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Lucy Guss

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since Mar 03, 2013
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Recent posts by Lucy Guss

Well, I ended up doing something between the method on the Velacreations site and standard hypar. I wanted to be able to use the cattle panels to hang buckets and such from. My goats are Nigerian Dwarfs, so they are not big or particularly rough and tumble -- for bucks anyway. I'm happy to have been able to re-purpose the duck shed, and we will see how well it works. Because of the how the shed is located, the bucks won't have access to the exterior of it -- at least not the three sides that are a hypar hybrid.
2 years ago
I have an old duck pen that is constructed from 2 cattle panels formed into a vault. Over that there is hardware cloth. The base is structured from wood, as are the ends, which are made from hardware cloth.

Long story short, the ducks haven't used this in years, and I am now in need of a goat buck shelter. This would be great to convert into that goat buck shelter, and it seems like the fastest and most attractive and durable means to do this might be to wrap it in fabric and coat it with an acrylic cement coating. I would (at least temporarily, if not permanently) add some support beams on the interior to help hold the roof up. Everyone seems to use wood for these hypar structures and seems to use a more linear shape. Anyone use it with a vault? Anyone use it with metal instead of wood or bamboo?

The link is the general idea of what mine looks like but is not mine.

Thanks in advance for your input.
3 years ago
I cannot speak to full sized goats, except one, as I have Nigerian Dwarf goats and one Lamacha. The only time the Lamancha has ever gotten out was when someone left a gate open. The minis will get out as long at they can fit through something, but they do not actively look for new ways to sneak out. If it is there, they will exploit it. If not, they wouldn't be bothered. But they are not sneaking out and then running off. They want to be with the herd, so they may slip the fence, but they stay along the fence line next to the herd. I do not keep any bucks, but what I understand is that mostly the issue is containing the bucks and keeping them away from the girls.
Due to the age and shape of my house and crawlspace, etc. I decided a RMH was not for me and went more conventional wood stove. I bought the Katydid, which is the newer stove just out by the same people who make the Kimberly. The Katydid is black steel instead of stainless and is said to have double the BTUs. It is about a foot wide, a foot deep and three feet tall.

I have now had my Katydid installed for a few weeks and can comment on some of its features and characteristics, though durability long term is not one of them. It does feel substantial and sturdy despite its light weight. The bolt holding the handle on does get loose, and I tighten it periodically, but that has been the only weak spot I have encountered to date.

The packing for the Katydid was stellar. It arrived in a solid wooden box with supports inside that kept the sides of the stove from touching the sides of the box. Once removed, I reassembled all but one side of the box, and my miniature goats are enjoying using it to jump on and get in.

I installed my Katydid near the center of my 100-year-old house in a corner. It is in the corner at an angle, and the rear corners of the stove are each 8” from the wall. Between the stove and the wall is a heat shield. The heat shield sits 1” out from the wall on spacers and consists of a 1/2” sheet of Durock with stamped tin-plated steel ceiling tiles as the facing. Thus, the Katydid sits 6 1/2” from the heat shield.

With respect to safety of combustible surfaces, the surfaces around the back side of the Katydid do not get hot. Not only does the wall not get hot, the heat shield itself has not gotten hot. The metal on the heat shield has not gotten any warmer than luke warm, running the Katydid at full throttle. The double-wall chimney pipe does get hot, but I can touch the pipe. The length of time I can touch the chimney depends on how hot I am running the stove. Sometimes it is indefinite, but most of the time it is a quick touch. The guard at the ceiling in this short room (7’ ceiling) gets no more than a little more than room temperature, and the ceiling does not get warmer than comfortably warm -- probably no more than 80-85 degrees F. That extends only a few inches out from the pipe area.

My 100-year-old house is not particularly well-insulated and is choppy and crazily designed. There is not a single hallway. The house was originally four square rooms down with two smaller rooms centered above. Then an addition was added from a step-down porch, adding two bathrooms and a laundry room on the south side and a larger 400 square foot room with a basement added on the east side. All told, the house is about 2,000 square feet. The Katydid sits in one of the original 4 rooms. The thermostat in the house is in a room diagonal from the Katydid. There is an Ecofan atop the Katydid, but there are no fans circulating the air otherwise right now.

The temperatures have ranged from a low around -13F to around 35F in the past few weeks -- mostly well below freezing as the daily high, and the Katydid has kept the coldest room in the house no colder than about 60 as long as the Katydid is cranking. Other rooms have generally stayed above 65 without the furnace or any other heaters going. Today is the first day we have been above 40, and the coldest room in the house (except the basement) is 73, with just the Katydid going. The basement is a tolerable temperature and the upstairs is very warm.

We are burning a combination of hard wood and compressed sawdust logs. The hard wood burns hotter and faster and produces less ash than the sawdust logs, though the sawdust logs are good for overnight when the stove won’t be tended, as they will burn at a lower temperature and smolder longer. I have been throwing a couple in the stove just before bed, and that has kept me from adding much to it during the night. I do usually wake up at least once during the night and add another one or two when I do wake.

Granted, I did not get my stove installed for the full heat season, but it has been an unusually cold year. Assuming temperatures continue to be cold for the next month or so and that we will need regular or periodic heat through April, I doubt that I will use a full cord of wood and a pallet of sawdust logs in it this year. If I had been using it the entire season of unusually cold and enduring cold weather, my best guess is that I would use approximately 1 1/2 cords of wood plus a pallet of sawdust logs for the entire year. A typical year might be more like a cord of wood and a pallet of sawdust logs, which supposedly equates a cord of wood.
5 years ago
There is no garage or basement in which to put it. It would have to be outdoors, though perhaps sheltered.
5 years ago
I am still in search of a solution to my emergency heat and supplemental heat situation. Just to rehash, I have an old house, and there is not a good place for a wood stove, masonry fireplace or RMH. I have an okay place for a very small RMH, and it may come to that, but a better option is something I could put outside and use to force air inside.

So I found this.

It lacks considerable detail in information, so any thoughts on it would be appreciated, but my other question is this. What about building a larger than usual cob oven, only not insulated and add another "story" to it to capture the heat and insulate all around the entire thing?
5 years ago
My ducks are all about routine too. They are easier to get to go up at night than my chickens are. I built a hoop house for them out of cattle panels, covered in hardware cloth and put a dog house in it. They get fed in there, and their water is in there. They lived solely inside the hoop house for a few weeks until it became home, and then we started ranging them. When they range, we do not feed them in the mornings -- only at night when it's time to go up. Nearing supper time, they will follow us around the yard, wanting to have their food put in their house.

The hoop house is similar to this one:
6 years ago
Use solar heated water to shower, and shower outdoors to keep the humidity out of the house.
6 years ago
Chris: Wow. Thanks so much for posting this. I have a 1970s manufactured fireplace with a hearth that might work with this. It is otherwise, mostly useless and inefficient except in emergency, no other heat source situations.

A couple of questions for you. Is your exhaust pipe run completely up the chimney or just the 12+ inches higher than the barrel?

My chimney is a metal chimney due to the nature of the fireplace. Any thoughts on the degree of heat/creosote coming from the exhaust as problematic for this?

I do not see a mantle in your photos. Any thoughts on how hot the tile behind the unit is getting? Though the hearth itself is brick, the facing on it is some funky faux brick with a mantle above.

Seriously, thanks again for doing this in the first place and sharing your information. This could potentially be a huge problem solver or partial problem solver for me.
6 years ago