Monday, September 23, 2013

Shelter

With the sudden onset of Fall, my DH has been busy battening down the hatches, so to speak. He and Brian moved some of the wood into our woodshed, and tarped the rest.

He's been busy building a roof over the new, bigger henyard.

Covering the old henyard with a tarp last winter made a HUGE difference in keeping hens, henhouse and eggs clean and dry. (I'm not sure why we're upgrading from a tarp to a structure that can handle a Minnesota snow-load....) Rick plans to use some translucent panels for natural light, and has also removed some overhanging limbs since I took the above photo.

On the far side of the henhouse is the wooded sheep lot, where Bramble, Bart, Bittersweet and Bing are spending breeding season. The trees provide some shelter, and the deluxe hay feeder Rick built keeps their hay and heads dry.

Browning (whose 2012 fleece I just finished spinning) and Blake are in the Sheep Sheraton, as much out of sight and sound of the ewes and visiting ram as I can manage. The arrangement seems to be working; Blake isn't acting like a frustrated ram at all.

The breeding group is the only one with both outdoor quarters and shelter, the Ram-ada Inn. (No, I haven't seen any breeding action, not even sniffing or lip-curling since the first 24 hours after I turned Nightcap in with the ladies. It's going to be a looong five months to see if I get any lambs by him!)
That's Annabelle standing in the doorway, trying to decide if she wants to elbow in for some hay after getting her hand-out.
Every morning after I serve up the breeding group's breakfast hay and the other three sheep go inside to eat, I sneak Annabelle a little grain. She is ten years old and a bit on the thin side; I want her to have sufficient calories to support herself and a set of twin ewe lambs. (I'm practicing the power of positive thinking!)  ;-) She produces a G2 Fine Premium fleece for me every year, has produced at least one ram (Bunker) with a G1 Superfine Premium mature fleece, and has given me two sets of ram/ewe twins with very nice fleeces as well. I know her lambs will not disappoint.

That's it for now from . . .

3 comments:

Susan said...

Dear Annabelle! She reminds me of my Flora, who is much loved and missed. And I cannot believe the structure of that coop run roof! That should keep them nice a sheltered through anything! (Lots of exclamation points!!) @:0)

Sandy said...

Michelle,

DH and Brian are knuckling down and preparing for a nice cold winter I see with all that wood. It's better to be prepared than not. The coop is going to look nice when totally done. All the chickens are going to be sitting nice and dry.

melanie said...

...because if you spend all that time and effort building a roof that will carry a mountain of snow, then you will get nothing but dustings all winter.....don'tcha know???

Sorry for Brian....Dad just ruined his chances of snow fun...