A Mobile Home & Storm Clean Up on the Ranch
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As we’ve been over before, I love the goats. So chores that I generally avoid are instantly better when they involve the goats. For example, I really hate cleaning the chicken coop, but I don’t mind cleaning the goat pen.
I am quite a procrastinator, and wait until the last minute to get things done. It’s something I should really work on, but I keep pushing it off ;). Last week, the goat’s house (which is a large dog house), desperately needed to be cleaned out. There had been quite a storm pass through while we were in San Francisco, and there were sticks and branches everywhere.
To combat a coyote attack I have built the goats a large run, which they sleep in at night. I call it their ‘mobile home; it’s about 16 feet long and four feet wide, their kennel and water trough sit inside of it so that they can spend long periods of time inside. It consists of 3, 16 foot bull panels, two on the side and one on top, and two chicken wire closures on either end. I built this all by myself with my #girlpower, and when Greg got home, he even said how impressed he was with the structure.
I purposely put it together with zip ties so that I could easily cut back the chicken wire to remove the dog kennel inside. Since they sleep in the kennel, it needs to be removed often so that it can be properly cleaned – something I am very conscious about because of the Coccidia incident.
The only problem with my structure is that I placed the ‘roof’ panel only four feet off of the ground, so when I need to get into the run I have to crawl, army style. I usually wait until 10 pm to do an army crawl quick clean of the goat’s house, resulting in shavings in my hair, pajamas, and gloves. My mom watched me do this one night and said, “There has got to be a better way.” I didn’t really mind army crawling, but she was right.
I knew I needed to fix the run so that the roof panel sat atop the two side panels rather than halfway down, but as usual, I was putting it off. Finally, when we got home from our trip, I decided, ‘today was the day‘. With my menagerie in tow (goats, dog, chickens, duck, kittens, and horses), we got to work. At one point, Elderberry was on top of my back and the kitten was on my head. They have no sense of personal space.
I deconstructed the run, and found large branches to run through the top to support the roof panel sitting up so high, which is why I didn’t place it atop the panels to begin with. I cut new chicken wire, and pulled the goat house out, cleaning everything so that the goat’s run was as sparkly as a goat run could be.
I realized that nearly 3 hours had passed, and once again, I was procrastinating what should have been getting done – laundry, blog posts, and other chores. But, I headed out to the garden to clean out some debris that had fallen, analyzed the ever living kale, and walk out into the horse field to pick up some trash that had blown into it. I, of course, got distracted with Oakley’s good looks, and ended up giving horse massages for a good 20 minutes.
The new goat run allows me to easily clean the boy’s house without having to cut out the back panel of chicken wire. It protects them from coyotes, and if I wanted to, allows me to pull a sleeping bag in too. Just kidding…kind of.
On top of their dog kennel, we have strapped a large piece of thick plywood to protect them from the rain. It has a bit of overhang and keeps their shavings dry. This structure will last until the goat house is complete. I can’t wait for that because it’s beginning to be quite cold during our nightly stories. Elderberry insists on them though, so I’ve been bringing out a blanket, extra warm jackets, and a wind breaker.
I spent this weekend in Reno, visiting the little luxuries we don’t have on the ranch – the Apple Store, Whole Foods, a nice dinner with my girlfriends, and lunch with my sister. I love having the opportunity to head to the city as needed, to spend time with my friends and family, but as I told the girl at the Apple Store, I can’t wait to head home. I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend, and thank you for spending some time with me today. I will be sharing a great spiced syrup recipe later this week, as well as a few of my favorite lifestyle sites!