Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Planning The Goat Barn

The temporary corral is up and the shed is just about finished, so I'm moving forward while my husband gets that little project finished and I'm planning the permanent Goat Barn. Like the fencing, this is something I've thought about for ages. Since I'm only going to get one shot at this, it needs to be right the first time. So I'm humbly laying out my plans before my brilliant readers for any last minute advice and input. 



Obviously, there are more frugal avenues to goat housing. Especially where the climate is more moderate. Here on the mountain, one can expect cold temperatures 8-9 months of the year. Add to that, a steady wind (thus the windfarms here) and snow. I don't really want an outdoor milking parlor and hay needs to be protected from the elements as much as the goats. Finally, add in the age factor (I'm not a spring chick anymore and neither is my husband). We need to be proactive with what we MIGHT need in the future as well as our current needs.


Kim at Life in a Little Red Farmhouse has built my dream barn. We've been talking and I think it's going to be a great solution for our needs. (Be sure to visit Kim; she has a fantastic blog and her Red Farmhouse is darling!! The more I look at her blog, the more I'm sure we're kindred spirits.)


Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse




Each area is small, but since I plan to keep only about 4 goats of smaller breeds, I don't think I should need a larger space. A second pen for kidding will serve as an area to separate goats when needed as well as a walk way from the main goat pen to the milking parlor. The back door on the hay storage area will allow us to stack from the outside, but we can access it from the inside and easily reach both pens. A solid wall should help keep out some of the debris from getting into the milk, but I need to decide if I'm going to put a lower roof on the milking palor on the inside as well since the plan has the barn open all the way to the rafters. 




I need some natural light in the barn. Although I have some old windows I picked up at the rummage sale this summer, I love the look of three square windows all running together. And since these windows can be located up high, the goats can't get to them as easily and break them.  I'll probably add an extra one at the peak on the ends as well. At $20 each, they won't break the bank and yet they'll add a lot of charm, don't you think?




Then there is the need for electric lighting. I found these warehouse style lights for only $25 each! I think they'll work really well in this application. (I have antique versions of these in white on my front porch and I love them, although they need dusting once in a while.


The floor will be dirt or crushed granite. Kim used crushed rock on hers and said it works really well with hay on top.

Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse

Gaps under the eaves will allow for needed ventilation.

Used by permission - Life in a Little Red Farmhouse


I still need to decide on doors and gates, but I have enough to at least get started and estimate costs, submit my plans to my Homeowners Association, and get the ground graded and ready.

Thanks, Kim, for sharing! I hope your own barn gives you years of joy!

Please share your thoughts and any suggestions you think would make this the best goat barn ever!










28 comments:

  1. Might I ask what type of goats you're planning on getting for this beautiful space? :) I love the plan so far! Beautiful!

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  2. Amy, I continue to be so impressed by you and your work!

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  3. That is a great goat barn & goat pen, I would love that if I had goats.

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  4. Amy, that's really a dream barn! Wow, that would be cool to have with horse stalls and tack room.

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  5. Patty, I have 3 Kinders, but we're considering some Nigerian Dwarfs.

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    1. I need a goat barn for 40 goats ,any advice?

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    2. That's a lot of goat! For something that big, you may need to go with a company that designs or sells kits for this kind of thing. Sorry I'm not a help with that. Do as around locally with other farmers/ranchers... they usually know who builds good barns in the area.

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  6. WOW ! I love Dwarf goats they are soo cute. That goat barn looks and sounds wonderful. We didnt raise goats for milk on our farm they were mainly around to keep other animals company and calm much like what people keep donkeys for company to the other animlas and did you know Donkeys are better watch dogs then dogs ! Hope all comes together just the way you want, I cant wait to see it all done ! Have a wonderful day !

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  7. Great barn! I would definitely enclose the milk room as much as possible. It will be much easier to keep clean. We also put up material on the wall up to about three foot similar to shower stall material for ease of washing. It's amazing how much will splatter on the wall from milk and teat dip! Can't wait to see your finished barn.

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  8. Missy, the material on the wall is a GREAT idea!! I'm going to be all over that!

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  9. Where I live we get all of the bad weather from the north and west. I would want the doors on the southern part of the building so I didn't have to shovel it out too much to get into the barn. Natural light from a window on the southern side would make it easier to see inside the pen. I have a gutter system connected to the roof of my chicken run. It captures rainwater in a barrel so when I give them fresh water, I don't have to carry around water cans or hoses. I just have to get my exercise elsewhere.

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  10. Indio, good idea! As soon as it's built, I'm going to have a rain catchment system for both the goat house and the chicken coop. Normally, I would agree about the doors on the southern side... unfortunately, that side has some of the least amount of light due to the side of the mountain. Also, it's on the opposite side of my own house and I want to be able to see the doorway - just a thing I have. For some crazy reason I have it in my mind that they are safer from predators if I can see their door way. This is totally senseless and unfounded, but since I like to sleep well at night, I go with what works for my brain. I highly recommend everyone else to NOT follow my example and put their door on the south side.

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  11. Do you have any counterspace in the milking parlor? I wish I had more space to put the milking bucket and jars for filtering the milk. It looks beautiful. We turned a grainery into my milking parlor, and the goats are housed with the other animals in the barn with free access to pasture year round. They go out even in the snow, and come running when I call them for milking. Love that about goats! Enjoy your barn when it's finished!

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  12. You could put a lower ceiling in the milking parlor but add the pull down ladder to use the upper area for storage. Like the warming buckets, totes for kidding supplies, anything else that only gets used during a season.

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  13. You're welcome! I hope you will love your goat barn. The windows at the peaks of the roof will look so cute! You will need to match the roof pitch to the angle of the windows though but you probably already thought of that. We have a little tiny goat barn too, just the right size for a pair of dwarf goats. I'll have to send you a pic of that.
    Enjoy those goats! And thanks for the new followers!

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  14. I think only the two legged predators will use the door. But if you are very worried, you should try some of motion sensitive lights. I use solar powered ones and set the timer for 5 mins, with a 180 degree sensitivity range. If anything moves by the chicken run, the light will stay on long enough to get my attention.

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  15. I just love the new goat barn. It rocks. I might steal your design when I can finally have some goats of my own.

    Looking forward to seeing more.

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  16. Such a cute little barn! Thanks for sharing, now I'm heading over to check out Life in a Little Red Farmhouse blog!

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  17. Indio, I like the idea of motion sensor lights. Thanks for that idea. I have some NiteGuard lights up now, but not sure they're actually effective.

    Domestic Goddess, another good idea - I can always use storage space, so I'll be thinking about what you said.

    Heidi, I thought I might wait to see how much space is in there. I agree that a counter would be handy, even if it's only a few inches wide. Thanks for the reminder.

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  18. That's the prettiest goat barn I've ever seen in my life. Honestly, I think it may be prettier than my house even. Is it pathetic that my first thought was....wait for it....that barn will look pretty decorated for Christmas.

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  19. WOW ~ that looks like a perfect goat barn!! We're currently planning our area for milking too ~ but for our cow & thankfully we already have the sheds so it will be in one already established! I look forward in seeing what you come up with Amy!! I've considered goats, but Dave is dead~set against them because they are known to ringbark trees. Oh well I'm blessed with all we do have!
    Have a wonderful day
    Blessings
    Renata:)

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  20. Gorgeous and I love The Little Red Farmhouse. Can I ask where you found the lights for 25.00?

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  21. A flea market in Santa Monica, CA. We had to rewire them and that was a mighty big challenge since I wanted to keep from spending a lot, but my wonderful husband figured it out! Retro fitting older items isn't always the cheapest way to go. Barn Light Electric has the best lighting and when you start pricing it out, they aren't over priced. Lighting is just expensive.

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  22. You homestead with an HOA? That must be tough...

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    1. Yep! It can be done. And I've even worked with our board to make a BIG change in the chicken rules. I found that it pays to 1) Be nice, 2) Know exactly what you want, 3) Present it in a professional manner, 4) have hard facts, and 5) get lots of signatures from homeowners to back you up! Fortunately this is a very rural HOA with lots of horses, so chickens, goats, and such go hand in hand. In fact, my neighbor just got a huge bull! I LOVE IT!!!

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  23. Amy could you provide a material list and estiimated cost for this barn ?

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    1. jlong... sorry, but we have not been able to build this and therefore I don't have a material list or estimate.

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  24. Have you built your goat barn? Could I see pictures of the milk parlor? We are getting ready to build ours:)
    Thanks!
    Cheyanne

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