Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Getting the Kidding Pens Ready

After moving to the farm last year ... I put 8 kidding pens together over the winter ... after we had the old barn repaired and dried in.  The pens are 4 foot by 6 foot and are big enough for me, the doe, and kids to move around in.

This is the second kidding season the kidding pens/stalls will be used out in the big old barn.     I used hay or straw as the bedding.  I know pine or cedar shavings would probably have been better and as it turns out MUCH easier to clean out!  But, with all of the remodeling we had to do here on the "new" farm, the budget was pretty tight.

Here's what the kidding pens looked like last year.  This is NaNa just after delivering her two kids and Liz is in the pen beside her.

Kidding pens last February

Here's what they looked like earlier this week.  The spiders had done quite a job covering everything with cobwebs!  With the dust building up on the cobwebs, it looks even worse!

Cobwebs and dust covering the kidding pens

You'd think really big spiders had lived in the barn over the summer!  But, they must have been pretty small.  I hardly ever saw any of them, but they sure made a mess of things. 

More cobwebs in the barn

Luckily, it only takes a little sweeping with the broom to clean out the cobwebs.   Okay ... it took a lot of sweeping with the broom!

Here's one of the pens after most of the cobwebs were removed.  The old packed in bedding is still in there ... about 8 inches deep.

Old bedding in the kidding pen

 Here is one of the pens after taking the old bedding out to the garden. (Thanks to Tonia for helping with many loads out on Tuesday!) I have to tell you ... hay and straw can pack pretty tightly.  Since it was mixed with lots of goat berries, it will be good for the garden!

One kidding pen cleaned out

Since these kidding pens were used last year for lots of kids being born and had sit empty all last summer and fall ... with the exception of a few chickens deciding to roost on the pen dividers ... I felt that I should spread some lime down on the dirt floor before putting in fresh bedding for this year's kidding season.  The lime helps prevent the spread of disease by killing germs and bacteria.  It sort of freshens the dirt under the bedding.  I use the same kind of lime that you would use on the garden to make the soil "sweet" or more alkaline.

Lime sprinkled in the cleaned out pens

 It only takes a very thin layer of lime to do the job.  You have to be careful not to put it on too thick .... you don't want too much of it to come in contact with the goat's feet because it could cause a chemical burn on the soft part of their hoof.  I took a leaf rake and worked the lime into the soil before putting the new bedding in. 

Working the lime into the soil

 Here are the two kidding pens I got finished today.  Yes, I know ... I'll have a mess to clean out again next year because I put grass hay in for the bedding.  It's my preference for kidding.  But, in the kid nursery pens, I have put the pine shavings down for the bedding. (See the earlier post on the New Kid Nursery for details.)

 Fresh bedding in the cleaned out kidding pens

I have 10 kidding pens to get ready for this year's kidding season only 8 more to finish!  And, just in time ... the first 2 does are due in 6 days on the 19th!  I sure feel better having these 2 ready to go!


Heather said...

Oh wow! Looks like a haunted house! Those cobwebs are impressive. And awww....I just love little baby goats! Goats are so sweet, I hope to have a few some day...

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

can't wait to see pictures of your new babies! Thanks for the sweet comment you left on my blog- I appreciate it.

Looks like you are about to be b-u-s-y!!!!! *U* Happy kidding season!

Linda said...

Looking Good!!!

OurCrazyFarm said...

I've been thinking about you and all your girls as I have been goat sitting our first expecting doe today. The pens look great! That's a big job!

Anonymous said...

For some bizzare reason, I can't send you an keeps coming back as "failure"...very frustrating and I can't figure out whY/

Oh! Oh! Oh! I got something WONDERFUL in my mailbox today!!
I did try some (it has been a hectic week) but tomorrow I plan to sit DOWN and thoroughly taste each. single. cheese. Gracious you certainly were generous! I hope we make salmais soon so I can share some with you!

Hubby agreed with me that I should send a small treasure in the mail, so look forward to that in the next week.
Thank you again ever so much :)
Mrs. Bee

Brenda said...

Thank you, Mrs Bee! I'm so glad the package arrived safely. The cheeses each have their own characteristics... I hope you enjoy each one!

Feral Female said...

Sorry I missed this yesterday in my reading list! Darn bifocals. It looks like you`re ready for the kids to come!

Brenda said...

I'm not quite ready yet ... but getting closer every day! I'm so glad the extremely cold weather went back north so I could get the things done in the barn to get ready for the new kids!