Something that may come in handy...

Discussion in 'Goats' started by ozark_jewels, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Right now we are battling mud and puddles and rain like you wouldn't believe...well, maybe you would!
    I've been coming up with ways to keep the goats out of the water and puddles that are everywhere now. My bigger barns are ok and dry, but my calf huts with young goats and my small Boer shed tend to get water running through them during downpours. The best thing I've come up with yet are pallets. Our feedstore sets aside any pallet with a cracked/missing/broken board. I go into town and pick them up by the truckload. I take them home and put them inside the calf huts on the ground. Two pallets fit just about perfectly in each hut. Then I throw a bale of straw inside each hut on top of the pallets. I don't fluff it up, I just spread out the flakes in the back half of the hut. If I fluff or spread toward the front, the kids tend to drag most of it outside. The kids work it down in the slats of the pallet by stepping and sleeping on it, and any water during floods can run right under the pallet yet the goats all stay dry. This works really well. I used it all summer as well, but it has just shown how good it is this wet winter.
    So if your needing a quick shelter, but are unsure how to keep the goats off the wet ground, you might try pallets under your straw.
    I also did this with the small Boer doe shed. I used 6 pallets spread out to fill the shed, then spread four bales of straw on top. Boy are they warm and dry. :)
    I also keep my new kids in these calf huts with pallets and straw. Keeps the kids off the damp ground, warm and cozy.
    Just thought this might help if you hadn't thought of it already. :)
     
  2. lvshrs

    lvshrs Well-Known Member

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    Great Idea! I love it! Adding it to my binder of helpful ideas for when I get my place.....someday...
     

  3. dap

    dap lilsparrow

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    I've been using the pallets outside in the high traffic areas that are really muddy, but hadn't thought of using them where I have a run off problem into the shed. Hubby just channeled the water away for the little critters, but I really like the pallet idea. That channel isn't going to last long with all the oak leaves that keep damming it up! Great idea, ozark jewel! Thanks! :dance:
     
  4. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, let me get this right. You don't fill in the spaces between the slats? I'd worry that they would break a leg horsing around with each other, but maybe our goats are just more klutsy! Anything that will help keep them off the wet ground will help! Jan in Co
     
  5. dap

    dap lilsparrow

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    The ones I have outside we covered with old lumber, cheap plywood, whatever was laying around. But it sounds to me like it would work if you put a whole bale of straw in over it. Its going to fall down into the spaces in between. :shrug:
     
  6. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is why I put an entire bale of straw spread on top of the pallet to start with. The kids/goats climb on the straw pushing it down and filling the slits between the slats. It crams in there tightly and then I just add a couple flakes of straw as needed to hold off the dampness. No problems with legs being caught, because their are no slits left to catch in. :)
     
  7. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I love pallets. 4" of air flowing right under them. Great idea!
    How do you clean them or how often?
     
  8. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just tip the calf huts over and pitchfork all the bedding off. When I get down to the pallet, I simply let it air for a couple days and then use it again. If its been used past its usefullness, I simply burn it and get another. The pallets are usually good for 8 months to a year unless it is *very* wet.
     
  9. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    I have been using pallets for awhile now, but I ALWAYS put a piece of plywood on top of it. My goats would bread a leg way before they were able to pack the slatts.
     
  10. Avalon Acres

    Avalon Acres Well-Known Member

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    We use pallets in the barn with slats repositioned so cracks are only large enough for goat berries to fall through. We pick up old bed frames at the dumpster and put pallets on bedframes 10 inches +/- above floor. Goats love being off ground and can look out barn windows. Just watch for cracks that could catch a leg. Rake out straw every week and replace or sift and use somewhere else.
     
  11. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Or, if this rain keeps up, we can build a raft!!

    Emily, we've beeen getting deluges of rain in waves over here in Oregon County, Missouri. Are you below the freeze line?

    Our goats are in their straw filled little house, only sticking their noses out to bleat when they hear me coming with the dinner bucket of alfalfa pellets. Come out in the rain? No way, Jose'.

    Rose
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Whatever works for you. :) This would seem to negate one of the biggest pluses for me about using pallets, and that is that with slats filled with straw, the urine flows on down between the slats and sinks into the ground....with a piece of plywood, the urine just sits there under the straw.

    As for breaking a leg before the slats get stuffed with straw....that is why I layer the straw on so thick. The goats go in to check it out, they step on the straw which forces it between the cracks, and within 10 minutes the slats are filled. So its hardly a risk if you put enough straw down.
     
  13. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have been getting tons of rain, but the only ice we got was lastnight and then only a thin layer over everything. It was enough to make our footsteps crackle during chores but no real inconvenience. Springfield now...they got some ICE!! :help: