Sunday, January 13, 2013

Goat Barn Remodel (again)

I see I haven't written anything since before the winter solstice.  The shortest days of winter leading up to the holidays affect me that way.  Not really Seasonal Affective Disorder but just that general malaise that seems to infiltrate in as winter settles in.  Maybe it is my body's way to rest up after many busy months on the farm.  However, this second week of January has felt more like spring than winter so I took the opportunity to resume work on my goat-barn remodel.  A brief review....last spring we built a "summer barn" and fenced in new pasture for the goats.  You can read about that here (or just look at the next picture).
Original barn.

This summer, I started rethinking my goat management.  I wanted to downsize my milking herd, and consolidate milking, feed storage and doe housing into one structure.  I concluded that the summer barn would be the location that would work the best since it is connected to a fenced pasture and is convenient to the house and electricity.  After I moved the goats to a different barn for the winter, I resumed work on it here and there in October and November with the goal of getting a roof over the addition for the milk and feed rooms. I pretty much stopped when it reached this point although in early December I was able to add a few floor joists where my ladder is positioned.  Looking at the pictures you can see that the barn has several different floor levels.  This is mostly because it started out as a small shed in our backyard. In order to keep it from dominating the landscape, I kept it as low as feasible but tall enough that I could walk around inside without cracking my head on the rafters.  In order to add an additional roof in front, I had to drop the floor to retain headroom.  The other complicating factor was that it really wasn't designed to have an addition so the framing was difficult. I think the moral of this story is that sometimes it is good to have a long-term plan.

While the building is somewhat "open", I'll share my plans with you.  The area in front where there is a floor showing will be the feed storage area. From this area I will be able to feed hay directly to the goats.  I am planning to build hay feeders that will allow the hay to fall on the "clean" side of the floor to minimize waste.  The feed room is about 8 x 10.  I can store a few bales of hay and a couple of cans for alfalfa pellets and grain.  It will have an outside entrance to facilitate bring feed in without help from the goats. The area under me with no floor (yet) is going to be the milk room.  It will be closed off from the rest of the barn so that it will stay clean.  It will have a bit of storage for goat supplies and I am planning to have a heat source that I can turn on while I am milking on cold days.  It will have an entrance for me through the feed room and an entrance for the goats from the "barn" side.  The milk room is a bit smaller and is about 6 x 10. The area to the back is for the goats.  The entire barn is about 17 x 17.

Well lo and behold, now in early January we are experiencing one of those warm spells that makes my construction juices start flowing and since it was supposed to last for a week or so I decided this was an excellent time to resume work.  My goals for the week were to complete the floor for the milk room, put siding up on the outer walls to keep the weather out, frame the interior walls for the feed and milk rooms, and paint the milk and feed room floors.  As of yesterday I completed those goals and I think it will be warm enough today to put a second coat of paint on the floor.  Winter is set to resume in a day or so and I am thankful for the opportunity to get outside and shake off those winter doldrums, even if it is just for a few days.  Oh and by the way, here are a few pictures of the barn in its current state.

Goat entrance (board gate) and feed room entrance (where extension cord is).

View from feed room door.  The area straight ahead is for the goats.
The stud wall on the right is  the milk room wall.
The plywood "wall" in the middle is just temporary storage for sheet goods.
That area will be pen for the goats.

Painted floor for the feed room (foreground) and milk room (background).
The board floor is goat area.

The framing for the wall between the milk and feed rooms remains to be constructed.

Just for fun I was looking for a picture and came across this one taken three years ago today.
Our waterfall Jan 13, 2010.

Today it is supposed to reach 70 degrees.