Just starting out

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BlessedMom, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Hi all;

    I'm looking for some support from those that have been there done that!

    We moved to a rural Washington state area about 4 months ago now. We have a little over two acres.

    Our chicken coop is built, complete with boxes. Plus the yard is fenced in and we are happy to report other than a slight mishap a young chick had with a water dish..36 of our 37 chickens have survived and are very happy. Next Thursday we will be butchering our Cornish X's - 19 of them. We also have 6 bantams - 1 rooster and 4 hens. From there the rest are laying hens - black australoops & aurancana - including 2 roosters.

    We also have a milking goat, that is giving about a gallon a day. She is a nubian/sannen and is about 4 years old. We plan on breeding her in the fall.

    In the deal with our dear goat, we also brought home 3 geese - 2 females and 1 male. The geese are the buddies for the goat. They have laid about 4 eggs in the past month or so. I thought they were supposed to lay more than that but we haven't found them. I now know what wild goose chase means. They also ate all the corn I planted this year....oh well.

    Along with our animals we also have two dogs. I must say I like my goat better than the dogs. :)

    When we moved here it was with the idea of working toward self support of our family. I work at a high stress job running a ministry...I like to come home to our little farm and I really find the animals comforting and relaxing. We have 4 children ages 19 months, 12 years, 14 years and a special needs 18 year old. My husband has now decided that this is not something that he wants. He wants to go and travel. I should have knowns he couldn't plant himself permanently anywhere. Therefore, it has become evident that this homestead will be for my children and I. And have I got a lot to learn!! I know we can do it.

    I have an area for our goat that is about 1/2 fenced in and a 1/2 built "lean to/barn" I need to figure out how to put a roof on that will support either a heavy load of snow or will allow the snow to slide off. We have hard winters here in the mountains and I want to be prepared for that. Any ideas? Currently our goat is housed at the back of our house in the dog kennel run!! This close to the house leads for interesting smells and a problem with tracking in unwanted matter! I know nothing of building but I am willing to give it a go. I can't afford to have someone come and build this for me. With my two boys I should be able to make it work. They are quite handy.

    For the past 15 years we have lived in a small town - in the middle of town in fact. So...we've been sorta city people. I like to work hard and I think that having a small farm will really benefit my children also. We have homeschooled for the past 10 years.

    Thanks for the ear and I hope to get some great ideas from this forum!

    BlessedMom
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Well, welcome to the forum!

    You might want to go to the library and get a book on pole buildings. Even if your walls aren't poles, they usually have good info on roof systems with tables on joists and beams. For the roof you may be able to find some roofing odds and ends. Look in the phone book for metal roofing companies and find out if there is one that sells leftovers. I have found some really good material doing that.

    Hope you get everything together before the snow flies!
     

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    851
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ky
    The steeper the roof, the more likely it will shed, a local building inspector should know
     
  4. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Washington
    Do you think the shed would need to be insulated? I live in the Cascades. My other question is do you think my goat will eat the barn?? She loves to try to eat any kind of wood that she can get close to!

    I'm still trying to figure out the roof. I should have time to get to the library some time this week.

    It seems I spend all summer getting ready for the winter and all winter dreaming about summer! :(

    BlessedMom
     
  5. BigSkyBoerGoats

    BigSkyBoerGoats Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    BlessedMom, first off as a fellow brother in Christ I would like to say thanks for defending the unborn. Abortion is a sin and an adbomination to God. Thank the good Lord that their are people like you to defend those who can't speak for themselves. I volunteer driving a 30 foot billboard truck here in Columbus, Ohio that has emblazened on both sides pictures of aborted fetuses. When I drive that truck through downtown Columbus or through the Ohio State University campus you can tell it makes people think. We've had testimonies from women that said that truck actually kept them from making the biggest mistakes in their lives. It's moving. Anyways..............................................

    Since you call yourself a "city girl" you may not know what these materials are that I am about to speak of but if you have a Tractor Supply or any farm supply store in your area they will be able to direct you in the right direction. I raise Boer goats and they live strictly in hoop houses made of cattle panel. You can make these as small or large as you like with my typical house being made by 3 16 foot panels. A hoop house this size would be approximately 12 ft long by 6 ft. wide and 6 ft. tall. This house would cost approximately $90. It goes as follows:

    place one cattle panel on the ground (4ftx16ft) place two t-posts in the ground matching up to the 4 ft side. bend the cattle panel long ways into a hoop as far out as you like (I like to keep mine about 6 ft high so I can walk into them w/o bending down) then place two t-posts on the opposite side so that it sits between the t-posts. attach the botton of the panels to the posts with whatever....I just use nylon zip ties. I repeat this process w/ three panels total average but have made bigger ones. With three panels all you have to do is buy a 16 ftx 20 ft tarp, drape over the cattle panels and zip tie the tarp to the panels. It works like a champ. Straw pack it and you can put anykind of livestock in it you want.

    We live in Ohio so we don't get as much snow as you but we do get some and they do fine in the winter. The snow will just fall right off the sides and any drifts on the sides will just act like insulation. If you have anymore questions I would be happy to help.

    I have a website but no good pics of the hoop houses on the outside. If you go to my pictures page I do have at least one good pic with one of my does inside which would give you a good idea of how big the inside is. I have other little tricks too with hayfeeders and such.

    WWW.BIGSKYBOERGOATS.COM

    God Bless you and I'll keep your family in my prayers in hopes that your husband and you can find some middle ground.

    Jason
     
  6. SRSLADE

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Location:
    VERMONT
    Just a thought. Why don't you and the boys take a few 2x4's and stand them up tight to the framing on the roof and the floor or ground. Do this in the middle of the building as best you can. When you can, put a nail at the top into the framing to hold them.It's not the roofing you have it's the framing thats important.Scatter them around in the middle as best you can out of the way. It would be best if you get a tight fit under the roof framing and not just nailed on the side.Or use small trees or what ever you have.If all you have are some boards about 6 to 8 inches wide use them.Wish i could be more helpfull but i can't just pop in for the afternoon. Steve