Cleaning Out The Goat Barn

>> Thursday, February 5, 2009

A lot of people have the impression that goats will eat anything and everything, including tin cans. Wrong! Goats are actually quite finicky in their eating habits. You can feed them the best hay available and they will not eat all of it. Some stems are too big, the taste isn’t quite right, or maybe it just doesn’t look right—I don’t know. But, I do know that there is always remnants left in the hay feeder, sometimes more than others. That gets thrown onto the floor for bedding. I never have to buy straw or other material for that purpose.

It had been several months since I last cleaned out my goat barn. It was getting rather deep in there. It wasn’t quite as bad as a barn I saw many years ago. I don’t know if it had ever been cleaned out since they had begun keeping goats. I don’t exaggerate a bit when I tell you that the goats had to be careful not to bump their heads on the ceiling joists.

Feb 5th 002 I know that it is difficult to tell in this photo but the build-up was well over a foot deep. I had already removed several wheel barrow loads from the area nearest the camera. I didn’t attempt to count the loads I wheeled out to be dumped and allowed to begin to compost. It takes a few months but will break down to dark rich soil and will be put onto the garden.

Feb 5th 005 Here is another wheel barrow load ready to go. I put off cleaning the barn until a day when it wasn’t too cold but when the ground was frozen so that I didn’t have to push the loads across soft and muddy ground. It is hard enough when things are solid.

Feb 5th 011 As you can see from this photo there was a lot of material that had to be moved. Of course, over the next several weeks and after several rains this will compress down and look much smaller.

After putting fresh bedding down (hay stems and hay that was refused for whatever reason) the goats were let back into the barn. They seemed happy to get back to the hay feeder.

Feb 5th 008 If you missed it you might want to read my post on the goat barn.


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