A weekend of sunshine and dry weather helped motivate us to remodel our goat pen. The goal was to tear out the wet dirt floor of the goat shelter and replace it with elevated wood platforms and gravel. In addition, we wanted to add a fence around the shelter so we could control the goats’ movements and their access to the larger pasture.
While the floor project has been on the list for many months, we needed a couple days of really dry weather to make it happen. We got lucky Easter weekend and ended up with four days in a row of sunshine and three days of a strong dry wind. The combination was perfect to help us ensure a good dry base for the new floor.
First, we shoveled and scrapped off all the old bedding and muck from the floor to find the nice solid base of dirt underneath. Then, we let that sit for a full day and night – banning the goats from having access to the shelter. With the nice dry base in place, we placed wood pallets topped with plywood as our wood platforms and shoveled in at least 10 wheelbarrows full of gravel for the rest of the floor. Topping it all off with some soft cedar bedding to make a nice place to lay and chew your cud.
After the floor was complete, it was time to set the fence. After rounding up the materials we laid out the plan. The goal was to give them a little space to move around outside but not cut too far into the pasture so we can give that time to re-grow some grass. The fence idea was more recent, as it became evident that in order to truly re-seed our pasture and get the grass growing more steady… we needed to keep all the animals off it for a few months. This small pen allows us to have a solid place for the goats during this time.
Pounding t-posts and tying up the fence panels went smoothly and quickly. My daughter even commented when we were done how fast that was. We figure the goats will show us any weaknesses… but for now it feels secure. So secure that we are thinking of maybe having it be permanent vs. temporary. As that way we can control their access to the pasture further ensuring its success in re-growth.