Use what you have, keep what is usable. Good words for a homesteader to live by. The goats arrived last weekend. Their pen was set up, but I hadn't been able to build their shelter. I wasn't too worried because they had HEAVY brush to dodge rain. Of course, the second night they were home, while we were coming home from the fair we got nailed with HEAVY Hail when we were about one mile from home. Both Amy and my first thoughts went to the goats. We were worried about them. If we hadn't of been worried about them, we probably would have pulled over and waited it out to be safe, but we drove through it... fast. As we pulled up the Hill to the driveway at Oso Lago, we noticed that there wasn't any hail up here on the Hill... Wow! Praise God!, but it was raining heavily so we rushed back to the pen. We grabbed a tarp from the garage. When we arrived at the pen the goats were staying dry in the brush. (You can see how thick it is in this pic) But we spread the tarp across a corner and proceeded to weight it down. And of course it had been raining almost every day for 3 weeks, at least for a little while, so I knew I had to get them a permanent little shed built. Now if you've read any of my posts here or on The Modern Homestead, then you know that I like to use what's on hand. Use What You Have, and Keep What is Usable. (Let me take a moment to digress here, if you are like one of those people on "Clean House" who can't walk through your house because of the garbage... DON'T take this too much to heart. You HAVE to sell things, give them away and yes, even salvage/recycle them sometimes... so don't become a pack rat. I'll write more about that later.) Back to the goat shed though. I used 6 2x4's and two pieces of old roofing tin to build the goat shed. It created a shed that was 4x4 and 4' tall in the front and 3.5' tall in the back to slope the roof. You ask why did you build it that size? My answer is because it's plenty big enough for the 2 goats we have and it utilized the least amount of lumber for the most room. 4' is a good measurement because you get two lengths of wood out of an 8 foot 2x4. It might have ended up a different size if I had different lumber, but a homesteader should always Use What You Have, and Keep What is Usable (are you getting the idea that this is important?). It was pretty basic, cut the lengths to 48", build a box (yes technically this will mean your goat shed will be 51 x 48 because a 2x4 is actually 1.5 inches thick by 3.5 inches wide. ) Then you put two more 48" uprights in the front, 2 of the 42" uprights in the rear and then slope your next top "box" for the roof. I used a sawzall to cut off the top's of the upright that stuck through. Then I cut the roofing to 5 feet (allowing 6 inches over hand on each side). It only took two sections to do the roof with about 8 inches overlapping in the center. (You can use a 2x2 or another piece of 2x4 for a center nailer on the roof if you need too. I did just because I wanted the overlap married together along the seam.) I used a drill bit to drill pilot holes through the metal roofing (it's actually really easy and fast, so don't be discouraged). Then I used 1.5" deck screws (the kind with the coating for exterior use) to fasten one side one. Then I used the sawzall to cut that to length. I then fastened the back side, then cut it and the the last side and cut it. Use ear protection because the roofing is LOUD when being cut with the sawzall. I will go back before winter and cut the peak for the sides... If I think they need it. I will probably put a partial front on it at that time too. Voila plenty big enough for two goats or 4 kids. Again I threw it on the trailer (a handy little tool) and used my free tractor to move it back to the pen. As you can see the goats have really eaten down the foliage in their pen. This is actually exactly why we placed them where we did and why a nice, small, movable goat shed will go along nicely with our movable goat pen. So, don't let all those plans that you pay $5.00, $10.00 or even $20.00 dollars for, scare you with their build lists. Use what you have (or what you can get) and remember to use lengths that make the best use of your lumber. You can do it!
DIY cheap critter shelter / shed
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Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:21 PM