And We Have Goats

I’d love to say that the day had finally arrived, but that’s not exactly the right way to word that. The goats are here! Five weeks earlier than we had planned on. That’s ok though. We were up for the challenge and built a goat shed in record time under some pretty tough working conditions. We are feeling pretty proud and invincible right now.

So here is a little glimpse into the timeline and working conditions we faced.

On January 21 we dug in three out of twelve posts. The next day we got in three more posts. Then we had severe freezing temperatures making the ground too hard to dig, copious amounts of rain and flooding, followed by more freezing grounds.

It would be almost a full month later before we could move forward. On February 17th my husband and sons finished digging in the remaining six posts. The next day they would complete the roof. A heavy rainfall began that night, and in the morning, we saw there were no leaks!


On February 19 our buck was born. He’s a cutie…I’ll show you a picture of him later. πŸ™‚ The 19th was also mine and the hubby’s wedding anniversary. We also had a few complications with the pregnancy and my midwife sent me in for an emergency ultrasound that day. We were fully expecting our anniversary to also be the way-to-early birthday for our little one. Thankfully all was well and the issue resolved itself. But that put the building plans on halt for a few days.

On February 24, the hubs and boys began framing the shed. At this point, my oldest son really took ownership of the project and following directions, he pretty much framed almost the entire shed. Excuse me, does anyone know where my little boy went? He seems to have disappeared and in his place is this young man that now towers over me by almost a foot.


We were facing lots of heavy rain and wind these days, but with the roof complete, we were able to work despite the rain. The guys only stopped when the wind picked up.

A leaking toilet halted shed plans for an evening, as some little emergencies just force their way on top of the priorities list. Leaking toilets being right there among minor emergencies that are best dealt with immediately.

The guys worked on framing for two days. At this point, we worked on a little door. Our original plan was to build a little door, only about 4 feet tall, leaving the remaining 3-4 feet above it open. We had plans to install some heavy plastic over the opening during the colder months and leave it completely opened during the summer. But after completing the little door, we changed our minds and decided to build a full size door instead. So we lost a full day building two doors. The smaller door will get used on the bucks’ housing when we are ready to build that in a couple of weeks.

So we finished out February with a shed almost fully framed and with a half-door.


Even though March rolled in like a lion, that did not stop the guys from building up the walls. By March 4, they were almost complete with the walls, having a few places here and there that needed more precise cuts. We decided to save those for last by using scraps.


A nor’easter blew through and ripped the plastic sheeting off of the chicken coop, so we had to take a few minutes to make that repair one afternoon.

On March 6, we were almost done with the shed. This day was also our goat’s due date. We knew we were counting down the final days before the goats arrival, as the original plan was to bring home our four goats one week after our gal kidded.


We still had a few places that needed to be covered up, but with almost a week to go, we figured we would have plenty of time to finish up. HA!!!

That evening, our goat farmer emailed me that our gal had kidded during the nor’easter a few days ago. As the storm was so intense, farmer gal was unable to assist during Mizi’s first kidding. The babies were suffering from hypothermia by the time she found them and the three kids all had to be removed from her in efforts to save them. When they were returned to her, Mizi rejected them. So our farmer messaged me that we could come and pick the goats up at any time now, but unfortunately we could not bring home one of Mizi’s nursing newborns. I made arrangements with her to pick them up on Friday the 9th and she gave us an older wether (neutered male) in place of the baby we were expecting.

It was unbelievably cold and windy. Since we were now in a rush to complete the shed, we had to move the remaining operations to the basement. We decided that the final touches on the exterior would have to wait, as a feeding and milking station are now a priority.

On March 7th we built a little feeding station using scrap lumber and old bed slats.


On the 8th we built a milking stand, again using scraps and bed slats. I knew saving those bed slats all these years would pay off somehow!


And on March 9th we brought home four goats!


From left to right in the picture above: Mizi, Boaz, Judah, and Princess.

The little one, Boaz, couldn’t be any cuter! He’s so adorable and cuddly. He will be our breeding buck. Judah is our wether (neutered companion to our buck) until we get a second buck, hopefully next spring.

Finally, I’ll share some pictures of the inside of the shed. We finally got the walls covered, leaving some intentional gaps for ventilation.

You can see how sloped the ground is. Those three little shelves on the right side, they are functional in more than one way. We couldn’t get the plywood to marry up on the sloped incline there. So we had a ridiculous gap in the wall. After mulling it over for a few days, I asked my husband to just add a few 2×4 scraps there as little shelves. Brilliant!


Some final touches we have added include a couple of hooks to hang lanterns and misc items that need to be out of the reach of curious goats. We hope to take advantage of the height of the shed and add more shelves. We still have to build a couple of kidding stalls, but we have some time before Princess has her babies. She is due in July.

Overall, we are pleased and can’t believe we knocked out a building project in less than a month! The really neat thing about building a shed during heavy rains and a nor’easter with 70+ mph winds is that we saw that our shed withstood it all! Now that the walls are completed, it’s nice and cozy inside. The night time temps have been dropping into the 20s and the goats water is not frozen when we check on them in the mornings. How about them apples!

The next project will be to extend our fenced yard by another 1000 square feet to make a separate buck space. They will also need their own shed, but it doesn’t need to be as large as this one. Technically we have about 5 weeks before our buck absolutely has to be separated from our does, so we are hoping to be done with the extension within the next 3 weeks!

Other projects we have to complete before the baby arrives:

  • Finish the baby’s room (YIKES! We are kind of cutting it close on that)
  • We have two wood stoves getting installed in about 10 days, but prior to that we have to clean and paint the basement floor
  • We have a kitchen sink that {still} needs to be repaired
  • We have to do some baby gear shopping

That last one may not seem like a big project to most people, but shopping is a major deal for us. We all hate to shop. None of us particularly likes leaving the house. We wouldn’t go to the grocery store if we could avoid it–part of our motivation for sustainable living! But we still have to buy a car seat and baby clothes. Do you realize I’m only 9 weeks away from having a baby and I’ve only bought 1 pair of pajamas and 2 outfits for this baby? I need to get busy.

Final thought today: we are goat people.

Thanks for stopping by!

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