This will allow us to just open gates to whatever pasture that they are currently allowed into, without the need to walk them there. The barn will be one building, which we are still working out the details on, but in my head it's 12ft by 12ft minimum. Half will be for the girls and their future babies, with temporary inside sections that can be put up or taken down during kidding season.
The other half will be for our buck, and any future bucklings we will have. In the photo above, you will see pastures on either side of the barn. One side will be does only, and the other will be buck/wether only. With proper planning, this will allow me to rotate them in the right order, so that during rut, the buck is in the furthest pasture from the girls, until I want him to be with them. We will also have a small room either inside, or built off of the girl's side, to use for milking and grain storage.
It will take time to build the pastures, as we have to have strong fencing, and that is not cheap. We may only be able to do one or two pastures at a time, gradually adding on. The size of the pastures needs to be measured out, but just based on a guestimate, they will be 40ft x 40ft. We will get out soon and actually do some measuring with a tape, to decide the best size. One consideration in the size is not only how long it takes the goats to eat down an area (it is variable, based on goat, so I will find a median), but I also want to be able to take my riding mower in, with a tow behind tiller or discer, so that I can reseed each pasture after it's been grazed by the animals. Based on research I have done, I am leaning towards one month on each pasture. That will allow for new growth, and with six pastures per doe/buck, they will never be on one spot more than twice a year. This will help protect them from parasites. Having the pigs and chickens follow is not only good for breaking down things, but also helps to keep parasites under control.
GARDEN AREA - The garden area will eventually be for the market garden so that we can have our farm stand. Some would think putting the farm stand closer to the road would make more sense, but in our case it doesn't work. Due to the minimal slant to the land, and the amount of rain we get, especially in the spring, the area near the road by the driveway gets extremely mucky. I got stuck in that area this past spring. By putting the stand up closer to the house, it provides a better area for parking for customers, without the mud issue if we get rain.
I am still working out the layout of the garden area, slowly making plots, measuring 20ft by 50ft. We have one already, and are getting ready to start another using the stale seedbed method I mentioned in a previous post. We only have enough plastic to do one bed at a time right now, but the plan is to get more plastic, so we can set up several beds at a time. Eventually that entire garden area will be filled with vegetable crops, except for closest to the driveway. That will be a cut flower area, so that we can also sell bouquets at the farm stand.
PERMACULTURE AREA - This area, between the animals and our market garden will be for long term crops. My plan is to have safe plants for the goats on the fence line for them to munch on, without being able to destroy the plants themselves. On the garden side will be long term edibles for us, such as blackberries, elderberry, some fruit trees etc. It will be about 20ft wide, and will run all the way to the road.
The master plan is a work in progress, but so far I am liking it. I would love some feed back, thoughts on what you think might work, what won't work. Your experiences help me to see things differently, and maybe make adjustments to make my life easier. We all learn from each other, which is one of the things I love about the homesteading community.