Saturday, April 11, 2009

Small Scale Boer Goat Barn Design - Continue

5. Floor Layout

Bear in mind that the pen size is 10 feet long and 7 feet width. So the rows length would be in multiple of 10 feet and the width of 7 feet remain the same. For a capacity of 100 goats (about 40 adults and 60 kids), we need 8 normal size pens and 10 pregnancy pens. (Be ready to expand the barn or build a second barn in the second year).

Build the normal size pens in two rows (i.e. 4 each row) and one row for pregnancy pens. While building the first barn, you must consider its expansion. Orientation of the barn is important for easy future expansion. Let us assume the rows run from north to south. There will be 2 rows of normal size pens and 1 pregnancy pen running from north to south...

6. Provision for Food Trough

The trough should be built on one side of each row and must be continuous from one end to another end without any break in between. What about door for each pen? The doors should be built from the other side of the row. In this way, the food trough would be in one side and the doors in another side of the row. Assuming you have the basic 3 rows barn, the middle row will have their food trough facing the first row and its doors facing the pregnancy pens doors. The first row will have its doors facing west side of the barn and the pregnancy row will have its food trough facing east side of the barn. Make a provision of 1.5 to 2 feet for service walkway on the outside perimeter of the barn and also between the the food trough. Make another provision of 2 to 2.5 feet between the middle row and the pregnancy row. The width of the food trough is 20 inches edge-to-edge.

Important Note:
The trough is made of thick canvas. This material is very strong. It can withstand the weight of any goat running inside it without any breaking. Most important it will be very convenient for cleaning job every morning. When it clean, we can rest assure that the goat will be eating in a clean environment. As a result our goat will be more healthy. Many farmers still sceptical about using canvas as the food trough. Most of them still using the old technique of using wooden planks or the new ones using rain gutter or big PVC pipes cut into halves. Those materials needs frequent maintenance, wrong sizing will result in insufficient quantity of food, cleaning will not be as quick and as clean as using canvas. This little extra investment will provide long term benefits in work efficiency and cost saving.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Small Scale Boer Goat Barn Design

I get involve into boer goat farming merely two years. I'm no where to be called an expert in the field of goat farming, neither by qualification nor by experience. I have three barns with a total area of about 7000 square feet. I built the second barn 6 months after the first and the third came 6 months after the second. Each time I built the new one, I renovated the previous one/s. The later barn came with new ideas, which bring improvement on the previous. I'm quite happy with the third design, therefore I will not change anything if I were to build my fourth barn. The design is suitable for Malaysian weather and tropical country where there's a lot of rain, warm and very humid. It applies for feedlot system.
1. Barn height
Minimum 5 feet above ground, maximum of 7 feet. More than that is simply a waste and not practical. Lower than 5 feet will make cleaning job under the barn not conducive.
2. Roof height
The lower portion on the edge should be minimum 7 feet height from the floor and the roof slope ratio about 2:10. The roof has no ridge, one side is higher than the other. This is to allow adequate ventilation in the barn. It also prevent rain water from entering the barn.
3. Pen size
I regard the pen sizing as critical. It determines the comfort of the animals. It is where we can keep the goats according to categories; according to their sizes (by age or by body weight), by strength (the weak ones and the strong ones), by gender etc. For a small scale farm, the pen size really critical to determine our efficiency in producing more goats. Through my experience, the most suitable pen size is 10feet by 7feet. It can accommodate 7 to 8 adults very comfortably with sufficient area for resting and space for feeding. A larger area will make it difficult for the buck for mating. He has to do a lot of chasing games. As a result he becomes less productive.
4. Provision for Pregnancy Pen
It is important to separate the pregnant doe in her own pen, for her safety and her baby. She will occupy the pen for about 6 weeks, 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth and 2 to 3 weeks after giving birth.
5. Floor Layout
We shall discuss this topic in the next publish, together with more updated barn pictures.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Goat Farm without Smell?

Not unusual? But not easily found..!! If you come to my farm you will be surprised because there's no smell, I mean reasonably no smell... This is not my own statement but said by my visitors.
Recently my farm was visited by some officers from the Government Agencies from Johor Bahru and Melaka, as well as a few farmers from nearby. All of them will never forget to pass this common comment: "How come your farm has no smell? I don't see any flies (lalat la tu...). What is your secret?"

Secret? Do I have any secret? I never used secret product or formula... At all if they want to call it a secret, let them.

I supposed everyone knows or heard about EM, Effective Micro-Organism. This is my secret. But some of the visitors said they used EM but their farm still smell bad. My suggestion is, you change another supplier.

There are many locally produced EM. Some are good and some are not good. The result tells. I'm sure mine was a good one simply because it works... According to my supplier/producer, he imported the main ingredient from Japan. He mixed it with molasses and some other materials.

I cleaned the droppings under the farm every 2 to 3 weeks. From under the farm, I transferred them to in front of the farm. It will be there sometimes 2 to 3 months before I used them as fertilizer for my grass or palm oil plantations nearby. Even for that long period, still there's no smell. Amazing? Quite..!!

How do I apply the EM. Two ways. First step is mixing the EM into drinking tank. Ratio 1 to 1000. Do it twice weekly, every Monday and Thursday. Second step is spray the EM to every part of the farm including the goats. Do it once a month.

EM will help the digestion. As a result, there is no case of "bloating" and very few cases of diarrhea. In short: A healthy goats....

Since I practice ZWDW system, there are traces of EM flowed into the well and sprinkled to grass field, my grass can also enjoy the benefits of EM through the sprinkler and organic fertilizer.
Can I claim that I produce ORGANIC GOATS?