by Adam Dawson
We’ve had some great success lately gettin’ thrifty with it! Thanks in part to Austin’s first Trader Joe’s opening, and some meal planning, bulk cooking, and at-home activities, and some good ol’ country ingenuity. Here’s one story of a recent win.
Since we got the goats in July, they’ve been without a proper shelter from the elements. Not only do goats hate rain, but it can make them sick. So, after several rounds of cleaning their, um, fertilizer, off of our back deck, where we let them ride out the storms, I decided it was high time they have a shelter of their own.
I thought about making a simple lean-to out of used pallets from craigslist. But finding the pallets, buying/transporting them, figuring out how to attach them in a shelter-like way, seemed like a project destined for difficulty and maybe failure. And I really didn’t want to spend money on any part of this project, like pallets, or hardware, or any kind of tool I don’t already have.
I went out in the back yard to see what might be out there. I found a length of woven wire fencing about 10-12 feet long, rolled up. I was able to unroll it into an arch shape, but getting it to stay in place was tricky. I found a utility hook in the shed that I attached to the side of the shed and hooked onto the fencing to hold the top in place. A couple old wooden stakes were laying around that I used to hold the sides down. And I remembered I had an old tarp in my trunk that I could use as a roof. I attached the tarp to the fencing with various hair ties, nylon string, and some twine that I found laying around.
So, it’s not pretty. It looks a little redneck. But we had a pretty good storm and the ground under the shelter was perfectly dry. I’m super proud of this project because the out of pocket cost of this goat shelter was precisely $0.00. And I can say it’s because of the support and accountability of this community that I didn’t go for an easier route that would have cost some money.
So our goats are safe and dry, and now Emily is saying she’s ready for chickens!