To construct the pens ( Fig. 1(461)), farmers use locally available materials such as bamboo and coconut lumber for the walls; and nipa, cogon grass, or galvanized iron sheets for the roof. An open feeding trough is usually attached to the side of the pen, high enough for the farmer to fill with forage for the morning and afternoon ration. The floor, usually made of bamboo, is elevated by 0.5-1.2 m from the ground and slatted to allow feces and urine to easily pass through.
Other Innovative Means of Collecting Goat Manure
Since manure collection has been a usual problem, farmers came up with the following innovations:
The rake can be made from an old tin can, where one of its long sides, with the corners intact, is cut to form the manure-raking pan. A bamboo pole, long enough to reach the whole area under the pen, is attached to the mid portion of the tin pan by nails and wires.
Catching Nets under the Pen
This method uses an old, fine-meshed fish net attached by nails and wires to the four sides underneath the pen ( Fig. 2(458)). The net droops to one end, where a basin ( Fig. 3(465)) or a pail stands to catch the falling manure. When the container is full, the manure is emptied into either a manure pit or into sacks.
Framed Nets under the Pen
This method frames the fish net with lumber, with just one side of the framed net attached onto one end of the pen's bottom. The other end is suspended in an inclined manner using a wire attached to the other side of the pen's bottom. The farmer merely taps the end that is suspended to allow the feces to roll and ease dung collection.
Inclined Gi Sheet
For this method, old corrugated galvanized iron sheets are used as inclined boards ( Fig. 4(469)) where manure rolls down to a manure canal, where collection is easier.
For the farmers, keeping their goats in elevated pens curbed mortality and their innovations eased the problem of manure collection, allowing efficient use of waste matter in the farm. Although not permanent, these manure-collecting contraptions are seen by farmers as serving their needs, confident that whatever new problems may emerge from these new practices can surely be dealt with better designs.
Index of Images
Figure 1 Elevated Goat Pen
Figure 2 Catching Net under a Pen
Figure 3 Catch Basin for Manure
Figure 4 Gi Sheets under a Pen
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