Projects and Activities:
Construction and Carpentry
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Active goat horns mean no shortage of carpentry projects.
Here are some of the larger tasks we've taken on!
Goat-proof run-in shed roof, 2003
to Carpenter Mike Cissel for designing and building a roof on our run-in
shed. No one else understood the need for such a roof to be able to bear
the weight of goats. Mike, however, is Newman's buddy and has put in cross
beams and supports especially with Newman's hard hooves in mind. Now that
is a custom-designed job! Built of 2x4s, 1/2 inch plywood, and lots of
exactitude, this is a work of art! And it keeps the sheep dry, underneath.
This was a multi-weekend job!
Señor Miguel worked on levelling out the badly rutted
and muddy flooring beneath the roof, once again using his engineering
expertise to figure out just the right angle for drainage and buring a
drain pipe going down the hill.
roof for tool and garden shed, 2003
Once again, Carpenter Mike tore off the entire rotting roof
and re-cut and replaced all the beams and plywood. We covered the plywood
with tarpaper and will soon finish it off with the final asphalt slate
Duck Pen, 2003
So important to have a safe place for the ducks to go at
night (we have lost 2 ducks to foxes). Not a carpentry job, but one of
careful engineering on the part of Señor Miguel who leveled the
ground just right so as to have drainage run down the hill. He also buried
a drain pipe to ensure that water emptied from the pool would not collect
inside the pen. Next, we laid sand down on top of the graded ground and
finally covered the whole area with mulch (this needs to be cleaned out
completely biweekly). The ducks have a few little houses they can go into
and make nests, and their kiddie pool is filled when the weather permits.
Before winter came on, Miguel covered the whole pen with chicken wire
and laid two heavy duty tarps down on top, creating an arch by placing
beams inside the pen so as to allow runoff of water and snow.
Office Door, 2004
Newman Goat had been working on weakening this door, a nice panelled glass
French door, for quite some time. Two years, to be exact. This door was
the only thing that separated him from the office, AKA feed storage room,
a maddening obstacle. In February he finally had his breakthrough... literally.
Fortunately a replacement was easily found, and Carpenter Mike came to
the rescue, spending two weekend days reframing and installing the new
door -- with only top panels of glass, out of goat reach (mostly).
FENCING: No Goat Zones I and II, 2003-4
"Oddly enough, some owners have little trouble keeping goats
on the farm with seemingly simple fences, while others couldn't keep
a goat on Alcatraz. " - Clemson University Goat Handbook
Most people create fenced areas for their animals. At Star
Gazing Farm, the animals have the run of the place, and we fence in the
humans. No Goat Zone I was started initially in 2003 in an effort to prevent
the screened in porch from being utterly destroyed by rampaging livestock.
A small area was fenced around the side of the house with 6 foot T posts
and 48" high 2x4" welded wire. Worked well to keep the animals
out, but the three-hook method of opening the flaps was awkward for humans.
Since the lilac tree appeared to the the next potential casualty, we determined
to create a more permanent (and larger) fenced area, to also include the
vegetable garden, to which Newman had gained access multiple times the
previous summer. We buried round 4" posts in concrete, and put up
12 gauge welded wire on top, with 3 tube gates at various entry points.
Really nice - so nice that we hope to be able to have flowers this year.
No Goat Zone II was Gardener Dean's inspiration - to Save
the Tulips. Using the T-post method, we fenced in the front area of the
house containing a raised bed with tulip and daffodil bulbs.