Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick and Easy Shelter

A few weeks ago Vet2Be and I built this quick and easy shelter. It did very well through the snow that we had a few days after we put it up. It did surprisingly well in the wind storm that came a few days later.

We were told about this type of shelter from someone who uses them for cattle on the range in the winter. We needed a way to keep the rain and snow off a feeder in this pen. The little red goat house works well for the goats to get out of the weather, but it is much too small to put their food in. It was built for Nigerian Dwarf goats for a fancy facility down the road. They decided that they wanted something different for their Nigies. Commercial operations have a bit more cash available so that they can change their minds. Being the cheapskate that I am, I said that I would love to have it! The full-size dairy buck that we have doesn't have any problems getting on his knees, crawling inside the little goat house, and turning around. It surprises most people who come to visit that two full sized goats can fit inside.

It took Vet2Be and me about an hour to put this up. It took one wire livestock fence panel, two 5' x 8' tarps, lots of 'farmer's friend' (baling twine), three stakes, and two 4' T-posts. It is erected so that the north wind hits the tarps.

We've used it for over a month now and it keeps the hay out of the weather very well. The goats like stand under it to get out of the sun as well as to stay out of the rain. The only thing we would have done differently is to use two wire panels side by side. It would have made the shelter twice as big.

You can see the two T-posts that hold up the fencing in this photo. This side of the fencing is also held down by three 12" metal tent stakes. We can get some fierce winds in our town and I would hate to see this turn into a kite and take off down to the neighbors.

We tied the other end to the existing fencing. If we hadn't had existing fencing we would have used two more T-posts to hold the other side down. You can see the white salt block in the feeder--the goats don't pull the feeder all over the pen with a 50 lb block of salt in it, and the salt block keeps them from using the feeder as a bed.

This is the same type of structure we built for our quick and easy grape arbor (but without the tarps), which worked very well this summer! If I still had little children at home, I would probably put up another one over the sand box in the summer.

I also think it would work well to store wood out of the weather. We use tarps to cover the wood right now, but I think that this would work much better because there would be no tarps sitting on top of the wood pile. If we have time, Vet2Be and I might get around to building one for the wood and then moving the wood-pile. We'll see if there is time before winter hits this weekend.

There is always something more to do!

If you have any other ideas for this type of shelter, I would love to hear them!


Grandma Elsie said...

I am so behind on reading my favorite blogs.
You already had snow!!!
It is being rainy here in Va, and in the 40's daytime .have had a few nights in the low 30's with hard freezes.
You are working hard there ..
i love reading your blog.
be blessed with all the cold weather coming . God watch over you.

TJ said...

Thanks Grandma Elsie! I love reading your blog, too! I don't read very many, but yours is one I keep up on because you just seem like a wonderful Grandma and there are days that I miss mine very much. You 'fill in the gaps' on those days!

Yes, we've had some snow already--and more tonight! We love the snow because we can cozy up by a warm fire!