Paul and I spent the morning catching goats, deworming, trimming hooves and determining ages. It was downright relaxing compared to the rodeo of last time. This time, I had a cattle panel bent into a half circle and held in place with T-posts (actually, this was the remains of Bubba's pen.) I had set up their paddock fence so that one end ran flush with the cattle panel, so any goats that ran that way hit a dead end. It worked pretty much flawlessly, and since it was so easy to catch each goat the remaining ones never got too worked up.
The only hitch was that early in the process, Nieuw apparently jumped the fence into the next paddock, although neither of us saw her do it. We just left her for last so that she thought she'd gotten away with it, then snuck up and cornered her. Her "shortcut" turned out to be not so short, since we had to drag her all the way back to the first paddock to be treated, and then all the way back to the new one.
Based on how today went, I have a few ideas for building an actual working pen. It will be made of wire panels and T-posts, so if it needs to be tweaked (or completely changed), it will be easy enough. I did a quick sketch of the plan in Paint, so it's pretty ugly but hopefully it makes sense (click on it to see larger version).
The chute is pointing at the driveway so that a trailer could be backed up to it for easy loading. I estimate that it should cost less than $500 to build, with the majority of the cost coming from the panels. That's a far cry from the multiple thousands you can spend for pre-made working equipment. Since I doubt we would ever have more than 30 breeding does on this property at once, we don't need the fancy equipment.
love your food
4 days ago