In this article we will be going over how to make two different items because they really go hand in hand and can be used in the same enclosure for the same animals. These items will be targeting on of the most fun and playful animals in any facility: Goats. The first item is a simple teeter-totter that does not take a lot of time or carpentry skill to make and the second item is a simple balance beam made with very few materials.
Building Instructions/ Materials
- Teeter- totter
- A large wooden spool, like the ones used for large amounts of wire (pictured below), or if you don’t have one of these then a large sheet of 1″-2″ plywood will do.
- A large board around a foot wide by at least 3 inches thick and about 10 feet long
- A 4″x4″ or 6″x6″ post
- Several large (6″+) nails
- Jig saw (optional)
- Skill Saw
- 1″ bolts with nuts and washers
- Balance beam
- A downed tree or 3 fence posts
- Chain saw
- The first step will vary depending on whether or not you have a spool laying around, its much easier if you do. If you have a spool the first step will be to dismantle it because it generally has a cardboard interior or a round series of planks, neither of which will allow us to attach a board to.
- Once your spool is dismantled (don’t throw out any cardboard tubes as these can also be used for animals!) you will only be using the top and the bottom round pieces as they will be acting as the wheels for the teeter-totter. If you do not have a spool you can make your own “wheels ” from a sheet of plywood and cut them using the jigsaw (this may take some practice).
- From there you are going to cut your 4″x4″ using the skill saw, it has to be long enough to give your large plank room to go in between the two wheels and enough clearance for an animal to get across. I would take the total width of your top plank and add 6″ a side at least to allow for this.
- Once the 4″x4″ is cut you can line it up with the middle of both wheels and use your drill to pre-drill some holes for the nails, make sure these holes aren’t too loose for the nails as they will be the main thing holding the teeter-totter together. (there might already be holes in the wood from the spool assembly)
- Once your holes are pre drilled through the 4″x4″ and the wheels, line up the holes and using the hammer, drive the nails all the way into the 4″x4″, securing the wheels to it.
- Then you are going to line the large plank on the flat side of the 4″x4″ and pre drill holes through the plank and the 4″x4″ in order to secure it to the spool you have made.
- Finally put your bolts through both the plank and the 4″x4″ and secure the nuts/ washers very tightly. The Teeter totter is now ready to go.
- Take the 3 fence posts or downed tree and cut with a chainsaw into 3 pieces, 2 of these pieces will act as the feet for the balance beam so they can be shorter and one will act as the top beam so this needs to be long enough fo the full length of the beam.
- Once these are cut you will simply need to pre drill a hole though the top beam on either end and part way through each foot.
- After these are pre drilled the large nails can be driven through the top beam and into the feet, securing them together.