Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Building Goat Kidding Pens

 Spent the day working on our kidding pens. Even though we only have one doe showing, we are being positive and building two pens. In the very least, we will use both next year and not have to build again, right??
We started the day by deciding where in our existing goat shed we would put the enclosures, and how big they were going to be. The dimensions of the pens are ending up being 3 ft by 4 ft, which we hope will be an appropriate size.
The goal behind the kidding pens, are to keep a doe safe while kidding by not moving around very much. You want her to be separated to keep the other goats from stepping on any newborn kids, helping a new mom to appropriately care for and bond with the little ones.
Basically, when I feel Janet is close to kidding time (within a few days) I will keep her mostly enclosed in her pen, which will provide access to food, water, a heat lamp, and clean dry bedding, which is of the utmost importance.
 Above you can see our resident carpenter at work building a small wall dividing the two pens.
It was REALLY fun to shovel the forty bazillion tons of goat manure out of this shed today.
Nope, not really! But it will make GREAT compost for the garden, so there you have it.
 Here I'm brainstorming how to make our pens more goat friendly...
We decided to make the doors have a big window of chicken wire to let the sun shine in, which made me pretty happy to think about. The afternoon sun does a great job of warming up the goat shed and will be great for the little ones to thrive in.
 The herd wasn't too pleased with the saw and drill-clad duo that invaded their space today, but after a while got too hungry to stay away from us. The wide doe in front will be our first 'kidding pen' resident!
 I decided the warm and mild weather today required all chickens to be outside and promptly threw them all out the chicken house door and locked it behind them! General Tsoa, our big black rooster, was not at all happy about us in such proximity of his 'harem' today, and spent the day rounding the girls up. Not to mention the fact our German Shepard Hattie  decided she wanted to be a part of the construction process as well and spent the day within the fence boundaries. I was just WAITING for him to attack her, but it never happened. She's off the hook for now!
 Here's a shot of our garden grounds today! It's so nice to see the actual dirt in action. We have been dumping our wood burning stove ashes on the site all winter, and are getting ready to dump a few truckloads of goat and chicken manure on top before the spring rains start. I cant even imagine summer at this point.
 Ed stirs up our compost bucket. This will go on the gardens this year too! I think we may be in business this summer, don't you? High Five!
 And now some parting shots of our Mule Deer visitors last night.
Biggest ears in the land!
Very cute.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Sunday as much as we did.
Cheers!~ The J.C.C.'s
P.S. Remember, you can always click the photos to make them bigger :)

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