Goats appear to be very adaptable to almost any climate. But if given a choice, I know that they would choose to be "high and dry" Mine run for the barn if it even threatens rain. A three sided shelter is a must. That could be anything from a large dog house to a huge barn. When considering a shelter please keep two things in mind. #1 Drainage......My barn and sheds are on tamped gravel foundations and covered with rubber dairy mats that provide ease in cleaning yet allow drainage. #2 Ventilation.....Ammonia fumes are dangerous to a goats lungs. An airtight home would not be healthy. Windows or openings of some sort that are not reachable should be desired. Do yourself a favor and place a bunch of these in the buck house too :P I currently have to lock up my little darlings at night because coyotes are a real threat here. Perhaps in the future as my herd grows I will have to invest in an LGD.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Meet Sid our newest addition....I wasn't looking for a new cat....He just refused and I mean REFUSED to leave my mail truck while on my route. It was pretty darn cold outside...not that the truck is warm...lol It just amazed me how on day one he got along with just everyone here with the exception of the mice. Apparently some things are just meant to be. What a little mini mouse killer....thus his name. He's making my other three cats look very spoiled and lazy.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Tomorrow is Sunday. I love Sundays :) Every Sunday I strip and clean the barn. The goats love it. They are soooo helpful....lol My barn floor is gravel covered with dairy mats. I'll pull all the used shavings and directly use them as mulch for all my gardens,spread them around my trees, making it easier to mow and put them anywhere else I don't want weeds to grow. No more buying mulch for me. I have a seemingly endless supply. Thank goodness they seem to break down quickly while providing fertilizer too. I use all my wasted hay as bedding along one wall. I will stir it up like crazy because compost needs oxygen to decompose. I might also mist it lightly with a water sprayer depending on how dry it is. Then I put down a light layer of Sweet pdz and fog a light layer of diamatious earth along the walls just in case any bugs like lice decide they might want to move in. Refill the the loose minerals and kelp and baking soda containers and then I roll on the floor in the new shaving and play with the goats. A perfect morning :)
Friday, January 19, 2007
Well if the new website wasn't enough I've decided an attempt at being modern and have decided to add a blog. Perhaps I can share a few of my natural methods that seem to work and help someone else out. Perhaps I will be flamed. But that's ok . Feel free to comment. I love debate :) Its finally a little more normal outside. Below freezing after weeks of unusually balmy weather. My goats are all snuggled in their barn. I continue to turn their beds everyday and add new wasted hay on top. My hope is that the new compost pile/bed will both provide warmth for the "little goats" and turn into the gold I will till into my garden soon. If I smell even a hint of ammonia, I use an all natural product, Sweet PDZ, to neutralize it. I have done this for years in the chicken coop and the results are wonderful.