Monday, October 27, 2014

As some of you may know, I keep a small herd of Saanen milking goats, and these lovely ladies provide me with yogurt, cheese, ice cream, meat and of course milk! I currently have four full-sized milking does and two miniature milking does: Now when each one of the big girls produces rough a gallon and a half of milk per day you end up with a lot of milk! I use it all, but that's another story for another day.

In order for these lovely ladies to produce their copious amounts of milk, they have to kid, or have babies. Well, my rental property is backed up against the freeway, and on a flat area in the valley that gets quite a bit of wind, so I needed some way to keep these ladies and their babies safe, draft free and warm during kidding season. I couldn't afford a nice barn and those rent-to-own deals all have floors so I wasn't left with too many options.

Enter the West Virginia side of the family - AKA my dad's side. All the siblings were born, and with the exception of my father, raised on the multi-generational farm in West Virginia where everything from tail to snout (animal, vegetable, and mineral) was used, and then re-used! These ideals were never abandoned, and to this day I have one uncle who keeps a "museum" of old stuff for self-reliance, or because he thinks it's cool, or when SHTF.

Lord love my uncles and father, because they all came to the rescue when they heard my predicament about the goat barn. Salvaged lumber from previous projects was furnished, old
greenhouse siding was unearthed from the back-40 and given, posts from our sustainably harvested range/forest land were cut and gifted, and tin sheet-metal, which has seen the side of more than one building was compiled and donated to the cause.

Dad collected and loaded all these materials up and headed the five hours down to my house on a
Thursday after work, and by Sunday we had a functional shed for the ladies to utilize. We started with bare ground and went to a post-in-the-dirt, roof and sides covered and LOTS of "ventilation" holes from previous projects. This past Sunday I put up the very last pieces of the siding to close in the barn from weather. There are a few things I'm planning on adding when kidding season gets closer, but until then the ladies are enjoying their space out of the wind!

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