Gettin' in over our head.....

thunderdome

Member
This is one of the most interesting threads I have ever read on here. It is very informative and great to have gone through the process of getting started goat farming and building a barn. jwstewar those are some great looking animals. I have had a goat or two back in the years and after reading your thread sure would like to have some more. Better half says I don't need any more projects as I have too many now. Also a very good looking barn. Thanks for sharing your endeavors with all here on NTT. :wave:
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Sounds really busy there and for the most part, pretty good.

Skylar got pregnant from multiple bucks?
 

jwstewar

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Sounds really busy there and for the most part, pretty good.

Skylar got pregnant from multiple bucks?
Yep, she was pregnant by both Nite and Max. While it not rare, it is kind of uncommon for them to get pregnant by two bucks at the same time. We ended up selling all 3 of the does to a family in West Virginia. Made pretty decent money on them - at least enough to pay for Skylar's food and treatment for the year.:blob_blue:

Breeding season has started again and almost over for the Boers. Still have one that hasn't really come into heat. It has been a weird year. Does not coming into heat and bucks not going into rut. Seems to have been way later than normal. Ideally we would want our Boers bred mid-August. Our earliest was bred late August and have been struggling the whole month of September to get the others bred - including some for other folks. We've started breeding some of the dairy, but not all have been bred yet. I think we are supposed to take one over to London, OH to be bred this weekend. Going to AI a few this week too.

I'm going to try to go out today and get some pictures of all of the girls and our 3 bucks. You won't believe how much the red buck that was in one of the other pictures at how much he has grown. He is now pushing about 280 lbs. We also we to Iowa back in July and picked up another Boer buck:gotsmoney:. He just turned a year old in August and is about 220-230, but man he is an ass. If you aren't careful around him he will ram you or wrap his horns around your legs and try to twist. If he doesn't straighten up, we might get some genetics out of him and send him down the road. We are supposed to "collect" both of these bucks later this month, so if we do that, we can still "use" him.:whistling:

I finally got the lights wired in the barn and have almost all of them up. Still need to pick up 3 more lights. It is nice now though having switches at all of the doors to turn lights on and off. It was a pain having to go to an extension cord to turn lights on and off. First time wiring up a 4-way switch, that took me a little bit of head scratchin' but I finally got it - especially once I removed the thing on the inside of the weather proof cover that wouldn't let the switches completely go into position.:bonk: Still need to do the outlet wiring, might do some of that this weekend.

We also ended up put a large stall in the barn that allows us to be in the barn and keep the goats contained and out of the food and everything. Sure has made it much nicer.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
I forgot to post some results, we did very well at shows this year. We had Grand Champion Lamancha and Reserve Grand Champion Lamancha at the State fair in the youth show. We also had Reserve Grand Champion Lamancha in the Open Show there. I also think we had Grange Champion Jr. Alpine and Jr. Lamancha as well. The Alpine that one is a little doe that was born in February and we had flown in from Oregon.

Then at the local county fair, we had Reserve Grand Champion Dairy and a few others, but the one that really shocked me, we took Grand Champion Meat Breeding doe. We took our 3 year Boer Doe Callie. I told my daughter not to take her because I thought (and still do) we had nicer does in the barn. So I hope that speaks well for our program. Now, I market wethers didn't do so hot. They were over processed. We had literally the two largest wethers there. 110 lbs and 106 lbs. way too big. Should've been closer to 85. Some of that was genetics, some was lack of work by the kids, hopefully with our new bucks this year though, we have the genetics part remedied. But one of the wethers we sold, he took performance class champion. So that felt pretty good. He ended up selling for about $1100, so our buyer was super thrilled with him.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
I didn't get any pictures of the girls between the rain and getting distracted by 50 other things, but I did get some pictures of the bachelors and their bachelor pad. First picture is of Crown Royal, we call him Crown. He is the little guy we went out to Iowa to pick up back in the first part of July. He just turned a year old. You can see little Max there in the background. Second and third pics are of Max inside the barn with Crown in the food bowl.

Ignore the crappy fence they are in. That is on the agenda for next spring, build them a new fence.
 

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jwstewar

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First good news, I've finally finished the wiring in the barn. Everything in PVC conduit. Basically 3 circuits for outlets, each being 20 amp w/ 12/2 wiring. One circuit per wall and an outlet on every pole. I'll get some pics later, but on the West wall close to the breaker box there is a 20 amp switch for each circuit and a GFCI outlet just after the switch. And then from there going to the appropriate wall. Most of the outlets are high enough that we can reach, but the goats can't. These will be for heat lamps and such. Then on the outside of each stall there is another outlet. These will be used for their heated buckets since they have a fairly short cord. These seem to be working well for location. We basically have to empty/rinse the buckets and then hang them back up. I then have a 15' hose that we can fill them back up without having to carry them. Much nicer than how we had to carry them through the goats last year. The heated 5 gallon buckets are so heavy when full.

Now, the bad news, it has been a rough couple of weeks here on the farm. We have goats, yes, they are livestock, but since they are shown, they are worked with a lot more and become more like pets. So that being said, it started on Nov. 16th. We had a Nubian doe that was hurt when we got her. She had a hurt leg. We had it x-rayed and ultrasounded. Nothing broke, but it was tendon damage. It would either heal on its own or it wouldn't. Kept waiting on it to heal and it didn't - and it kept getting worse....and putting her in pain. We made the decision to put her down - but since otherwise she was healthy, she was butchered. I actually sold her to a co-worker of mine. At least she isn't in pain any more and she paid for her food bill.


Then we have Skylar. Skylar was a little Pygmy that we got when she was about a week old. The folks lied to us on how old she was, she shouldn't have been sold at that age and expected to be on normal food. She got sick and lost weight. She went clear down to 3 pounds. Monica (my wife) ended up nursing her back to health and she ended being the farm pest. She may have only weighed 60 pounds or so, but she would give the rest of them a run for the money. This year our fair started allowing Pygmy goats at the fair. So we let another girl show her (Skylar never left our farm until the day of the fair). Skylar got stressed at the fair, we even put one of our other goats with her to keep her company. Monica kept working with Skylar since the fair, but just couldn't get her back right. Even working with a vet friend of ours, and things just kept getting progressively worse until finally on the 18th, she passed.


Then the real shocker. Saturday night Ally (my oldest daughter) and I fed the animals. Everyone was good. Yesterday morning we go out, I'm starting to feed the bucks and the chickens. I then hear a wicked scream...you know the scream that something isn't right. She yells "Juno is dead" I immediately drop the egg basket and start running. I yell at Keagan and I hurry up and call Monica. Juno was Keagan's baby. That was the first goat that he purchased with his own money, she was the one that got us started raising LaManchas. She was Keagan's buddy and his Showmanship goat. They made a great team together. From everything we can gather, she was fine eating last night, it looks like when she was eating her nightly hay, she got chocked on something, a stick or something in the hay and she chocked to death. Poor thing, she was so pretty and such a nice goat both physically and personality. We were so looking forward to this year as the folks that sold her to us said that line really blossomed at 3 years old. She would be 3 in March. She was due to kid February 25th with at least 2 kids, so we ended up losing 3 goats in one shot here. The only good thing is, she gave us two nice does this past spring, one that looks just like her, but we won't know if she has as nice of an udder until spring of 2017 as we didn't breed her this year, wanting to give her a bit more time to grow. Though we do plan on breeding the other one as soon as she goes into heat. This is even more important now that we lost Juno.

I'm really starting to hate Thanksgiving as it was last Thanksgiving that we found our then Boer Herdsire down. We ended up losing him about December 15th.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
Oh, and to follow up on my Oct. 2nd thread. Crown is officially for sale. He has hit Monica and myself too many times. He had Monica pinned in a corner last Tuesday and wouldn't let her out. Then yesterday he had me pinned in a corner and wouldn't let me out. I had to call for help for Monica and the kids to come help me as he had me up against the wall trying to ram me and wouldn't stop. We had him collected, so we have 67 straws of him sitting in the tank. He is a very nice buck, but not the right temperament for how we work with our animals. So he is going to find a new home, hopefully soon. We are asking $3000 and he is worth every bit of that. Christmas time is just a bad time to try to sell, but maybe someone someone looking to breed for late spring/early summer babies. We will still have the red buck that was posted in the pictures above. I think he is just as nice structurally and personality wise no comparison. He just loves attention and never tries to hurt us. He wants you to pet him and play with him - and to leave his horns and feet alone. He gives us a little bit of grief then, but we will figure something out for that. We will find another nice buckling that we can raise so that his personality will fit with how our farm works with and treats our animals. We are much more hands on than a lot of other farms.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
OK guys, looking for a little bit of advice. We started to pour some concrete for the milk room, storage area, and then a feed storage area while we were on Christmas break. But we got a ton of rain and left everything muddy to the point that there was no way I could get a truck in. Now, I'm thinking that was a good thing because I'm questioning my design.

We have a pole barn, so no footings or anything and the poles were not set in concrete. The skirt board was set above ground - in some spots 36" above the ground:wow: So what I've done is where we are going to put the milk room and storage area, we've leveled the ground and packed it down (what the goats hadn't already packed tight) and then I was just going to pour a slab. I was going to put down 6 mil plastic and then 1 1/2" Styrofoam. Then I was going to pour 4" of concrete with fiber. Then on top of this I was going to build the walls for the 2 rooms. Will this be an issue since it will be "separate" from the barn itself other than touching the skirt board? If it is an issue, what can I do to alleviate the issue? Do I need to poor a footer for the walls and then pour the slab?
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
No picture so I'm imaging it in my head.

You're going to pour the concrete in an area that will then be framed into 2 different rooms, correct?

The walls won't be load-bearing (as far as I know), so you can just frame them in and run Tapcon's into the concrete. No problem there and no footer needed.

What I'm not mentally seeing is the area around where you're going to pour the crete. You'll need to make sure whatever is at ground level holding your crete in is pinned in strongly to avoid bowing when you pour.

My general mental concerns not seeing the whole thing.
You didn't mention floor drains. You may want some, especially in the milk room for cleaning.

You're in a freezing environment. How much does your building move up and down in the winter?
Around your posts, I'd install expansion joint between the post and the concrete. This will help negate heaving issues between the crete and the posts.

You didn't mention any joints in the crete. You only get 2 guarantees with concrete. 1) It will get hard. 2) It will eventually crack. You'll want joints established so you can control where the cracks occur. You can do it when pouring using a groover (like you see in sidewalks), use a product like Zip Strip (my favorite for indoor flooring if you're going with a relatively smooth finish) or use a saw and cut them in after the concrete dries.

You mentioned tamping, plastic and insulation. You didn't mention stone. I'd put at least 4" of stone under that concrete. Without it, ground freeze pushing up doesn't have an adequate buffer so it'll crack your concrete.

Assuming these non-load bearing walls are going to the rafters, consider the movement of the whole building in the winter where the concrete and posts would likely move at different amounts. If the concrete lifts 1" and the posts lift 2", doors and such may not open.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
No picture so I'm imaging it in my head.

You're going to pour the concrete in an area that will then be framed into 2 different rooms, correct?

The walls won't be load-bearing (as far as I know), so you can just frame them in and run Tapcon's into the concrete. No problem there and no footer needed.

What I'm not mentally seeing is the area around where you're going to pour the crete. You'll need to make sure whatever is at ground level holding your crete in is pinned in strongly to avoid bowing when you pour.

My general mental concerns not seeing the whole thing.
You didn't mention floor drains. You may want some, especially in the milk room for cleaning.

You're in a freezing environment. How much does your building move up and down in the winter?
Around your posts, I'd install expansion joint between the post and the concrete. This will help negate heaving issues between the crete and the posts.

You didn't mention any joints in the crete. You only get 2 guarantees with concrete. 1) It will get hard. 2) It will eventually crack. You'll want joints established so you can control where the cracks occur. You can do it when pouring using a groover (like you see in sidewalks), use a product like Zip Strip (my favorite for indoor flooring if you're going with a relatively smooth finish) or use a saw and cut them in after the concrete dries.

You mentioned tamping, plastic and insulation. You didn't mention stone. I'd put at least 4" of stone under that concrete. Without it, ground freeze pushing up doesn't have an adequate buffer so it'll crack your concrete.

Assuming these non-load bearing walls are going to the rafters, consider the movement of the whole building in the winter where the concrete and posts would likely move at different amounts. If the concrete lifts 1" and the posts lift 2", doors and such may not open.
I've formed the area where the crete is going to go, just need to add some supports to it to keep it from bowing - well, once the weather changed our plans, we took a couple of the forms back down. They were where I wanted them and level, just had to stake them in with some pins.

Already have a floor drain in where the milk room will be. It runs to a 55 gallon drum I buried in the ground with a some gravel in it.

These will be non-load bearing walls. I have one of those gun-powder actuated nailers that I was going to shoot nails into the concrete after 10 days or so of curing. I did that in the basement when I finished it and it worked OK. No issues down there.

Since this the milk room is going to be 12x14 with a 2x2 section cut out of the one corner (need to be able to get the tractor through) I was going to use my concrete cut tool like you would use on a sidewalk without pushing too deep and forming a lip. I had planned on dividing the room into quadrants running to the floor drain in the center. Then the storage area is 8x8, I was just going to bisect it once - along with a line right at the edge of the wall for the milk room.

The freeze and thaw rates are what my concerns are. I'm afraid that if I run the walls clear to the trusses, that something could raise/lower at different rates and cause issues. So at least I'm not totally crazy with my concerns.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
Your answers addressed my concerns and now we're at this one:
The freeze and thaw rates are what my concerns are. I'm afraid that if I run the walls clear to the trusses, that something could raise/lower at different rates and cause issues. So at least I'm not totally crazy with my concerns.
We're on the same page of your posts (and therefore trusses) can move different distances than the concrete itself. Next time, if there is one, please consider concrete around the posts as that will negate 99% of this issue.

I'd build the walls to attach to the concrete. When you get to the trusses, don't attach the walls directly but allow them to slip past them. For this approach, do a google search for "truss uplift" (for the issue) or "truss uplift brackets" (for the hardware to address the issue). When you finish the walls, consider using something that will give-way for the top couple inches or until you've let it run a couple winter cycles to see how much uplift you have. (rubber, foam but you may need to replace if there's heavy heaving since it won't bounce back, strips of stall mats, plastic... whatever works for your level of "finishing")
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
Your answers addressed my concerns and now we're at this one:

We're on the same page of your posts (and therefore trusses) can move different distances than the concrete itself. Next time, if there is one, please consider concrete around the posts as that will negate 99% of this issue.

I'd build the walls to attach to the concrete. When you get to the trusses, don't attach the walls directly but allow them to slip past them. For this approach, do a google search for "truss uplift" (for the issue) or "truss uplift brackets" (for the hardware to address the issue). When you finish the walls, consider using something that will give-way for the top couple inches or until you've let it run a couple winter cycles to see how much uplift you have. (rubber, foam but you may need to replace if there's heavy heaving since it won't bounce back, strips of stall mats, plastic... whatever works for your level of "finishing")
I had asked the builder about concrete around the posts, he (Amish) said it wasn't necessary. I know the concrete can promote rot (at least according to some), but I would have felt better with a piece of rebar sticking through the bottom of the post and concrete poured around it. But I did what he recommended.

Thanks for your help Brian.
 

bczoom

Senior Member
Staff member
I've always heard that too about "rot" but to be honest, I've never seen it happen.

I always concrete my posts in. To make me feel better about the rot issue, at the top of the concrete around the post, I always crown it so the concrete is taller at the post than it is around the perimeter. Any water that comes in will then trickle away from the wood.

My dad had a pole building put in without concrete. That building heaves as much as 6" every winter. It has (3) 16x10' overhead garage doors as well as a man door and he has to leave them open all winter because if it heaves when they're closed, he can't open the doors. :( Sucks since he lives in the snow-belt just south of Buffalo NY.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
Wow, that is incredible. We have a 12'x12' and 2 4'x8' sliders and a 3' man door. Haven't had any issues with any of them opening or closing except when the goats drop too much poop and straw in front of the 4' :shitHitsFan: and it freezes. :blob_blue: No problems with the man door at all. First year it got pretty cold and I didn't have the interior completely filled with dirt yet. Last year we were below zero several nights and it was then completely filled and no issues then either. So hopefully it'll stay that way. I'm the one that drilled the holes and I got most of them down close to 40" and we have a 36" frost line, so maybe that is helping me somewhat.
 

jwstewar

Senior Member
Staff member
Well the concrete pour didn't happen - at least yet. We hit a really bad rainy season and then it got really cold and we keep getting snow and then thaw and then snow....no way to get a truck to the barn. Combine that with the fact that we are in full fledged kidding season now, I actually had to rebuild the one wall that we had taken down where some of the concrete was going to be poured because we needed stall space - still have ran out of stalls, but any way. So far we have 20 babies on the ground (lost 5 others to various circumstances, worst part is they were all bucks to be 4-H wether products so that cost us almost $1500), but we are pretty happy so far. Still have 4 more Boers and maybe 5 or 6 dairy to go yet. Might also have one Boer bred for May babies, but we haven't ultrasounded or blood tested her yet to know for sure, it was too early when we did the others so she just may be a wait and see.

Really happy, Monica called me a little while ago, my favorite LaMancha had just kidded and gave us 2 does. Then she called me back to say, she didn't think she was done. So I've been watching the barn cams to see if coud see any more coming.
 
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