My morning activities begin around 7:30 a.m., just like most businesses. The big barn houses our does and kids. Actually, the big barn is where the babies are born and kept until they're about three months old. With so many critters in there and the surrounding pastures, it's a challenge to keep it clean and healthy.
When we first built our big barn we put sand in as the flooring. The good thing about sand is that it doesn't harbor bacteria so the goats could live in the barn more comfortably. But, on the surface, no pun intended, what seems like a good idea caused us to dig out the barn floor every year. We've grown tired of digging.
In addition to the sand, this past winter tons of hay, poop, and other unknown materials had built up and up and up. Cleaning the barn manually, like we did last year, was no longer an option. This year we hired our favorite landscaper/land-grader and his front-end loader to help clean it. I've learned that big jobs require big tools. We could move the contaminated sand but the urine smell was deadly -- we couldn't breathe. We quickly rounded up every fan on the ranch and turned them on full-blast to give us some relief. Sigh ... . Those living conditions had to go.
Well, the barn is now clean, most of the sand it out, and the odor is, although not fragrant, it won't kill you. The trick is to clean it every day. What may take about 30 minutes a morning, if neglected for even one day, takes more than an hour. I don't have to do the math for this one. Cleaning every day is much easier. Besides, I need to check out my goats every day anyway. This gives me more time with them.
We're looking for a new flooring material. One that will be comfortable/healthy for our critters while allowing the humans to maintain it easily and quickly. Got any ideas? Please let me know.