BARNYARD BACKYARD

Since we can no longer host any public events here on the urban homestead because our community events now draw upwards of 120 people ( only have space for no more the 50, well, maybe not even that)  we are making use of our very large garage.  Which for awhile there, it started to become useless because we had to keep in open and uncluttered for events.   Now that that’s no longer the case, even the garden’s encroached on the patio area in front of the garage with self watering tubs of dwarf fruit trees – and Farmer D has even more growing plans for that area.  Something to do with butterflies and grapevine wire.   Intrigued?  So am I.

The garage which cleaned out a few years back and used for workshops and screenings with seats, projector and even chalk board is now turning into a back into a barn.   And that’s what it should be.   Especially if we are to breed our goats we are going to to need a little more space for milking, etc.

Not to get ahead of ourselves, because we need to take the goats down to Orange County for a checkup and then hook them up with a guy friend ( 1.5 hours away), but we have been looking online for folding stanchion.

Why is it taking us so long to breed our gals?  Well, this year they finally turned a good age.  Jordanne waited to wait till they were at least 1.5 years old.   She just didn’t feel right breeding them any younger.  And now?  I can’t get into every reason, but the main one is that we have just been incredibly busy and time is flying too fast for us to catch up with everything but we are shooting for this winter to breed them.

Not wasting the extra time we do have, we have been busy in other facets of “operation goat milks.”  Already we have turned a 6′ x 8′ space in the corner of the garage into a penned area for the goats during the winter season (goats hate rain).  This new addition will come in handy when it comes time to start milking.  But like I said we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

First things first.

Blackberry simple loves the new area in the garage, er barn  It’s like her domain.  Which is surprising because Fairlight likes to take over being the more dominant goat.   Goats are funny that way.

Not only do they have a 400+ sq ft foot outside enclosure (which they share with the ducks and chickens) two houses (one’s an igloo we found on side the road, the other the guys built using scrap wood) they now have a ‘barn stall” in which to hang out in when the weather gets too intolerable.

The garage is used to store our honey equipment, loads of seeds, biodiesel making equipment, Peddler’s Wagon merchandise (which you can help alleviate) and more.

For us city dwellers garages are the closest structure that will come to urban homesteaders having a barn.

Comments(12)

  1. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    Fantastic news about the plans for Fairlight & Blackberry!I think every home should have a barn area!!!I shall await further news and development with avid interest!
    blessings to all,
    gerry m x

  2. gerry medland says:

    Hi Anais!
    Fantastic news about the plans for Fairlight & Blackberry!I think every home should have a barn area!!!I shall await further news and development with avid interest!
    blessings to all,
    gerry m x

  3. Anny says:

    That’s funny I also use my garage as my “barn” I build my chicken coop into a corner of the garage with a pop door going to a little run out side. They love it.

  4. Anny says:

    That’s funny I also use my garage as my “barn” I build my chicken coop into a corner of the garage with a pop door going to a little run out side. They love it.

  5. Mike Bialas says:

    RE: Folding Goat Stanchion

    Dear Anais,

    Blue Heron Farm is owned and operated by Christian and Lisa Seger.
    WEBSITE http://blueherontexas.com/

    He makes GOAT STANCHIONS !!!

    Maybe he can make a folding stanchion for you?!

    Their blog is: http://blueherontexas.blogspot.com/
    See today’s entry with a picture: Thursday, December 11, 2008

    http://blueherontexas.blogspot.com/2008/12/keeping-christian-busy.html

    I have no connection to them… just a blog that I follow.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Bialas aka GarlicMan76458 on FreedomGardens.org

  6. Mike Bialas says:

    RE: Folding Goat Stanchion

    Dear Anais,

    Blue Heron Farm is owned and operated by Christian and Lisa Seger.
    WEBSITE http://blueherontexas.com/

    He makes GOAT STANCHIONS !!!

    Maybe he can make a folding stanchion for you?!

    Their blog is: http://blueherontexas.blogspot.com/
    See today’s entry with a picture: Thursday, December 11, 2008

    http://blueherontexas.blogspot.com/2008/12/keeping-christian-busy.html

    I have no connection to them… just a blog that I follow.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Bialas aka GarlicMan76458 on FreedomGardens.org

  7. Cindie K. says:

    Your animal enclosures always look so very clean in your pictures. As the “mother” of 13 indoor/outdoor pets, I am fully aware of the hard work involved in taking care of beloved critters. You all do a fantastic job, and as always, serve as inspriration.

    Take Care and Happy Holidays!

  8. Cindie K. says:

    Your animal enclosures always look so very clean in your pictures. As the “mother” of 13 indoor/outdoor pets, I am fully aware of the hard work involved in taking care of beloved critters. You all do a fantastic job, and as always, serve as inspriration.

    Take Care and Happy Holidays!

  9. Chris says:

    My husband made me a folding stanchion for my two full size milk goats. You make it like two separate things, the head piece, and the floor part, to milk from. I wish I could fax you a picture. The head stanchion part pulls out from the wall like a door. The floor part falls down like a hide a bed. It hung from the ceiling by two chains on the outside when it was in the down position.My husband had it perfect, so it lay ed straight for the girls to jump up on. Also, he made two boards closer to the stanchion part, or towards the head part, that were longer by a foot or so. That way, when the goat is in ready to milk, you could sit down on those two boards, ( I think they were one by sixes, or tens). and milk them with your back to their heads, and just work away…. The stanchion was a piece of art. My husband is a genius! First we picked a stainless steel bowl with a lip at the top for their eating dish. Nice to clean out! Then my husband cut a hole in a piece of plywood big enough for the bowl to fall into, but the lip of the bowl would hold the bowl in there. On this board there were hinges that would let the board fold up and down to flat position. There were little chains holding the board on the outside once it came down, so that it wouldn’t fall any farther then level. I hope I’m describing this good enough, so you can get a mental picture! OK, that board was attached to two two by fours, that were the stanchion, then there was another two by four that swung on a large bolt at the bottom of the stanchion. This board would lock their heads in the stanchion much like a regular milk cow stanchion. My husband measured the width of their necks and made a few holes in the top of this board that held a large nail to keep it locked while milking. They are not uncomfortable at all, as this is made to fit them properly. So this stanchion is hooked to the wall with good hinges, and it folds in flush with the wall, and comes out when you want it to. Our goats used to play with it so we just put hooks on this at the top, and hooked it to the wall, when not in use, so they couldn’t pull it out and possibly hurt themselves. Here’s the hard part, can you see in your mind how the stanchion would pull out and the eating tray, would fold down, then you put in the bowl, bring the floor down, hook the stanchion to the floor part, and your in business! Remember, the chains hold the floor from the ceiling on the outside, in two places. At the foot, and at the head of it. The chains are good and sturdy, we bought them at the hardware store. When your done, fold everything up lock them in place so the girls don’t get on it during the day, and your ready to go. We only spent money on the chains and hooks, screws. The wood and the bowl we had laying around. Your girls are not going to be as big as mine were, so you build the stand as high off the ground as is ok for them to jump up on. Not too far, I would imagine! Or you would have to make a ramp for them to go up. Some people milk standing and make the goats climb up. I don’t personally like that idea, I’m too protective, as I would think they could fall. However, this last summer we went to a restaurant that had goats out on the roof of the place as a tourist attraction. They were trained to run down the back of the place and into the back of the truck, and they went home to the farm every night. This was a grass roof, and the goats seemed very content!LOL You know, I don’t think I have a picture of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I will go through my pictures and see if I have one. If I do, I will mail one to you. My husband also made me a stanchion outside. I stood on its own, and this one the girls played with, but I didn’t care as I could lock the stanchion part so they couldn’t get there heads stuck while playing. They did poo on it allot though. I didn’t care, as I could spray it down with the hose all the time. … One thing though, we had a lock on the goat barn that was waist high, and those stinkers locked me in three times! One time I had to tear out the screen on one of the windows, as everybody was gone for the day. Needless to say, that too got dealt with!LOL You think it’s a flook the first time, but the second and third you know for sure they are being little butts! You see the one goat didn’t like me in the barn milking or doing any chores without her being in there with me! So she would lock me in! I wish I knew how to handle these computers better, as I could send you some beautiful pictures! But I can barely do this! I feel dumb and dumber when it comes to these things! …Hey, another thing I did, was to put the girls up on the stanchion towards the end of their pregnancy, and give them a little grain or goodies. Then brush them down. Then let them back out so they could get used to handling the stanchion…. Also, if you can be there when the babies are born, get your hands wet with the fluids from the em bro sac, and let the goat lick it off your hands. She will bond to you as well as the babies if you do this. I think it helps her be OK with your taking some of the milk for the house that way. She thinks your her baby too! Well hope this helps! C

  10. Chris says:

    My husband made me a folding stanchion for my two full size milk goats. You make it like two separate things, the head piece, and the floor part, to milk from. I wish I could fax you a picture. The head stanchion part pulls out from the wall like a door. The floor part falls down like a hide a bed. It hung from the ceiling by two chains on the outside when it was in the down position.My husband had it perfect, so it lay ed straight for the girls to jump up on. Also, he made two boards closer to the stanchion part, or towards the head part, that were longer by a foot or so. That way, when the goat is in ready to milk, you could sit down on those two boards, ( I think they were one by sixes, or tens). and milk them with your back to their heads, and just work away…. The stanchion was a piece of art. My husband is a genius! First we picked a stainless steel bowl with a lip at the top for their eating dish. Nice to clean out! Then my husband cut a hole in a piece of plywood big enough for the bowl to fall into, but the lip of the bowl would hold the bowl in there. On this board there were hinges that would let the board fold up and down to flat position. There were little chains holding the board on the outside once it came down, so that it wouldn’t fall any farther then level. I hope I’m describing this good enough, so you can get a mental picture! OK, that board was attached to two two by fours, that were the stanchion, then there was another two by four that swung on a large bolt at the bottom of the stanchion. This board would lock their heads in the stanchion much like a regular milk cow stanchion. My husband measured the width of their necks and made a few holes in the top of this board that held a large nail to keep it locked while milking. They are not uncomfortable at all, as this is made to fit them properly. So this stanchion is hooked to the wall with good hinges, and it folds in flush with the wall, and comes out when you want it to. Our goats used to play with it so we just put hooks on this at the top, and hooked it to the wall, when not in use, so they couldn’t pull it out and possibly hurt themselves. Here’s the hard part, can you see in your mind how the stanchion would pull out and the eating tray, would fold down, then you put in the bowl, bring the floor down, hook the stanchion to the floor part, and your in business! Remember, the chains hold the floor from the ceiling on the outside, in two places. At the foot, and at the head of it. The chains are good and sturdy, we bought them at the hardware store. When your done, fold everything up lock them in place so the girls don’t get on it during the day, and your ready to go. We only spent money on the chains and hooks, screws. The wood and the bowl we had laying around. Your girls are not going to be as big as mine were, so you build the stand as high off the ground as is ok for them to jump up on. Not too far, I would imagine! Or you would have to make a ramp for them to go up. Some people milk standing and make the goats climb up. I don’t personally like that idea, I’m too protective, as I would think they could fall. However, this last summer we went to a restaurant that had goats out on the roof of the place as a tourist attraction. They were trained to run down the back of the place and into the back of the truck, and they went home to the farm every night. This was a grass roof, and the goats seemed very content!LOL You know, I don’t think I have a picture of it, but maybe I’m wrong. I will go through my pictures and see if I have one. If I do, I will mail one to you. My husband also made me a stanchion outside. I stood on its own, and this one the girls played with, but I didn’t care as I could lock the stanchion part so they couldn’t get there heads stuck while playing. They did poo on it allot though. I didn’t care, as I could spray it down with the hose all the time. … One thing though, we had a lock on the goat barn that was waist high, and those stinkers locked me in three times! One time I had to tear out the screen on one of the windows, as everybody was gone for the day. Needless to say, that too got dealt with!LOL You think it’s a flook the first time, but the second and third you know for sure they are being little butts! You see the one goat didn’t like me in the barn milking or doing any chores without her being in there with me! So she would lock me in! I wish I knew how to handle these computers better, as I could send you some beautiful pictures! But I can barely do this! I feel dumb and dumber when it comes to these things! …Hey, another thing I did, was to put the girls up on the stanchion towards the end of their pregnancy, and give them a little grain or goodies. Then brush them down. Then let them back out so they could get used to handling the stanchion…. Also, if you can be there when the babies are born, get your hands wet with the fluids from the em bro sac, and let the goat lick it off your hands. She will bond to you as well as the babies if you do this. I think it helps her be OK with your taking some of the milk for the house that way. She thinks your her baby too! Well hope this helps! C

  11. Sherilyn says:

    If you want, I know how to ‘design’ a permanent goat milking station, I can help you with designs. Very simple and with scrap wood, like pallets will work.
    C U Saturday 😉

  12. Sherilyn says:

    If you want, I know how to ‘design’ a permanent goat milking station, I can help you with designs. Very simple and with scrap wood, like pallets will work.
    C U Saturday 😉

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