Sunday, November 4, 2012

Every Goat Needs A Clean Stall

Every goat does need a clean stall.  Winter is on it's way and the goats are still spending a lot of time outside.  Their stall is big enough for all of the girls to sleep in their pods.  Mother, daughter and even granddaughters sleep close and snuggle.  I love going out at night with a flashlight and checking on the animals.  They are all sleepy eyed and toasty even in winter.  We learned several years ago that the animals will stay warm if they are protected from wind and kept dry.  They even do better if they have good ventilation.  We even quit closing their door at night.  They can go outside at any time. No respiratory problems with good air exchange.  When I was a kid growing up in Florida we bought shavings by the truckload for our barn.  I can't find them that way in Maine so we pick up bundles from Tractor Supply.  They smell so wonderful.
We cleaned the old bedding out and loaded it into the tractor bucket.  It was back breaking work but it went quickly.  After cleaning the stall out last year we learned a very important lesson.  We feed the goats their hay outside year round.  The hay makes the shavings very difficult to remove.  Almost impossible. Now the girls are required to go out into the fresh air air and eat.  Better for them and us.
The old bedding was at least a 1 1/2 feet deep. After the big dig  I then spread a good 20lbs of diameticious earth to kill any mites that might get a foothold.  We have never had problems with mites while keeping with this practice.  We do have free range chickens and no problems so far. While looking at these pictures I see how horrible the barn looks.  It has good bones.  We are waiting until after the tractor is paid off (a couple of years yet) to rehab the barn.  It has some rotten sills that need replacing and a whole face lift.  I have a view in my minds eye of what it will look like when it is completed.  Beautiful one day!The house had to come first. 
We have cob webs that need to be blown down.  The barn has  many orb weavers and they help to keep the flies down in summer. So we never pull down the webs or kill any spiders.  The goats don't mind at all. It looks kind of like Halloween decorations. Spooky.

We added about 10 bales of shavings.  All nice and toasty.  As the winter progresses we will add additional bales.  The goats urine and goat berries will break down the shavings and produce a warmth in the coldest winter months as it packs.   New shavings are added for freshness and the process continues.
It smells so good.
The goats had a fresh bale of hay and were not even interested in coming in and giving their comment. When asked they looked at me and went right back to eating. Typical goat behavior. Stomach first!
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


jaz@octoberfarm said...

i bet the goats will be all snuggled up in there tonight! and for many nights to come.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

My goodness! That's clean as a whistle! *I* would sleep there tonight!

Gotta love a good snuggly barn!

Happy weekend!

The Goat Borrower

Dog Trot Farm said...

Going to be a bit chilly this evening and later in the week I just heard a chance of snow more likely in the higher elevations. I got the chicken coop cleaned out today (I buy my chips from Blue Seal in the paper bag) and vacummed any remaining cobwebs. Your are spot on "good ventilation" good animal health. Have a great week, Julie.

Mary Ann said...

I think your barn looks fine... I have Barn Envy! What a great home you gave the goats!

Ruth Dixon said...

I "hired" help last weekend to clean our sheep lean-to. I had made the mistake of letting it go for over a year, and made the mistake of feeding in the lean-to. It took 2 strapping young football players 2 hours to get it done, and the aroma-oh my! Your barn looks beautiful!

doglady said...

If you watch Uncle Henry's and Craigs List, often someone advertises bulk delivery of shavings.What I will tell you is your barn may have some issues that need to be addressed but it is a lot better than my barn.I don't have one and I desperately want one. Enjoy it.