I do have to note that walking down a wooden ramp covered in frost while wearing mud-slicked shoes is, in fact, a candidate for Stupid Farm Videos. My right hip is sore this morning. However, I lost surprisingly few dignity points for that event because the grain bucket did not spill nor did I land in mud/crud/water bucket. Conclusion: we need to put on a few 1x2's for traction.
CK and I hung fence across the right side of the goat barn, flush with the front wall straight out towards the blacksmith shop. CK took his ripsaw to the side of the right stall, and cut a 4x6-foot chunk out of the wall. He turned that slice into a ramp that lead into the right side of the right stall. We then hung 2 12-foot-long 2x4's inside the right stall, front to back, and attached fence to those boards. This effectively cuts the right stall into two: one stall is entered from the front, and one from the new side ramp. The right-center stall is still the easiest to enter and exit, because the entrance is 6-feet across and opens into the entire stall. The right-side stall is a bit more awkward to enter, because the opening is somewhat smaller and the ramp forces traffic to line up, so to speak.
The new animal divisions for the fields/stalls are as follows:
- Left stall (still a 12x12-foot square) contains Jared, Sancho, Crystal, Dot and Splotch -- 5 large adult animals.
- Right center stall (now 12x6 feet) contains Goldie, Jessie, Sashimi, Summer and Aerin -- 3 adults of moderate size, one small adult, and one kid.
- Right side stall (now 12x6 feet) contains Curley, Loki, Brain and Jacob -- 2 goat kids, 1 medium sized almost-yearling sheep, and one lamb.
Despite our discussions about modifications, nothing had been urgent until Saturday. This sudden spurt of remodeling was precipitated by Loki's eviction from the "small" group (Summer, etc) when I caught him trying to mount Aerin. I guess our little boy is growing up. I just hope he hasn't had a successful time with Summer-goat yet.
When kidding actually happens, there will be a redistribution of animals, to give the new mothers all the space and place they need.
- New moms and kids will get right-center stall, which has the most advantages. It is warmest, easiest to walk in and out of (and easiest to gate closed), and has the best light for us poor humans to help them out if they need it.
- Moms-to-be and Summer and Aerin will get right-side stall, which has just as good light in case of surprises, but has a slightly less easy entrance and cannot be gated closed [yet].
- All others will be in the left stall.
So that comes down to:
- Left stall: Jared, Sancho, Dot, Splotch, Brain, Jacob, Curley, Loki (four goats, four sheep)
- Right center/side (as necessary): Crystal, Goldie, Jessie, Sashimi
- Right side: Summer, Aerin