Homestead Repairs

Goats love to climb up on things. We built them the goat gym many years ago. It was totally rebuilt once with improvements. Now it’s back on the list for homestead repairs.

Oak is a tough, durable wood, but all wood eventually rots. When the gym was rebuilt, the posts were placed in concrete footers so they wouldn’t rot as quickly.

Nubian buck and kids playing on the goat gym
When the herd comes up to the pasture gate in the afternoon, the goat kids are small enough to crawl under. They race onto the gym to play. Nubian buck Augustus enjoys having company. This is the gym shortly after the first time it was rebuilt.

This worked. Instead the step planks have fallen apart.

I am not a carpenter. My attempts to do carpentry make those who know how cringe. I kept putting off this item on the homestead repairs list.

Nubian goat kid basking in the sun on the goat gym
All summer the sun hits the steps on the goat gym shortly after dawn. The Nubian goat kids demand milk from the does, then come out to lie around on the goat gym steps soaking up sun. Later in the day the top and other side are the favored places for basking. The kids curl up and sleep on the gym all night in warm weather often joined by their mothers.

My goats are older too. They don’t use the gym as much. Augustus is the exception. He stands on the top looking out and calling to the herd especially during breeding season.

At 200 pounds Augustus is a big goat. The thought of him crashing through a rotten step board was enough to make me move the gym to the top of the homestead repairs list.

Most of the damage was on one side and the top. I tackled the two rotten steps first to bolster my confidence.

homestead repairs to the ramp are needed next so goats can play on it again
At 200 pounds Nubian buck Augustus could easily toss this upstart off the ramp or hurt him. Instead the two have a friendly shoving match. The ramp alternates thick inch oak boards with oak two by fours to give the goats traction.

Ten years ago this would be an easy hour’s job. It took me an hour to pull the nails to take what was left of the boards off. They will make good kindling this winter.

We cut our own oak boards for years using a band saw mill. Age made it impossible to use the mill so it was sold. The piles of lumber are still waiting to be used. I sorted through the boards and replaced the steps.

The top was next. I don’t do well with heights. I really don’t do well with loose boards and open spaces six to seven feet up.

Nubian buck approves homestead repairs of goat gym
Nubian buck High Reaches Silk’s Augustus loves standing up on top of the goat gym to watch for the herd out in the pastures. He stopped using the gym while I was working on it. He is back on top now.

After a long afternoon, the gym top was again complete and solid enough to support Augustus. He was having none of it. Several lamb’s quarters plants lured him up on top.

The ramp needs replacing. It is on the homestead repairs list.

Young goats love to play which was important for Harriet in “Capri Capers“.