Getting Ready for Goats

Well, winter just won’t give up without a struggle this year.  As we awaited what (we hope) will be the final snowstorm of the season, we scrambled to make some progress on a few important jobs.

The apple tree needed pruning.  That one was easy.  There were a couple of dead trees that needed to be cut down and made into firewood.  That one was fun.  A 25′ x 100′ x 6′ fence needed to be built for the two goats we’ll be getting right after Easter.  That one was daunting… and continues to be.  That one’s not done and we’re looking at an anticipated foot of snow overnight.

A friend of a friend is going through a divorce and, as a result, is moving to a smaller place where there is no room for her two beloved Boer-Sanaan goats.  Our friend had a feeling we might be game for raising goats and so she put us in touch.

A Boer-Sanaan mix is terrific.  Boers are great meat animals and Sanaan are great milk animals.  This combo is rumored to provide great meat and milk, which we obviously want.

Oh, did I mention that they’re both pregnant?

So, we need to get this fence built tout suite so that we can then build the shelter so that we can then get two SUPER pregnant goats transported to our place to live and birth between two and four kids within two weeks of coming to applewood farm.  Whew!

Here’s how the fence looks so far:

ImageThe first two posts are going to be the door frame and so are only spaced about four feet apart.  The remaining posts (28 or so) are all about ten feet apart.  The fence will continue down the hill, past the evergreen, almost to where we planted our chestnut saplings last spring.  The fencing itself is 6′ high should prevent any unwanted escapes.

 

 

Dave started the project with a hand auger borrowed from a friend.  This proved infuriating, incredibly taxing physically, and the genesis of fantastic amounts of profanity.  We caved and decided to rent a real-deal-honest-to-god post hole digger from our friends’ shop for the weekend.  Being friends, they gave us a great deal.  Once Dave had the right tool for the job on hand, the work went much faster.

Having to dig 30 post holes into shale-rich, uncooperative soil is no small feat.  The machine made the job go ten times faster than it would have with the auger.  The drilled holes looked like this:

IMG_4948

 

The area where the goats will be is almost completely covered with a deciduous tree-type plant that looks more like spicebush than anything else I’ve seen.  Within their enclosure is also a huge, beautiful evergreen which, we are assured, they will use for shade but will not eat.  We chose this spot because we learned that most goats are foragers, not grazers.  They operate more like deer than cows, so the wooded area should definitely be to their liking.

 

 

We will continue to provide updates as the project makes headway.  We won’t be able to get back to work on it for at least three days due to this snowstorm, but for now we feel good about the way it’s shaping up:

IMG_4936

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About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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