Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Legendary Experience

Well, it has been a very LONG time since I've posted.  Here is one of the main reasons for my lack of communication.  Meet Legend.  He's a 6 year old Nubian wether.  Friends of mine were moving to a new house in a neighborhood that could not accommodate goats.  I was more than happy to take Legend off their hands!  Legend is actually kind of special in that I know his lineage.  My friends got him from a mutual friend who has ties to a local dairy.  Legend was so named because his mother was named Myth and his sister's name was Fable.  Anyway, I was coming to the realization that I was in need of more fertilizer than I could produce with my compost tumbler and my worm bin.

This whole process came about pretty quick.  I have to admit I wasn't prepared.  Thankfully my friend helped me set up the electric fence because the "duh" expression on my face pretty much summed up my experience with setting that kind of stuff up.  I failed that part of my country upbringing.  We fenced him into my garden and I turned my cucumber trellis into a goat house.  My husband had a roll of Tyvec that we used.  Though handy, that turned out to be a huge pain.  When the wind blew or it rained, Legend would freak out at the noise.  When it rained the water would pool in between the trellis rungs and the supports broke a couple of times.  I didn't have a manger either and the hay I subsidized his diet with ended up being pulled around and peed on.  Not a good situation for anyone.  But, through this whole time my husband and I were planning and constructing a goat house on skids.  I made a naive plan and we borrowed a truck and took a trip to Home Depot.  I wished we had took some in-process photos but the goal was finishing the project not documenting it.  A borrowed circular saw helped us out a TON!  I gotta get one of those.  As we built the shed, I was becoming worried because I didn't realize how damn heavy it was going to be.  Gone were the dreams of Pat and I tugging it down the hill.  We had a neighbor with a tractor that I was going to ask to help us out but no, we own Subarus.  Pat insisted that he pull it down with his Baja and position it with my Forester.  This is the part where I take a seat and pop a few more anti-hypertension meds.

Pat learned quick to proceed with all this when I was at work so I wouldn't have a cow or blow a head gasket.  We constructed the shed in the driveway because that was level and we hadn't dug the pad for it to rest on yet.  In hind site, next time I EVER have to do this, I will build things on site because this was a pain.  Pat had fun.  I just chewed my nails and lost my hair.

Here's another shot of our Baja "agricultural all terrain special" tugging the shed along.

The real treat for Legend was that with this new shed his fence would be expanded to the entire back yard.  I took a shot of the back yard and highlighted it in red.  The plus side is that in the spring all that becomes my garden!  Yay!  At first he was hesitant to come to the new end of the yard because originally there was electric fence there and he was afraid of getting shocked.  Eventually, he explored all of it and now we like to race back and forth with him on the "Legend Speedway."  He especially likes to race around if he thinks he's going to get some grain.

Here's a shot of the finished goat house.  As you can see, it's resting on a steep grade.  We got in with some shovels and leveled out a pad.  The roof faces the prevailing wind so that he has respite from that.  I found some awesome feed bins that hook over 2X4's.  We installed a manger that makes feeding SO much better.  He likes to chew the bark off that log and balance on it from time to time.

He loves to pin me in after I've given him grain.  Maybe he'll hold me ransom for more grain.

Okay, so I'm really proud of our manger because at this point I had returned the circular saw we had borrowed.  Pat bought the 2x2's for this project but the other wood was scrap we had left over.  We didn't have anything to cut the plywood with but a miter saw, a hack saw, or a pruning saw.  Pat wanted us to use the pruning saw but I said that was stupid.  I ended up using the pruning saw.  I'm beginning to discover that crow isn't half bad with a little salt.  Anyway, I'm proud of our ghetto construction manger. It's stout and makes feeding so EASY.  Just chuck the hay in there.  Before we were tying it in bundles and stringing up.  It was a huge pain.

Yeah, for anyone that cares, I'm proud of the drainage ditches we dug so that the run off wouldn't pool under the house.  That clay tends to do that.  So, when I was editing this goat glamor shot I happened to notice that his tongue was out.  What better way to end this post than with a goat raspberry!

Goat Raspberries!


  1. Awesome goat house... hard work, job well done :)

  2. I LOOOOVE this post and Legend seems like the cutest little goat EVER. Just remember that goats are mischievous little bandits that soon enough learns how to exploit your weakness for a cute-goat face when they are discovered chewing away on your award-winning pumpkins.... ;-D

  3. Oh, he's already exploited "cute goat face." Surprisingly, he turned his nose up at the pumpkins but he'll be on my strawberry plants in a heart beat.