Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Distractions

I collected 24 eggs today!  A new record.  I did go out and see if the chickens had tried the old laying spot I blocked off.  NO eggs, but there were 3 eggs in the woodshed.  I am thinking about just putting a box out there.  My baby chickens are growing fast, pretty quick I am going to have to let them out of their enclosure to find their own way.  It is always a large fight.  Everyone has to get a spot in the pecking order.  It takes a few weeks for things to settle out.  The nice thing is they live together already, separated by wire, but still used to each other and the sounds they make.  It makes it easier to integrate them.  I talked to the insurance lady today.  She is trying to get a rider attached to our home owner's policy to cover the livestock.  Not sure if it is gonna work, otherwise we have to convert to a farm and it is gonna cost a few hundred bucks more.  Nothing is ever easy.  The funny thing is she didn't like the number of chickens I have.  I have 54 chickens now.  I explained that some were on their way out the door and 24 were still babies.  So that is still pending.

It rained while I was working yesterday.  I had plans to mow the lawn, but the grass was too wet, of course the grass is ankle high now and getting longer every day.  I tried mowing the lawn with the sheep last year and it didn't work out so well.  The sheep liked my decorative bushes and plants, especially the roses.  The grass just kept growing and 6 sheep in a yard can drop a lot of poop in a few days.  This was a sad fact to learn, I had high aspirations of never having to mow a lawn again.  So today, I was headed to the barn to do more digging (my personal workout program) which means I had to cross our front bridge.  I have become fixated on the bridge.  If I can get those beams for cheap (relative term) then I can redo the front bridge for around $1200.  A fabulous price (free labor of course) but one for which I was going to hold off on doing until next year.   I mean, come on the barn is just screaming my name!!!!  I priced  some 16 foot boards, 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick at the custom cutter's for $0.70/ft ($11.20 a board).  I would need two of them, as they are overlapped on the barn.  I would need to side about 60 feet, for a total cost of $1344 (crap, way too much money).  So it looks like I will be using the back wall of the current grain silo as the new outside wall.  Will still need some lumber.  Here is my distraction, the front bridge...

Yes, it really is as bad as it looks.  Actually, you cannot touch the rails as they fall off with any pressure.  Pluse there are a few boards that are rotten on the floor and give when you step on them.  I am amazed it doesn't just fall apart.  It was a lot better in the fall and just seems to get worse every day. The custom cutter has not called me back about the beams yet.  As we live in the country (slowville) it will be at least next week before i find out, maybe the week after when I go to pick up my maple I am having cut into lumber.
So I did make it out to the barn again.  It is very painful.  I am sure that I am going to have to drag a hose and sprinkler up into the barn and put a few thousand gallons of water onto the sheep shit so it can be removed.  I am hoping to triple or quadruple the weight of the sheep shit with water.  That way I can really get a workout!!  The trouble is the dried sheep shit is hard as a rock,  I am only getting a few inches with each swing of the pick ax.  Not good progress at all.  I need at least 8-10 inches with each pick ax swing.  I started using a wide grain shovel today.  It worked great.  I broke the shit loose with the pick ax and regular shovel and used the grain shovel to get a big pile.  Probably, 4-5 times what I could do with the regular shovel.  I did finally get an entire barn width cleaned out about 8 feet deep into the barn now.
You can see the three different floor heights in the picture and dead center there is a small thing sticking out of the floor, that is a rusted off metal fence post in the wooden barn floor.  I will keep plugging away at it.  When it dries out I will crawl under the barn and take some pictures. Before I get to do anything on the barn I am going to shore up the beams and make sure things are stable underneath.