give them grain, hay and water without having to enter the buck pen. I don't like getting halfway through my day at work only to find that the hands I have been shaking everyone else's with smell like buck musk!
Eaux Neaux,, I had no idea. I am rethinking the herd makeup as of this moment.. Since I am physically not up to building mud walls, Ill have to build a machine to compact clay into bricks, of monster proportions, that I can stack. I can handle that part I think.
Orr, I could pack pallets with clay& straw & stand them up with the backhoe,, that would be a lot less labor intensive.
Did this require 4X4's, top to bottom, at regular intervals, like every 2 feet or so?How did you folks stack them & make them stay?
Post by angelsprite on Jul 28, 2009 18:48:59 GMT -5
Justin, My big billy goat Black Jack hardly stinks at all. He's over 2 years old too, so he's plenty mature if he was going to stink really bad. I didn't even realize what it was I was smelling until one day, he was standing there and a breeze wafted a hint of the odor my way. I was like, "Oh, good, it's just YOU." And not only that, but his smell doesn't bother me at all. It's not very powerful and I don't get big wafting waves of it like other people seem to get from their goats. Missourigal says other goats stink way bad and Rose doesn't like it at all, so I'm guessing Black Jack just doesn't stink as bad as some goats. It doesn't make the pen smell bad and we don't seem to have trouble washing it off our hands. I'm glad I don't have a really stinky one. Maybe, when you look for a buck, go out in the rutting season and find one that acts really eager about the girls, but doesn't stink. I've had bucks that wouldn't mate before. You don't want a girlie-buck. You just want one that doesn't stink so bad.
Also, I've decided that we are going to build our house along the lines of a Roman Villa (not in size, but in design) meaning we won't build any more separate structures. We have enough separate structures and I want the horses and goats to have their stalls and kidding areas close, so we're going to do a courtyard and on one side will be the stall and animals, and the other side will be our house. To me, that makes the most sense because it's only one big site to prepare, the winter tending of animals will be fairly warm, and the summer tending will be only a few feet from the cool house. Since we practically live in the barns and goat sheds, it's the only thing that makes sense to me.
What a neat concept. IDK how & why Americans chose to build things apart, but closer is better, as long as things dont cause health issues by being too close. One of my problems is the lay of the land forces me to build away from the house. If I was gonna be smart, Id put the goats up on top of the hill, but thats a ways back, so it goes at the base & Ill have to fight to get a level spot & provide drainage.
Post by angelsprite on Jul 31, 2009 20:38:59 GMT -5
Justin, We always worried about drainage before. Then, when we decided to do water capture (in the middle of a big, long drought, don't ya know) we realized that we really don't want a drop escaping our farm. We aren't in a flood prone area, since we're on the down side of a hill. The trouble is always cisterns, of course, but we've decided to incorporate cisterns into our plans for construction of walls and the building. We figure, if nothing else, it will be good for watering animals and crops. Every roof will feed a water trough and any overflow will be directed into underground storage. With only a small pump, the water can be used for irrigation, filtered for washing clothes, then drained into the garden, or used for toilet water. For water troughs, the down spout can have a "first flush" protection so that the roof is washed and that water doesn't end up in the trough, but what falls after that is collected for the animals. With that system and irrigation wells, if the drought ever actually breaks for real, we would be able to capture a lot of water, as long as our tanks and cisterns are big enough.
God, I love this thread. It's so much fun to read other people's plans and talk about our plans. So cool. I hope we all get to do all the things we're wanting to do.