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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Rain the day before shearing, and keeping the boys dry 
17th-May-2016 10:34 am
Smell
In the past three weeks, we got eighteen straight days that have contained some measurable form of rain, one day with mostly not-rain, and then one actually clear day yesterday. It is now raining, again. It is supposed to rain until tomorrow, noon-ish.

We are supposed to shear the goats tomorrow afternoon.

The girls have a nice big two-stall horse barn with gates across each door. (One of the gates is actually a trapezoid of fencing and a little gate, which pushes into the stall a little bit and gives Hercules a spot out of the rain where he is still free to roam outside if he wishes.)

The boys, on the other hand, have a run-in shed that would keep them all dry if they didn't get political about it. Which they do, pushing the little boys out into the open at every opportunity. Also, the run-in does not have gates across the stall sections anymore. It has open-air fenced runways with gates at the bottoms of those little corrals.

Last night, I moved the covered hayrick to the bottom of one of the ramps and put a tarp from the doorway down and across the hayrick, and pushed all of the boys into that side of the runways. It appeared to be a 95% solution, in that if the goats *tried* to get wet, they could do it down at the runway gate where the rain is blowing in.

The rain started this morning, and the boys seemed fine when I fed them. However, I was concerned about the rain pooling into the tarp. I just checked on them, and discovered that the tarp had bowed down in the middle, full of water. And in trying to remove the water, I ripped the tarp completely off of the clips against the barn. GRAH. The tarp came crashing down, dumping water everywhere except on the boys. Most of the boys crammed into the shed to get away from the noisy blue thing, while Scout and Pan retreated under the covered hayrick. Good boys. Stay dry while I figure this out.

The basic problem was that the tarp needed higher support in the middle. For some fortunate reason, my brain was working this morning, and I solved the problem rather quickly. I took the tarp down completely, rotated it 180 so that non-torn-brads were against the barn and could be clipped back up, put a piece of leftover metal roofing from the hay barn across the fencetops between the barn and the hayrick to support the middle of the tarp, reattached the tarp with one downhill corner very low and one uphill corner (against the barn) very high, and stood there watching the water fall and drain until I was satisfied it wouldn't pool high enough to tear the tarp again.

I'm soaked. But the boy goats aren't. Crossing my fingers for them to stay calm and dry.
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