Calf, Sheep, Chicks, and Goats, Oh My!

The children have all begun their 4H projects now, Cassidy's calf and Brennan's chicks all arrived on the same day. So, here in Windy Woods we now have a calf, sheep, chicks, laying hens and goats.

milking assistant corwin

Corwin helping me milk Bella

I've avoided talking about their projects because I want them to be able to post about them, and me to not have posted any spoilers.  I do still want to keep it so that they get to tell the stories and adventures of their projects.

That said, Windy Woods is really beginning to look more like a farm these days.  And, I can talk about what I've done to accommodate the additions.

I purchased six more cattle panels, ten 6′ t-posts, twelve 21″ s-hook straps and two 5′ x 8′ tarps.

I bent and staked (using four t-posts) one of the cattle panels in front of the old deer blind we use as a shelter.  I had intended that this alone would be their shelter, as it's easier to move, however, it's just not wide enough for them to actually be sheltered.  This was proven the very day I set it up by a total downpour.

E6uns3Wqo44wPKTN.jpgI had already decided that it alone would not work, so they did have shelter during the deluge, no worries there.  It makes a nice “front porch” awning for the goats and sheep.

nrFcbCBRvjohN6wB.jpgI used four of the cattle panels to quadruple the size of the pen we use.  I anticipated we would want a bigger area for the calf to roam in with the goats, sheep and dog.  At this time, the steer is not in the pasture with everyone else, however.  That's a story I hope Cassidy will write soon.  Quite an adventure, but not my story to tell.

MB1xxZ3wfEwCvEhX.jpgSuffice it to say, for the time being, the goats, sheep, kids and dog are enjoying the change from a 64 sq. ft. pen to a 256 sq. ft. pen, the calf is confined to the winter housing in the pole barn.

I'm hopeful that the process of moving their expanded pen will get a little easier with practice.  We had gotten it down to about ten to fifteen minutes moving the 8′ x 8′ pen.  First time setting it up as a 16′ x 16′ pen took closer to an hour.  What gives me hope is that it used to take thirty to forty-five minutes to move the 8′ x 8′.

One thing that's really nice though is the goats and sheep prefer to stay grouped as a flock, so we can pretty much let them wander around the yard as we're moving things, just keeping an eye out to make sure they stay far away from our garden.

 

Scott Burgess

About the Author

Scott Burgess

Husband, father, Database Admin, Query Ninja, Excel Trainer, Word Pro, Computer Programmer, Customer Happiness Consultant, Farmer, Carpenter, but definitely not handy.

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