The Power of Community: The Goat House is Done!

Thursday November 13

This is a story of community, just one small example of why we love living in community and the power of many hands making light work.

When we arrived in Katywil in late June, we knew we would need to build a robust goat house for the goats to get them through the cold winter months that lay ahead. In our Bejamins Road house in Santa Rosa, the goats were confined to an area within a permanent rigid perimeter fence. The area was reasonably large for 4 dwarf size goats, and they were pretty happy there under the shade of a small grove of Redwood trees. They had plenty of room to run and play and a nice 3 sided house. But the area was “fixed”, there was no fresh pasture. They appeared to be in great health, but a closer look revealed that maybe they were not as healthy as outward appearances suggested. Their coats were rough and did not shine, and we were experiencing fertility issues. I suspected they were low in Selenium and Copper (and possibly other minerals and nutrients), since we lived in a area where the soil was low in these minerals and deficiencies in these minerals is the leading cause of fertility and birthing issues in goats. Their diet was exclusively organic alfalfa hay purchased from the local feed store. They lacked the nutritional variety that fresh browse offered.

Moving to the land in Katywil opened up the opportunity for us to have the goats on a pasture rotation system and we could increase the browsing and landscaping range that the girls have with a portable electric fence and solar powered battery system.  The system has worked well over the summer months and the goats have been thriving.  In keeping with this new system, for our new goat house we wanted to build it as a portable goat house so that we could move them around the Katywil property.   We started to look for a used trailer on Craigslist that we could build the house on. It turned out that the Katywil Property Owners Association (KPOA) had a 12 ft trailer that they were no longer using. In our July monthly KPOA meeting the KPOA decided to give us their trailer in exchange for mowing and fertilization services.

The 12ft tailer bed gifted by the KPOA
The 12ft tailer bed gifted by the KPOA

The goats are more than happy to provide these landscaping services.  And so we happily and gratefully accepted this generous gift. Now all we had to do was build the house.   Paul and I designed a goat house with 2 compartments: living quarters for the goats and winter storage are for hay and straw. However building these things take time. Cooler weather and shorter days were fast setting in….. P1040728P1040790P1040792

Katywil community to the rescue!   With the help of our Katywil neighbors and several work parties, we have built the goats a nice comfortable home for the winter, with hay and straw storage included. A lot of hours and love and care went into the building of this goat house, ready just in time for the first snowfall. To Haynes, Nancy, Lynn, TJ, Karen, Mason and Mikayla – a most heart felt “Thank you” from Clover, Honey, Cinnamon and Buttercup (and Paul, Judy and Monique as well)! They love their new house. We couldn’t have done it without you!

The finished goat house
The finished goat house


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