Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DIY Wood Pallet Goat Shelter

One of the great things about Brad working for a large local business  is they throw a LOT of great stuff away...like wood pallets. His dumpster diving has provided us with some excellent materials for homestead projects. A recent project for us was converting our kidding pen into a covered goat shelter for our growing herd.

We started with the basic walls we made this past Spring for our kidding pen.
Brad and our friend Don, reassembled the kidding pen in a newly fenced section of pasture. They then gathered some scrap pieces of lumber to make a gambrel type of rafters over the pen.

Once the rafters were secure, the exterior was covered in contractor grade white plastic. This works great as a wind barrier. You will notice that we also used a skid with hinges for the door.

We then covered the top and sides with a heavy tarp. We had the tarp tied down in this pic. Several weeks later, we had heavy wind gusts (in excess of 50mph) rip most of the tarp off. We used more pieces of scrap lumber to nail it down along the side edges. It has stood well for the past several storms.

This shelter is roughly 16 x 20 and was very easy to build. After we figured up the materials needed to build it, the cost was less then 40 dollars. Over half that was the cost of the green tarp.

This design would make an excellent green house, potting shed, chicken house, etc. If you reinforced the bottom frame, it could easily be placed on wheels/skids and used as a portable livestock shelter.

I have to say this pallet frame building  would also make a great temporary hunting camp or emergency shelter. I was very surprised how warm it was in the shelter once we had the tarp and wall plastic secure. I was much more comfortable in it then in our big 3 season camping tent.  We will definitely continue to build other shed buildings using this design.

I am really inspired by the construction creativity you can do with wood pallets. I've got all kinds of ideas starting to bubble up in my head...

Keep them pallets coming baby, keep them coming!

Bye Bye 2012

Wow...another year almost over. Glad to see it go. This past year provided a lot of challenges both financially and physically for us "50 Somethings" to tackle. All told, we survived and thrived regardless of the extra work 2012 presented us.

Since I have not posted in ages, I will just do a brief run down of our homestead happenings for 2012. This list won't be anywhere complete but, it will give you an idea of what we did here on our little patch at the end of the road. I need to scrounge and find the pics that fit with some of the work we did. Most likely, some of them will become future posts.

Garden seedlings and helping a friend in her greenhouse
Starting a new garden using the Back To Eden method (most excellent! Highly recommend)
Baby goats and milking
Brad installed a new pulley clothes line to our back porch. LOVE IT!
Pulling weeds and planning out the new garden

Started planting the garden in late April
Bought a young Kiko Billy for our goat breeding program. Named him Shofar since his horns look like...shofars.
Purchased 3 weanling Kiko doeling to breed to our Kiko buck
Bought an Applachian Mountain Dulcimer and am FINALLY learning to play an instrument! 

Planted the rest of the garden from May to August
More weeding....some we kill and others we eat!
Hauling hay to fill the barn for winter
Battling fleas and ticks...Neemed them into OBLIVION! Love my Neem!
Hatched out 2 dozen peeps to replenish my chicken flock
Butchered all my chicken oldsters to make room for the new peeps (missing those eggs now)
Milking two does and playing with all the kids...they are growing FAST!
Decided to keep Boaz a buck and use him as an alternate herd sire. Why just have one stinky buck when you can have two? Love the goat boys, HATE the pissy beard "fragrance"
More mowing... little Kiko girls are now in the front yard full time = less mowing  mowing!
Picking veggies and canning, canning, CANNING!
Hosted a Wilderness Weekend with folks we fellowship with...great fun!
Traveled to several other host family homes for Shabbat fellowship
Purchased a Great Pyrenees puppy. Named her Cotton, since she is so fluffy. We later learned that the word "cotton" in Hebrew means...."tiny."(Tiny now weighs 50+ LBs and is still growing...)
Purchased most of the second hand materials we need to build the outdoor bathrooms for camping guests. Now we just need to dig the trenches and buy the rest of the lumber to build the $tructure.
Started a plant based diet...love being a vegetarian!

Learned to dry can food staples...this is just tooo cool...AND EASY! No more buckets EVERYWHERE
Sold  my antique wood cook stove and Fatso stove and bought a great new wood stove for heating our home
Built another goat hut out of oak skids and scrap lumber (would also make a great greenhouse if covered in plastic!)
More fencing! The pastures are now double in size! Goats are lovin' it!
Cut and split a LOT of fire wood...gotta feed that brand spankin' new wood stove.
New flock is finally laying eggs...love those firm bright orange yolks smiling up at me from my cast iron skillet! Love those home grown, sunny side up hen apples!
Discovered I love to sing Scripture...in Hebrew. What an amazingly beautiful language!

UPDATE on the dreaded lawn mowing...only pushed that monster mower 8 times! Goats did a great job of munching all the grass and weeds. Gotta love those little yard munchers!

Recover from the previous 3 seasons....seriously.

Build more fencing and another goat shelter
Build my greenhouse (another frugal farm furnishing in the planing stages)
Anticipate all the new seed catalogs soon to stuff my mail box!
Shovel all the make believe snow we haven't seen yet...

Such is life on the homestead for 2012...one egg at a time.  Let us raise our water buckets high and make a farmyard toast to more blessings and homesteading adventures for 2013!
Be blessed!