Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who knew animals could make that much poop

Luna, our barn kitty, she was following us around.
Today it did not rain so I got to play on the tractor.  I love my tractor.  Annmarie may get jealous if I continue to praise the tractor and all its myriad abilities.  It is a huge force multiplier.  I spent about seven hours moving horse and sheep poop.  It would have taken me a couple of weeks to do it by hand.  The more I use the tractor the more amazed I am by how fast a job can get done.  I dug out all the horse dung alongside the barn and lowered the dirt level to create some natural drainage out of the horse pen.  There was a low spot right at the opening and it was getting pretty muddy and nasty.  Two of the gates could not be fully opened due to all the poop.

 This last fall I thought I could make it all winter without cleaning anything, but there is no way.  After this cleanup I may be able to go a whole year.  I won't, I will do it one more time this fall after we fix the barn.  I want to be ready for winter.  I had plans to move both large piles of sheep dung to a single pile out in the barn lot. Just not enough time.  It is probably going to take a couple of days to move both piles.  There is a lot of shit!  I did move about half the pile that was closest to the barn.  This allowed me to break up the large dry chunks and to make space so I can back a vehicle up to the side of the barn.  My very first step completed on revamping and improving the century old barn. Next step is to crawl underneath the barn and start digging the dry dung away from the rocks so I can install new supports directly onto the bedrock.  I don't want to put the new supports onto a foot of dried dung then let the whole thing get wet and soft.  So yeah for me, more digging under a building.  This is pure physical torture.  I might tear a couple of holes in the floor of the barn so I can stand up and dig.  Sounds like a great idea. 

Zeke thinks we are "working" so he is on the prowl for sheep.   This is all clean now.

We have decided to buy a trailer and I was talking with a local man who is in the know about a used trailer and he told me that I can buy my lumber directly from the mill in Rieth.  So I can buy three units of lumber for the barn.  They also make a tongue and groove board that is 2 inches thick for trailer beds that I could use on the floor of the barn.  I will be pricing that out soon.  He also sells scrap metal and has some old tin roofing.  I am going to go look at that also.  Things are starting to come together. 

Nice clear spot next to the barn so we can do some siding work.

Thursday night someone saw a cougar outside our mother-in-law's house, less than 100 yards from us.  This doesn't include the wolf sightings on the back hillside or the three coyotes I saw during the daylight hours last week.  Our house now looks like an arsenal.  I dusted off my 30-06 for the cougar and brought my father's .243 over for the coyotes.  The 30-30 still sits next to the door for Annmarie to shoot the coons with and there is a pump shotgun with laser and flashlight attached on the other side of the door.  I use it to go out at night now when I am doing the patrol.  The .22 pistol is nice but the ante has been upped and I am unwilling to just take it on a night patrol now.  I will call fish and game on Monday about the cougar being next to a residential dwelling. 

Barn is to the left, I added to the dung pile and smoothed out the road in the process.