Building a Livestock Shed and Yard

Chicken coop on the farm

Families living in rural areas often enjoy keeping a small number of goats, sheep or pigs in their large backyard. Instead of building a barn or sinking posts for acres of paddock and pasture, they can build a small livestock shed and yard that is easy to maintain and quite sufficient for a few animals. Learn how to build a shed and enclosure to house small livestock species.

Livestock Shed and Yard – Materials Needed

To build a small livestock shed and yard on your property, you should start with a pre-fabricated garden shed with a large door in the front. You will also need 4×4″ inch posts, rolls of wire fencing, fence staples, a pair of sturdy hinges and hardware and large eye-bolts. A hammer, electric saw, measuring tape and chalk or a thick pencil is also needed.

Livestock Shed and Yard – Building the Shed

Position the pre-built shed on your property where you wish the livestock run to be. Remove one the doors with a screwdriver. Lean the removed door up against the opposite wall of the shed and trace around it with your chalk or pencil. Use an electric saw to cut out this shape with a small margin extra. Attach the removed door to this opening with sturdy hinges and a locking hasp on the opposite side. Having a door on both sides of the livestock shed will help with airflow and cleaning.

Unroll a length of sturdy wire fencing long enough to reach across the opening made by the single door you just installed. Using long fence staples, attach this to the inside wall of the doorway opening. It must be tall enough to keep whatever type of livestock you own from getting out. The top of the fencing can be trimmed with 1-inch wide slats if desired. These can be stapled across the opening and directly to the wire fencing as well.

Livestock Shed and Yard – Building the Yard

Once the shed is complete, you must build a livestock yard for your animals to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Lay out the outline of the yard you wish to make with a rope or garden hose. Dig holes at least 3 feet deep for the 4×4″ posts directly next to the front corners of the shed.

Space the 4×4″ posts no more than 4 feet apart around the entire outside of the yard. Near the most convenient corner of the shed, plant two posts closer together to form the framework for a simple gate.

Make sure to put the wooden posts in level and tamp the dirt down securely. You may use concrete in the holes for a more permanent structure.

Run the tall metal fencing around the outside of the posts, attaching it securely with fence staples. Use the eyebolts and hooks to attach the final end of the wire fencing to the last post to form a basic gate. Your livestock shed and yard are now complete and ready for animals.

Archery on the Farm

Archery has to start somewhere. A lot of people don’t think about where their bow and arrow sets come from, but the best bows all have materials that need to originate from somewhere. Compound bows, for example, are actually made from sinew, horn, and wood material.

People can use different horns in the construction of a compound bow. Water buffalo horn has been used quite a lot over the years. For a while, people also tended to use the horns of various types of antelope, including oryx, ibex, and gemsbok. Hungarian Grey cattle can also be used. However, for the most part, people should not use the horns of cows in the construction of a compound bow. The horns of cows are strongly prone to delamination, which can truly damage the overall structure of the bow.

However, it is possible to use the horns of some commonly domesticated animals, such as sheep and goat horn. These horns are sturdy enough and provide the right structure for the best compound bows. It’s no wonder that people will sometimes find archery competitions at goat and sheep farms. Some farmers will want to demonstrate the output of their farm in an entirely different way.

People tend to associate sheep farming with wool and goat farming with cheese and milk. However, it is possible to use materials from these animals in a wide range of different contexts. Archery on the farm has a way of demonstrating all of that in a very dramatic fashion for everyone to see. People can potentially see bows that were made right at the farm, getting a sense of which compound bows are the best.

People have been using compound bows in many cultures for a long period of time. This is another weapon that more or less stopped being as formally useful as a result of the introduction of guns and the popularization of them. Guns are more accurate than compound bows are ever going to be, but a lot of people will still have fun using compound bows in a recreational manner.

It makes sense that as compound bows became less important in combat, they became more valuable in the context of recreation. People can now enjoy a lot of compound bow archery competitions that will be a lot of fun to watch. These competitions would be less fun to watch in a world where people still had to fear compound bows.

For those of you that don’t want to construct your own compound bows, there are good resources out there to help you choose the best compound bows for your practice. I found that this one offers good information, follow him here: Archery-Den Facebook Page


Mohair – Wool Clothing & Wool String Silencers

When people hear about sheep farms, one of the first things that they’re going to think about is wool clothing. This makes sense. All wool clothing has to come from somewhere. The most fundamental materials for wool clothing originally come from sheep farms.

Lots of people specifically love wool clothing because it is so natural. They can save money with it. Making wool string silencers from the materials at hand can be easy and quick, and it can help a lot of people save money. People can and should manage to use everything that they have, and wool string silencers and wool clothing can make it possible.

yarn of mohair wool

Since our farm supports archery, people can appreciate what the farm produces in an entirely different way. They can come and see actual archery competitions there, and it’s hard to argue with something like that. In the summertime, our farm holds a series of different archery competitions. People from the local areas are encouraged to watch.

You have to fill out an application in order to compete. We do want people who have some experience with archery, obviously. It isn’t going to be much of a competition if people don’t try to put in some effort. We do want to set up an archery competition that will be fun for everyone, however, and it will be possible for people to join in with the competition even if they are just beginners.

You can compete as a beginner, or you can compete as an experienced archer. As long as you basically know what you’re doing, you may be able to compete with us. One way or another, this is a competition that brings a lot of people to the farm and that lets everyone see what you can really do with wool. You may never think of wool again after some experiences with wool string silencers.

Wool is tremendously versatile. People can make their entire wardrobes out of wool. They can also make the components of their bows out of wool for their archery competitions, at least in part. With a compound bow, several of the components can be made using materials that start at a sheep farm.

A lot of people will be excited to watch an archery competition. Our farm supports archery in all of its diversity. We have a strong sense of tradition, and we appreciate that this is an activity that has so much history behind it at some point.

My old love – Archery

archery target

The fundamentals of traditional archery once learned and mastered will never be forgotten.

I began archery shooting having a traditional wooden longbow and wooden arrows also it introduced in your thoughts some useful tips I appreciated during my youth and Boy Scout days which i still love and employ today and wants to share a number of them.

The true traditional archery isn’t any archery scopes or sights, pulleys or wheels or carbon fibre but simply the traditional eye and natural ability of overlooking the thumb holding onto a conventional wooden longbow and wooden arrow searching in the target. There is nothing as fun as setting the arrow in the right height for that shot hitting the moving or still target.

It’s like flying an airplane. If you realise with no computer or devices you’ll always understand how to fly.

Beginning by helping cover a conventional straight longbow is the greatest way. Start with a decent quality longbow because the cheaper ones simply do not handle well. Make sure to check that your grip fits your hands fully. Don’t get or play one that’s not big enough or too big because it will mess up the total amount-especially if it’s too big. The only real time you might like to play one, and this isn’t really suggested, is if we are becoming an adult fast. It might be easier to purchase a cheaper product to understand the fundamentals after which move up to and including better product to hone your abilities.

Strength is extremely necessary and incredibly vital that you pull a conventional longbow to full energy. Ensure that you may use all of your arm strength since you will do not have the proper positioning fundamentals if you fail to. Pull completely towards the oral cavity or lip to achieve the entire energy from the bow. You could make use of a lip button if you want to.

I usually bring the longbow lower in the top very slightly towards the target when tugging. This provides a nice eye on the way from the arrow. Don’t tip the longbow sideways because this will mess up the total amount. Keep it as being straight as you possibly can without getting the arrow disappear the relaxation. Don’t twist the string because this pulls the arrow aside and poor alignment happens.

I love to make use of a finger glove with a few very difficult but flexible finger pads. This assures there’s hardly any resistance around the string and enables for any good release. My arm guard is really as lengthy when i could possibly get it and incredibly stiff. In by doing this you won’t need to bend or twist your wrist to obtain the forearm out-of-the-method of the string. I’ve removed lots of skin before fixing this issue after i was more youthful. Nothing deters and breaks the concentration a lot more than thinking you’ll have discomfort whenever you fall into line a go so indeed obtain a lengthy hard arm guard.

Archery is definitely an exciting sport. It may be fun and fulfilling whenever a person put his heart into this hobby. Archery has different prospective. It’s also called flight archery, clout archery, combat archery and much more. The truth is, more practice in archery is the main reason why a particular archer could be respected. Top secrets regarding how to shoot better in archery would be the following.

The Art of Mohair Spinning: Tips for Beginners

Mohair is an easy fiber to spin even for beginners, thanks to its long staples. It is the same as spinning hairlike fibers such as wool, except that mohair needs less tension when twisting it. But spinning mohair requires careful handling to produce a perfect yarn, as mohair tends to be slippery when spun. Even so, you will love spinning mohair because of its attractive appearance, especially its texture and sheen.

Here are some techniques that beginners can learn to create something awesome from spinning mohair.

Spinning it right

  • Spin the mohair from the center of the lock rather than the end. Take a lock of mohair and fold it in half to form a U shape.
  • Holding the two ends of mohair on your hand, draft them from the middle and spin.
  • For a fully and airy yarn, open the twist and get the mohair further down the yarn. Do not run your fingers down the twist.


  • Add only the right amount of twist needed to hold it together, preferably a loose to medium twist. If you spin it too loose, it will slip away. If you spin it too tightly, you might end up with a string instead of a soft and smooth yarn.
  • Enhance the sheen of your yarn by. Use a light tension only on the spinning wheel.
  • If your purpose is to create a durable yarn for making rugs, blankets, or draperies, you will have to add more twist when spinning mohair. This will, however, reduce the sheen.


  • Unless you’re blending colors or fibers, just card mohair lightly. It is recommended that you do not card it too much.

Adding fine wools

  • This is a mohair spinning technique that will counter mohair’s lack of fiber memory (being a hair fiber). If you add fine wools, you can avoid that while retaining the great properties of mohair.

Mohair Guide: Frequently Asked Questions about Mohair, Answered

A top choice among spinners, mohair a fine, soft, and silky natural fiber that is sheared from the Angora goat. It is an eco-friendly and animal-friendly alternative to real fur and one of the oldest natural textiles in use today. Featuring a variety of natural colors, mohair takes dyes so beautifully in bright, vibrant colors. It looks great when spun alone or spun with other fibers.

Three main types of mohair

  1. Adult mohair – Sheared from a mature goat, adult mohair is typically 3 to 6 inches in length and can be either fine or coarse. Its fineness is rated at a minimum of 30 microns.
  2. Kid mohair – This soft and fine fleece is the first shearing from a young Angora, with a fineness of 23 to 27 microns. It is less lustrous than an adult mohair.
  3. Goatling – As soft as a kid mohair, the goatling is the second shearing from an Angora goat.

Differences between mohair and wool

Mohair is somewhat similar to wool in many ways. The only difference is that unlike wool, mohair has no scales that irritate and cause discomfort to the skin. Mohair has scales along the fiber, but they are farther apart than those on wool, making mohair hypoallergenic and ideal for people who are allergic to wool. This structure also makes mohair more slippery to spin than wool.

Properties of mohair

Known mostly for its silkiness and softness, mohair is a useful fiber because of its wide range of characteristics:

  • Easy and beautiful to dye
  • Resistant to wrinkling, stretching, and soiling
  • Non-flammable
  • Looks great even when spun with other kinds of fiber
  • Absorbent
  • Washable

Uses of mohair

Because of its unique luster and durability, mohair is spun, knitted, or weaved to make dresses, shawls, blankets, coats, curtains, rugs, hats, sweaters, and other clothing and household items.

Important Things to Consider When Buying Your First Spinning Wheel

Looking to start spinning as a hobby? Before you get started, one of the things you need to buy aside from the fiber is the spinning wheel. If you are clueless about what you must look for in your first ever spinning wheel purchase, read on to know the important considerations while you are shopping around.

The yarn you will spin

Are you interested in a particular kind of yarn for spinning? Many spinning wheels cater to skilled handspinners who can spin any type of yarn, but as a beginner, it is safe that you learn spinning one kind of yarn first rather than to overwhelm yourself. With that being said, prioritize an equipment that focuses or specializes in spinning the yarn you are interested in over one that offers versatility.

Here is a great tip: ask people who regularly spin the kind of yarn that you want to spin and ask them about the kind of spinning wheel they use and where they bought it. It would be better if you can see for yourself how they wheel works so that you can get a feel of how you would actually use a wheel.


Your space

How big is the space where you will put your new spinning wheel? Make sure that its size can accommodate that of your new equipment. Fit and comfort are important, as you will easily get tired spinning in a very cramped space.

Your lifestyle

Do you always travel? Do you prefer a spinning wheel that you can often take with you wherever you go? Or are you always at home, and you would like to spin while watching your favorite TV series or hanging out on your patio? Take your lifestyle into consideration when choosing your first wheel.

At Steam Valley Mountain Fiber Farm, our friendly shop assistants can help you pick the best spinning wheel that meets your needs and preferences.

To Spin a Yarn

First, Choose a Wheel

When choosing a wheel, you are faced with many options. Begin by prioritize what you are looking for. Do you want a first time wheel that is inexpensive and easy to operate? Is a traditional style important or do you need portability? What type of yarn do you want to spin? What are the advantages of having a double treadle where you use both feet? Should the wheel be a single or double drive?

Why choose a Single versus a Double Treadle?

The biggest advantage of the double treadle is that it offers the spinner more control. When both feet are involved in bicycle style treadling, it is easier to control the wheel when you want to stop and start the wheel. For beginning spinners this is very helpful. It is easier to get the feel of regulating your speed and keeping the wheel going in the correct direction with a double treadle. Also, the symmetry of the double treadle does not tire your back as quickly as using a single treadle. With both feet and legs active when using the double treadle, most people find that it is less stressful or tiring, an important factor if you have a sensitive back.

What are drive ratios?

Think of drive ratios like gears in vehicle. First gear gets the car moving and fourth or fifth gear is used for cruising at the speed limit. Beginning spinners, like beginning drivers need to start out slow. Low drive ratios (speed that the bobbin turns in relation to the wheel revolutions) are best for beginning spinners. With the drive band on the largest whorl for the slowest drive ratio, less twist enters your fiber. This allows your hands time to keep up with the speed or your treadling. As your spinning skills advance, you can move to faster drive ratios.

What are Single or Double Drives?

Single and Double drive refers to the drive band that goes around the wheel. A single drive band is a cotton or nylon cord that goes once around the wheel and flyer or bobbin. You need a separate tensioning device – a screw attached to a line and  spring with the Ashford or a screw and piece of leather with the Louet – to assist the bobbin to take up the yarn. Single drive, also referred to as scotch tension wheels, are usually easier for beginning spinners to master.
A double drive band is a continuous cord that loops twice around the wheel and once around the bobbin and a flyer whorl. The take-up tension of the double drive is controlled by loosening or tightening the drive band. When spinning fine or slippery fibers like silk or angora, the gentle draw-in of the double drive is preferred. When spinning with a long draw, using a single drive with a brake band you will have a stronger wind-on.

Traditional or Castle Style Wheel?
The classic looking spinning wheel is referred to as a Saxony or Traditional style of wheel. It has a large wheel and long footman, which gives the wheel good momentum. Castle style wheels are more upright and compact, which makes them easier to transport. Both styles spin wonderful yarn, depending on the skill of the person spinning.

How do you choose the perfect first wheel?

Ideally,go give some wheels a test drive before making your purchase. Different wheels appeal to different folks, and you should find the one that inspires you to spin. If you would like to talk about spinning wheels, e-mail your questions to

  Spinning Tips


Pre drafting your fiber not only makes spinning easier, but also effects color, uniformity, speed and twist.

There are several methods to pre-draft your fiber depending on the nature of the material that you are working with. If the roving is dense and does not pull apart easily in your hand, then try bonging it. Hold the roving in both hands with your hands separated apart by about 6 inches. Sharply, but gently give a tug with both hands in the opposite direction. Feel the roving snap as the fiber is loosened up. Do this the length of your roving. If you pull the fiber apart, either the roving is light enough already or you are pulling it too hard.

Some roving and top is so thick that it is much easier to spin if you first strip it apart lengthwise. Divide the roving 2 or more times, until it is a thickness that will spin easily for you. If you want a superfine yarn, you can pull off strips as thin as possible, before you spin it. If you are a beginning spinner and your yarn is thick and thin, then pre-drafting your fiber may improve the uniformity of your spinning.

Dyed Rovings can be greatly affected by pre-drafting. If there is a repetition of a color pattern, you can control how the colors are combined by tearing off and aligning your strips of roving to achieve the desired results.

Prepared fiber, either batts, roving or top, spin much smoother if they are first opened up and allowed to breath and expand. The stretching and pulling of predrafting will speed up your spinning and help you achieve your spinning goals.

Mohair and Wool Roving & Locks

Mohair and Wool Roving & Locks

Fiber from our Farm

Our hand-dyed rovings are created using the Mohair and wool fleeces from the animals we raise. Our Angora Goats are shorn in the spring and the fall as their fleeces grow 1 inch per month. Our Border Leicester sheep are shorn annually in the spring. We also purchase additional fleeces to blend with our Mohair. Each blend that uses fleeces from our critters will list the names of the animals who contributed their fiber.At the farm we skirt each fleece, which removes dirty and stained wool. It is then washed using organic soap and citrus cleaner. Clean fleece is then dyed with color fast dyes. When rinsed and dry our fiber is sent to a fiber mill where it is picked and carded into roving.

Our Angora Goats are unique in that their fleeces come in a variety of colors and shades – Black, Grey, Silver, Brown, Taupe, Red and White. Mohair, the fleece from the Angora Goat is highly lustrous and strong, which makes our rovings brightly colored and sturdy when spun into yarn. For a little pizazz we occaisionally add some glitz or silk to our blends. Each colorway is a one of a kind and can not be produced in exactly the same way a second time.

Part of the uniqueness of each colorway is the grade of Mohair changes as the Angora goat ages. The finest and softest fleeces are from Kid Mohair, which is shorn from goats that are 6 months and one year old. Yearling Mohair is shorn from goats that are 18 months old. It is soft like Kid Mohair but has a little more strength to it. Fine Adult Mohair can be from a goat that is 2 years older on up, until the fleece is no longer garment quality.

We blend wool with our Mohair to increase the elasticity of our blends. Wool adds memory to the spun yarn so garments will hold their shape. Mohair adds sheen and strengh to the blend. Kid Mohair in high percentage is incredibly soft and excellent for close to the skin wear. Adult Mohair will contribute durability to a blend, which would make it excellent for making long wearing socks.

Dyed and Naturally Colored Mohair