Sunday, May 12, 2013
Nellie and the twins aren't impressed with my goat bunker. It's new and strange and I'm not the same human that usually hangs out with them. And there's a cat in their water.
8 pm Saturday
I'm completely knackered from the week of construction and the milk stand re-do. But it's time to milk before going to bed.
Nellie doesn't want to come out of the pen.
She won't lead, she won't eat the treats, the kids are yelling and trying to escape.
This is not good.
Nellie is one the milking stand. Woo hoo!
She won't put her head in the stanchion, it's too low. Crap.
Mom ties her to the stand and hand feeds her goat treats while I try to milk her. Nellie is not happy and I'm an inept milker.
I finally get milk out of Nellie. It's not an impressive amount, but everyone survives the process and goes to bed exhausted.
Sunday morning -- rebuilt the damn milking stand.
I survived building my wall. It tried to kill me several times and melted my brain more than once but it's done. Well it's not done done; I have to finish putting up the siding but it's predator proof. That was Thursday. Take that Chemo brain!
On Friday, after a lot of coffee and an Advil; I finished up the milking stand. I followed the specs and when it was done it looked kind of small. So I added some more bracing and extended the deck. Figuring I was remembering the goat bigger than she was. I got the plans from Mother Earth News - they should know how big a milking stand should be right?
Well it's a 3-ish and 85 degrees (Spring came and went in about 3 days) It's time to stop over thinking the milk stand and get it into place. Nellie was coming the next day. Mom and I haul it down the hill from the big barn where I made it. Puffing a bit since it's still 85 degrees and I may have used bigger stock than was really needed. (Wouldn't want a rickety milk stand) We make it down the hill and ... it won't fit through my lovely new dutch doors. Damn. We stand there glaring the door. Surely it has shrunk in the heat. Why did I have to put the milker's seat on the stand?
The power tools come back out. I partially dismantle the damn thing. We get it into place, put it back together and I screw it to the wall. One more gate latch to put up and we're ready for the goats!
|Saanen's in the pasture.|
Saturday- time to get Nellie and the twins.
After another practice milking with Eric (the breeder) we bring Nellie and the twins home. She's not thrilled with the new digs. And she's a lot bigger than my milking stand. And we have to milk her tonight. Damn.
With Nellie and the twins watching I hastily add a much bigger extension on to the deck. Stupid Internet plans.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Mountain Lion proof goat door.
While building the door I was thinking how cool the old barn wood would look and how sturdy the finished door. I didn't think about how heavy the thing would be until it came time to drag the thing down the hill and try to hang it. It took Mom and me quite a bit of huffing and puffing to get it braced into position and leveled up.
Mike did his best to interrupt the process and provided some comedy relief by running through the goat pens tossing a dead mouse in the air. Later he ran by with a living vole. This led to a short break where Mom followed him around the yard with a sledge hammer in an attempt to put the vole out of it's misery. Mike wouldn't give it up and eventually we called in the dog, who didn't have much luck either. Mike put his giant paw on the dog's nose to protect his catch. The dog eventually won out in the end. Ah; life with cats.
The next step is to cut the door in half to make it a dutch door.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Giant cedar poles to hold up the corral fencing.
Plywood going up over the stud wall. I think I may need a window.
Loafing barn with 6 foot no climb fencing. Over 1000 square feet of covered goat playground. Fenced pasture to the left.
I'm shooting for picking up my goat by Mother's Day. We've got a deposit on a two year old Saanen (Nellie) and her twins. I couldn't just take one twin; that seemed cruel to Nellie. Besides after my pathetic milking attempt, I'll need the help.
I need lots of help anyway. My week of digging holes and using power tools has caught up with me. My right hand resembles an arthritic claw this morning. Too many hours using tools that were made to fit big man hands. I have a cordless drill motor that fits my hands better but it's too wimpy to do very much. Especially since I tend to over build. Of course it wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't changed my mind a dozen times when putting up the stud wall. Oh well my goat bunker will last to the next millennium.
Time for more Ben Gay. Any thoughts on names for my doelings?