Chris and Keri’s Blog

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Goat Barn - Finished

by chris - November 27th, 2009

We finished up the goat barn last weekend, here are a few photos of it.

Here Im just getting started priming the building. I used an airless sprayer but also went over it with a roller to push the paint into the heavily textured siding. It was much more tedious than painting normal house siding, but still faster than painting by hand.

Here I'm just getting started priming the building. I used an airless sprayer but also went over it with a roller to push the paint into the heavily textured siding. It was much more tedious than painting normal house siding, but still faster than painting by hand.

I did the rest of the painting on a day Keri had to to work so no more progress photos, but heres the finished result. We did a choclate brown color for the body and a tan for the trim. It ended up using almost twice the paint we expected it would. Were really happy with how it turned out though.

I did the rest of the painting on a day Keri had to to work so no more progress photos, but here's the finished result. We did a chocolate brown color for the body and a tan for the trim. It ended up using almost twice the paint we expected it would. We're really happy with how it turned out though.

Heres the other side. The two windows on this side are double casement windows (from the ReStore, of course) so in the summer they can be opened for ventiliation. Theyll eventually be painted tan to match. The section with the bare OSB will be a 6 foot sliding door when I get around to building and hanging the door. We just closed it off temporarilly so we could get the goats in for now. In the background you can see their temporary shelter I made using the cement forms from the radio tower foundation.

Here's the other side. The two windows on this side are double casement windows (from the ReStore, of course) so in the summer they can be opened for ventiliation. They'll eventually be painted tan to match. The section with the bare OSB will be a 6 foot sliding door when I get around to building and hanging the door. We just closed it off temporarilly so we could get the goats in for now. In the background you can see their temporary shelter I made using the cement forms from the radio tower foundation.

Heres a picture of the inside. On the left you can see the hay feeder and the opening that gives them access to the pen. On the right you can see the three blue plastic feed bins we put their food in and the white PVC thing is feeder for their mineral supplement.

Here's a picture of the inside. On the left you can see the hay feeder and the opening that gives them access to the pen. On the right you can see the three blue plastic feed bins we put their food in and the white PVC thing is feeder for their mineral supplement.

The three ladies were watching us intently through the goat door as we got the barn ready. Always curious to see whats going on.

The three ladies were watching us intently through the goat door as we got the barn ready. Always curious to see what's going on.

Random Pictures

by chris - November 27th, 2009

Here’s a few random pictures from the past few weeks:

A couple weekends ago we took advantage of the unseasonally warm weather to get the gutters cleaned out and put up the christmas lights on the roof. Well be putting up some more decorations soon, but we wanted to get these up before the roof got snowy. Without the leaves on the trees the area around the house feels a lot more open than in the summer.

A couple weekends ago we took advantage of the unseasonally warm weather to get the gutters cleaned out and put up the christmas lights on the roof. We'll be putting up some more decorations soon, but we wanted to get these up before the roof got snowy. Without the leaves on the trees the area around the house feels a lot more open than in the summer.

Weve been overrun with eggs the past few months so Keri made up a sign advertising them for sale locally. Weve chosen the name Fabien Farms for our place, Farms is plural just cause it sounded better.

We've been overrun with eggs the past few months so Keri made up a sign advertising them for sale locally. We've chosen the name "Fabien Farms" for our place, Farms is plural just cause it sounded better.

Heres a shot of my current firewood situation. Its not enough to last through the winter. Weve been so busy trying to get the goat barn finished up before winter that we havent cut much wood all autumn. I do have about 5 trees down that just need to be cut up, though. What you see here is mostly pine and some ash.

Here's a shot of my current firewood situation. It's not enough to last through the winter. We've been so busy trying to get the goat barn finished up before winter that we haven't cut much wood all autumn. I do have about 5 trees down that just need to be cut up, though. What you see here is mostly pine and some ash. Somehow, one of my stacks fell over a few weeks ago. I guess it wasn't supported well enough underneath.

Goat Barn - Part 3 - Siding

by chris - November 8th, 2009

This weekend we got most of the siding on the barn. The last side is a little bit more complicated since it’s where the man door goes and I haven’t completely figured out how to frame that yet. We’re using a used door we got from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore so I have to build a jamb and hang the door before we put siding on. Here’s some pictures:

This picture shows the wall construction. First, horizontal 2x4 girts are nailed up onto the posts every 2 feet. Then, the T1-11 plywood siding is screwed into the girts.

This picture shows the wall construction. First, horizontal 2x4 "girts" are nailed up onto the posts every 2 feet. Then, the T1-11 plywood siding is screwed into the girts.

Here weve got the siding done on the short side of the goat barn. This is the side that faces the garden and the main barn. The hole on the right will eventually be covered by a sliding wood door.

Now we've got the siding done on the short side of the goat barn. This is the side that faces the garden and the main barn. The hole on the right will eventually be covered by a sliding wood door. In the center of the wall there will be a 20"x60" fixed window mounted horizontally which should let in a ton of light since it's on the south side.

Here I am fastening the second last sheet of siding on the tall side of the barn. Since the siding comes in 4x8 foot sheets, there is a seam about 8 feet off the ground. To keep the building waterproof and protect the siding, I installed metal Z flashing between the lower and upper sheets, and also pre-primed the edges of the siding that touch the flashing. Once the whole barn is painted, this shouldnt stand out quite so much.

Here I am fastening the second last sheet of siding on the tall side of the barn. Since the siding comes in 4x8 foot sheets, there is a seam about 8 feet off the ground. To keep the building waterproof and protect the siding, I installed metal "Z" flashing between the lower and upper sheets, this keeps the water from running into the joint and behind the lower sheet of siding. I also pre-primed the edges of the siding that touch the flashing to help seal up the wood. Once the whole barn is painted, this joint shouldn't stand out quite so much.

Here were finished with the siding on the east side of the barn. I used the same flashing method on this side. There will eventually be two windows on this side to let some light in the barn. The windows we also bought from the ReStore, the are used Andersen double casement windows, about 30x40. Pretty nice windows for a barn, actually.

Here we're finished with the siding on the east side of the barn. I used the same flashing method on this side. There will eventually be two windows on this side to let some light in the barn. The windows we also bought from the ReStore, the are used Andersen double casement windows, about 30"x40". Pretty nice windows for a barn, actually.

Goat Barn Part 2 - It’s under roof

by chris - November 5th, 2009

We’ve spent most of the last couple weekends working on the goat barn. Last weekend we got the roof installed and shingled. The next thing to do is install the girts on the walls and then install the siding. We’re going to use T1-11 plywood siding which is pretty common on utility buildings like this. Here are a few photos:

This shot shows the roof framing. I notched the posts to accept a 2x12 beam at the top. The 2x6 roof rafters rest on the beam and right now are just toenailed in place. Eventually I will install hurricane straps to keep the roof from lifting off in case of very strong winds.

This shot shows the roof framing. I notched the posts to accept a 2x12 beam at the top. The 2x6 roof rafters rest on the beam and right now are just toenailed in place. Eventually I will install hurricane straps to keep the roof from lifting off in case of very strong winds.

Here weve just finished installing the OSB sheathing. The tall side of the barn is about 15 feet of the ground which seems quite high standing next to it. The reason for this design is so we can add another mirrored half to the building later and double the width

Here we've just finished installing the OSB sheathing. The tall side of the barn is about 15 feet off the ground which seems quite high standing next to it. The reason for this design is so we can add another mirrored half to the building later and double the width.

Heres a shot of me and Keris sister Becky on the the roof with her Dad carrying us some shingles. It looked like this for most of the day on sunday. We went through 11 bundles of shingles and 5 lbs of roofing nails.

Here's a shot of us shingling the roof. It looked like this for most of the day on Sunday. We went through 11 bundles of shingles and 5 lbs of roofing nails.

And heres the result of our work. It was getting dark when we finished so I couldnt get a very good pic. We just used basic 3-tab black ashphalt singles. Nothing fancy, its a goat barn after all.

And here's the result of our work. It was getting dark when we finished so I couldn't get a very good pic. We just used basic 3-tab black asphalt singles. Nothing fancy, it's a goat barn after all.

Goat Barn - Part 1

by chris - October 18th, 2009

Keri and I started working on the goat barn today. We’re building a 12×18 barn for them so they have some shelter for the winter. Right now they just have a small lean-to that I cobbled together which isn’t enough protection for winter. The new building will be basic pole-barn style construction with a framed rafter roof (not trusses). It’s designed to be one half of a 24 foot wide building, so we can build the other half in the future if necessary. This weekend we got the building laid out, and got the four corner posts installed. Keri did a great job with the leveling and when we re-measured after getting everything braced, they were all as close to perfect as you could ask for. Here’s a picture showing today’s progress… more pics to come as we make more progress.

It might be hard to make out, but what you're looking at is the 4 corner posts and some temporary 2x4 bracing to hold them in place until the rest of the posts are installed. When it's complete, the gates will close agianst the side of the barn so half of it will be inside the goat pen, and half outside.

Installing Underground Utilities

by chris - October 18th, 2009

One of the jobs I’ve had on my list was to run water and electricity out to the barn and the surrounding area. Since we have a high water table here, I had to wait until late summer to do the job so the water table would be low enough. A few weeks ago I finally went ahead with the project. I ended up running about 700 feet of 1″ water line, installing 3 hydrants - one in the large barn, one out at the field, and one where the future goat barn will go. Then while I had the trench open, I also ran a 2″ electrical conduit so I can run power in the future. Here are some pictures of the job. It took the better part of a weekend, which was actually faster than I thought it would go.

I rented a Ditch Witch RT40 riding trencher to do the digging. Its a very capable machine and made quick work of the 4 foot deep trench. It cut right through all the tree roots in our woods no problem. Keri had no idea how large a machine I had rented, though I think her suspicions were raised when I mentioned it had to be delivered.

I rented a Ditch Witch RT40 riding trencher to do the digging. It's a very capable machine and made quick work of the 4 foot deep trench. It cut right through all the tree roots in our woods no problem. Keri had no idea how large a machine I had rented and was very surprised when the delivery truck pulled into the drive, though I think her suspicions were raised when I mentioned it had to be delivered.

The machine digs the trench using what looks like a huge chainsaw. It then spits the dirt out in a little pile on one side. It cut a very clean, straight trench. The machine is all hydraulic driven, so controlling it is just a series of levers. This model has a 40hp diesel engine so it didnt really bog down for much of anything. At one point it even pulled up a 16 diameter rock.

The machine digs the trench using what looks like a huge chainsaw. It then spits the dirt out in a little pile on one side. It cut a very clean, straight trench that was easy to lay pipe in. The machine is all hydraulic driven, so controlling it is just a series of levers. This model has a 40hp diesel engine so it didn't really bog down for much of anything. At one point it even pulled up a 16" diameter rock.

These are the frost free hydrants we installed. They have a valve buried below the frost line and drain the water out after they are shut off. This lets them operate year round without freezing up. I decided to go with ones made by Merrill Manufacturing (not Merrill, Mi where we live... theyre made in Iowa). Theyre one of two brands that I could find still made in the USA and the only one reasonably priced. They seem to be a quality product so hopefully they will give us years of trouble free service.

These are the frost free hydrants we installed. They have a valve buried below the frost line and drain the water out of the riser after they are shut off. This lets them operate year round without freezing up. I decided to go with ones made by Merrill Manufacturing (not Merrill, Mi where we live... they're made in Iowa). They're one of two brands that I could find still made in the USA and the only one that was reasonably priced. They seem to be a quality product so hopefully they will give us years of trouble free service.

Goats!

by Keri - October 18th, 2009

It’s been awhile since we put up pictures of the goats. Here is a picture that we took today of them, Peanut and Cocoa are taking a nap.

Nilla didn’t want to take a nap but she wanted to get in the way of my picture taking of the other goats!

Cocoa is about 7 months old now and Peanut and Nilla are 5 months old. We estimate that they are between 60-70 pounds right now.

Keri’s New Ride!

by Keri - October 18th, 2009

As of yesterday I have a new ride. We traded in the Saturn Vue which was a front wheel drive vehicle and did quite poorly on our not well maintained backroads during the wintertime . We purchased a 2009 Chevy Traverse all wheel drive, 7 passenger SUV. The outside color is Red Jewel Tintcoat and the interior is Ebony (fancy name for black). Chris and I are quite pleased with the new vehicle. The dealer had to go to Wisconsin to get this vehicle for us, but they are going to remove the front license plate bracket and make it appear as it was never there. We’re also getting heated seats installed on Tuesday of this week at that time they are going to fix the front license plate bracket and also two other items that they have to repair.

Goats in their new fenced pasture.

by Keri - August 12th, 2009

Well a few days ago we finally completed fencing in an area for the goats to get them out of our backyard! The new fenced area is approximately 100 x 75 feet. It provides a lot of area for them to both run and graze.

This is a picture of the goat hut that we built out of some wood we had left over from various projects. The goats dont seem to mind though that we recycled the materials.

This is a picture of the goat hut that we built out of some wood we had left over from various projects. The goats don't seem to mind though that we recycled the materials.

Here is a picture of the front of the fencing. We put a large 14 foot gate in so we would have access to pull the truck into their pasture area if needed. We also have a small gate about 4 feet that we use to enter and leave the pasture area.

Here is a picture of the front of the fencing. We put a large 14 foot gate in so we would have access to pull the truck into their pasture area if needed. We also have a small gate about 4 feet that we use to enter and leave the pasture area.

Close up picture inside the goat hut of the hay feeder that Chris made out of a piece of old cattle panel. He didnt measure it to see about a whole bale of hay fitting but sure enough it worked out. I love it when a plan comes together.

Close up picture inside the goat hut of the hay feeder that Chris made out of a piece of old cattle panel. He didn't measure it to see about a whole bale of hay fitting but sure enough it worked out. I love it when a plan comes together.

Cocoa playing queen of the stump. They all love jumping on and off all the stumps that are in their pen. Good exercise and it keeps their hooves ground down a bit.

Cocoa playing queen of the stump. They all love jumping on and off all the stumps that are in their pen. Good exercise and it keeps their hooves ground down a bit.

Nilla sitting with me. I swear she thinks that she is a lap goat. She appears to love having her picture taken.

Nilla sitting with me. I swear she thinks that she is a lap goat. She appears to love having her picture taken.

The goats seem to be adjusting just fine to their new area. They have been it for about a week now. The dogs are very glad to have their backyard back to run around in.

Two egg day today

by Keri - August 4th, 2009

Well we got our first egg on Friday, then one egg Saturday and one egg Sunday. No eggs yesterday. But today was our first two egg day! In the picture below the egg on the left I think is from a first time layer and the one on the right I do believe is from a second time layer because its a little bit bigger, probably about the size of a medium egg.

First two egg day today!

First two egg day today!