Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Freezing to Flooding

Our winter this year has went from unusually cold temps to flooding. 

We live in the North Georgia Mountains but in a lower portion in the mountains.  A little dip or valley.  All of the excess water from rain runs to us and down our property when the water table is up and the ground is saturated and has reached its limit.  We usually get flooded at least once a year in the spring time.  But after having much cooler temperatures this winter and even a dip down to 4 degrees one night and 7 another night, we have now gotten a lot of rain on top of it.  Our temperatures are still going to freezing many nights or lower but  now we are quite soggy.

During that very cold spell where night temperatures were so low we did loose a young goat.  The little goat that had polio last year and survived by a miracle, Pacer.  I brought him and his field buddy up out of the fields for the cold snap and made them comfy in a barn stall but surprisingly he still could not handle those temperatures.  We found him down and cold but still alive.  If you put your finger in the mouth of a goat and inside its mouth is cold when they are down, the only way to quickly rise their core temperature is to immerse them in warm water, slowly adding warmer and warmer water till they are warmed up.  We brought him in the house and tried this.  I have successfully done this with chilled kids that were born unexpectedly in winter and were dying but we worked on this goat for hours and he did not  make it.  Bless his heart.

Here are some pictures of our farm from the heavy rains we have had recently.

Water pouring down our drive way from the hill behind the barn.

Flooding down by the manure pile. Yuck!  William could not believe I was taking pictures of him by it and was laughing about it.

Water running across our fields and to our pond.

This is a picture I took of my daughter last spring.  You can see where the dock is compared to the normal water level of the pond.  Our dock is anchored with T-Posts for times when we have flooding.
 This is where the dock is with this flooding.  The road around the pond is even flooded.

When we get flooded like this, this is the only time our pond has and inlet and and outlet!

Outlet.  Right across the road behind it.
Looks like we are going to continue to have a wet/colder than normal winter!
Blessings and Happy farming!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Freestanding Goat Hayrack

Happy New Years to all my farming friends! 

Today, I thought I would share one of my hay rack plans for anyone looking to put one out in a field for their goats. (polled or hornless goats) It was very inexpensive to  make because we had everything to make it laying around the farm here. 

When ever we do a project we take the good left-over scraps and put them on a pile in the shed.  We affectionately call that pile, Papa Depo's.  When ever we do a project we always look in the shed to see what we  have available before going to Home Depo to buy anything.  :)

Again, make this at your own risk and it is based on the plans for my hay saving hay rack for goats.

Two years ago I wanted to have a hay rack out in one of my buck fields for my goats.  I wanted it to be hay saving like the ones I invented for in the barn but yet keep the hay dry and be easy to fill. 

What I came up with was this.  Not to pretty but very functional and again it was the right price as we had all we needed to build it laying around the farm.  So it was just labor and we built it in less than a day.

The outside part of it is one of those cages that huge water tanks come in.  I had a bunch laying around here that I use for extra quick pens for baby animals.  Here are two I have laying in a field so you can see what I am talking about.

My dad and William helped me build this one.  I took the water tank cage and cut a goat sized hole into what I wanted to be the front.  (I used a saw zaw (recipricating saw) with a demolition blade)

Then cut a hog panel (that their heads fit thru the squares) to fit down the back third and secured it with zip ties and wire. 

Then I bent the hog panel below the neck high square, at an angle to go behind that, to hold the hay slanting toward the back like in my origional design and cut a board to fit over it so the hay would not fall thru.

Then we took some thin tin we had laying around here and secured it to the outside by puting small boards on the inside to screw thru the tin into.  So the cage was sandwiched inbetween the tin on the out side and thin board strips on the inside. (I used 2x2's)

I then build a hinged lid for the top and put some siding on it to keep some rain off it.  It turned out very well. 

Then this fall I needed another one of these before winter hit.  I needed the one we had built for some baby bucklings and a new one for a field for my full grown bucks. 

Our faithful dog, Yellow, watching us do our project and guarding the goats.
He is such a huge lug.  We love him dearly.

I did not have the time to make one like we did before.  So Carolyn and I built this one in a few hours. 

It is the same design we just put a tarp around the outside for the outer skin instead of tin.  I can change that and put something more long lasting on it once the weather is warmer before next winter.  On this one I did not have a scrap piece of hog panel that their heads fit thru nicely so had to cut two holes the right size. 

These are cheap and easy to  make.  I made both of these totally from scraps we had laying around here.  Even the siding we used for the roofs to help protect the plywood from rain was just laying around here.
Hope this helps give some ideas to anyone thinking on this subject. 

Blessings and Happy farming!