Preparing the barn for winter

This winter, after the breeding season, the sheep will have some new classy digs to make use of in inclement weather.  Generally speaking, since these ARE Icelandic sheep, after all, they do fabulously in the winter.  But if we have a winter like last year, with deep snow that won’t go away — OR if we have another freak hurricane or tropical storm — we will be glad to have this barn ready for animals!

 

Up until now, the basement of the barn was just one big open area with a tractor sitting in the middle, in the back.  Now it’s starting to take shape!

 

Here’s a view from the back.

 

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And from the front.

 

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The cool thing about this setup is that it is modular, for the most part.  Roy built these panels (from leftover floorboards from the barn!)  freestanding, and they all fit together at the corners in whatever configuration you want, connected by lengths of rebar that slot into sheetmetal hangers that are put in place at the corners.  That will allow us to partition things in whatever way serves us best for that time of year and situation – not to mention, we can join them together to make a run to squeeze them into for procedures if need be.

 

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To the left it is a permanent assembly.  A gate will go in that open space.  He also made the sides a bit more lamb-proof, boarding it up better at the bottom in case we need to put a ewe and lamb off by themselves.

 

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He’s also finally got a ladder in place to make it much easier to go between floors (vs. the old way of walking outside all around the barn!)  

 

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Going up?!

 

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All of these things make our barn so much more usable now, especially if/when we want to add a cow to the mix!  We even have some stanchions ready to go that we bought from an old barn when the time comes!

So, Old Man Winter:  I’m not sayin’ ya have to come back and bite us quite as hard as you did LAST year, but just in case you do, I think we’ll be that much more ready!

 

Oh yeah – and while I’m dialoging with the weather…Hurricane Maria?  You just keep your distance, ok?!  At least wait until we get a new generator up and running!

 

p.s. – while I was typing, I heard Millie baa-ing outside.  Then her lambs.  I did a silly thing and ignored it.  Next thing I hear is my son’s voice, frantically calling for me.  I looked outside to see about 10 sheep grazing freely in the backyard!  I’d better learn to listen to Millie!  She usually has something important to baa about!

 

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