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 ...so 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!