At first glance, the two SteelMaster buildings located on Leo Sabatini’s farm in Trinity, Ala. are practical and unassuming, fitted with simple concrete foundations and walls adorned with various farming implements. Upon further inspection, however, it becomes abundantly clear that all is not as it seems, for depending on the time of day and concurrent with certain weather conditions, the buildings teems with life.
Leo and his wife are in the process of growing their dairy herd to provide milk for cheese making, and currently have 30 goats roaming their farm’s pastures. The SteelMaster buildings are there to provide the goats with shelter from wind and rain, a necessity for these animals that are prone to respiratory illness and as a rule, hate being wet.
“We originally put up one of those ‘hoop and canvas’ shelters specifically designed for horses,” says Leo. “Goats are very curious and active animals. They would climb all over the canvas, poke at it with their horns, climb on top, etc. Within a few months, they had knocked the shape out of the shelter and badly compromised the canvas covering. It became difficult to keep repairing and maintaining the existing shelters. We needed something that was durable, goat friendly/resistant, and maintenance free.”
After researching possible shelter solutions on the Internet, the Sabatini’s chose to buy two SteelMaster S-model 12′ – 11′ x 24′ metal buildings—one for the female goats and one for the males, who occasionally share their space with two horses and a donkey.
“The people at SteelMaster were the most professional, responsive, and helpful, so I decided to go with their product,” says Leo. “I have observed the goats’ curious and destructive behaviors and do not believe there is anything they could do to compromise the buildings appearance or integrity. In addition, the little ‘coves’ created by the interior contours are favorite resting places for baby goats. The rigidity and strength of the structures allow us to attach hangers to store tools and other implements we use to milk the goats and clean the floor area. We were pleasantly surprised at how cool the interiors remain, even in the very hot weather we have down here. All in all, the shelters have surpassed our expectations.”
– written by Brenda Welch
(Brenda is a freelance writer and editor living in Hampton Roads, VA)