Goats need a lot of space to run and climb. They climb the most improbable things and they do it without hesitation or concern for what may be awaiting them upon landing. Their utter lack of fear is inspiring and more than a little annoying–especially when we are trying to get work done in their presence.
Constantly being climbed, butted, and chewed on by goats is quite decidedly a detriment to the successful completion of a construction job (or any job, for that matter). Putting in a second shelter to make winter space for our growing goats was no exception. It’s amazing we ever got the thing built.
We decided to keep it simple. As utterly novice builders, that was a fairly easy directive. Simple is pretty much our only setting.
In this spirit, we put our visiting nephew, Arlo, to work, clearing the selected space of weeds and brush to make room for the “foundation” of the shed. Once the space was cleared, we actually started building on the outside of the fenced area, between two posts. This way, we weren’t taking up valuable goat space with the structure. When the job was completed, we would cut away the length of fence in front of it.
The ground in this area is incredibly slanted. Trying to build a semi-stable, flattish structure was a challenge, to say the least. Fortunately, this would be for goats and they don’t so much mind the wobbly.
Dave and Arlo started and decided to be fancy and shingle the walls. This gave us not only a lovely look, but also added protection from the elements. Our original shed has many gaps between the boards that this one doesn’t. Our primary goal was to have a larger space for the goats to keep warm that isn’t also the milking shed. Once the building was framed out, the rest came together fairly quickly.
There is something of an optical illusion at work here. In an effort to get the floor as flat as possible, the wood needed to line up in a way that makes it appear totally crooked. We decided that the goats would forgive us and that M.C. Escher would have been just a little bit proud.
So, now there is a spot for the goats to be up off the wet, cold ground with space for whatever it is goats might need space for. Since we are still separating the kids from Cindy at night (to ensure a good milking in the morning), we are going to put a door on this shed to keep them in here while she continues to spend the night in the original shelter.
They’ve been playing around in this space ever since we cut away the fencing that was keeping them out. And, as evidenced by their playful fighting the other day, we’ve done alright by them once more.