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The buck barn has been finished for a few months. OK, almost 6 months. I obviously neglected to post the final installment in the saga.
The metal was all repurposed from either the shop or the barn builds. We had mostly grey siding to work with. We certainly tried to use that first, and on the sides that would be the most easily viewed from the house. Three of the four sides are indeed grey, and keep some continuity with the rest of the outbuildings. The half wall is made up of the tan colored pieces that the metal company used to protect the grey when strapping it down for shipping. It works great, and I seriously doubt that the neighbors are going to care that they get to look at the tan side, if they can even see it through the trees.
The inside was a bit of a design challenge when it came to the hay feeder. The feeders in the Retirement Home and the Milker Barn are the slatted jobs to reduce hay wastage. The buck necks are much thicker. The danger of having their heads stuck between the slats and their pen-mates deciding to take a cheap shot is pretty high. We modified the feeder to have horizontal slats to prevent the boys from just coming over the hay box. We installed a salt & mineral feeder on the inside edge of the hay box. The boys don’t seem to mess with it like they did the one mounted to the wall.
The front of the building can hold a dozen bales of hay. We did add the section of cattle panel to keep the goats from leaning over the half wall and helping themselves to the hay quite so easily. A grain bin and the dog food bin fill out the space. This set up makes it very easy for anyone to feed the boys no matter what time of the year that it is. Once the bucks are busy with the grain in the hay feeder you can slip in and feed the dog without getting funky. Eventually we will have a separate entrance to the chicken coop so we don’t have to access the coop only through the buck pen.
We will finish insulating the walls this spring/summer. I will say that the next one we build will have the roof insulation installed before the metal goes on. The condensation on the ceiling makes it rain inside when the wind blows. It ought to help with the heat in the summer too.
The guys installed an outlet for the electric fence charger and a light socket. The light has been very nice on the dark days of winter. We left the floor as dirt for better drainage. The one drawback with the dirt floor is the Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dog. He likes to dig a nest. We’ve come in to feed him, and nearly fallen into the sleeping pit that he dug next to the gate!
The boys seem pretty happy with their new digs. Edvard, the Saanen buckling, will be reintroduced to the pen in a few weeks. He was a scraper, but with Wynton, Cute, and Otis in there, he was getting the short end of the hay feeder. Seeing as he was still a kid, we pulled him out and let him test the middle pen. It is where we transition the keeper kids from the indoor pen to being outside. Once they are tall enough to get their heads in and out of the big hay feeder on their own, we put them out with the big girls.
The timing of the construction of Buckingham was spot on. During one of our windstorms this fall, the old buck shack fell over! All but one of the posts had been destroyed by termites. I was so glad to not have to be out there trying to make some emergency repairs in nasty weather. (Been there. Done that!)
It was just too hot yesterday to get much done on the barn. It was 95º and the only flat place to cut the metal siding was in the full sun. In the interest of preserving my husband from heat stroke. I made him quit.
He did get several pieces of the siding on. I washed them last night after it cooled down a bit.
Most of this building is being constructed from leftover materials from our other two big metal pole barns. Some of the metal pieces are pretty icky since they have been lying around for nearly 10 years. A little soap, water, and a broom took care of most of it.
The window was purchased from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and originally intended for the Milker Barn. The construction guys neglected to tell me that because the window frame shared the same support beam as the door jamb, I needed tempered glass for that window to pass inspection. Hence the boy’s lovely window.
If you are considering a building project, the Re-Store can be a good place to find items. Remember to take your exact measurements and a tape measure with you. Get all of the specifications for the materials you will need, as they don’t take returns.
Monday morning Cody had stopped by work and picked up the couple of boards we were missing for the end caps. That guy is going to need to get a pick-up truck one of these days!
The crew was caffeinated and blueberry muffinated by the time I left for work.
As I was leaving they were cutting the spanner pieces for the roof framing. They had also decided to take hints from the construction of the big barn on how the ends and edges have been finished.
When I returned home from work this is what I saw. The roof was on. The door had been built and hung. The window was framed in, and they were just putting on the door handle. Kind of.
They really wanted to use the shed antler we found in the woods, but thought they had better get final approval before they did.
It’s a buck hut. How could I say no?
The construction day started a little later on Sunday and it was interrupted by a few rain delays. An unused water tank works great as a compressor rain hat.
After the first one it became humid and we lost the breeze for a while. Ugh. At least we managed to stay productive during the time outs. During the first one, the guys fished out the lumber from the rafters of the milker barn for the roof. During the second, we had lunch. By the end of the day they had gotten the walls framed in and the rafters up on the beams.
There was some serious discussion about the length of the over-hang on both the front & back of the roof. With a 3 foot over hang on the short side it will protect the blueberry bushes from most of the snow shed when it slides off. Any shorter, and they would have been direct targets. In turn, that kept us from having to put bracing poles under the other side.
Once the framing was up, we started looking at the floor. The ground was pretty uneven and now that the walls were started, the tractor wouldn’t fit in to scrape it level.
Bring in the sand! There is a big bank of sandy dirt part way down the road out to the woods. It’s naturally occurring, not something some one purchased or dumped. It works great as barn flooring. The milkers and kids have been using it for a few years and the drainage is great. Better yet, it’s free! The guys ran down and scooped a few loads while I finished supper. It certainly filled in the low spots and made the floor much easier to navigate.
While I was up in Port Angeles running a verification test for Lucky Star Farm, this was going on at home.
Em & Dad made the run to the lumber store for the framing timbers and other essentials this morning. Cody had the day off and came over in the afternoon to lend Dad a hand digging holes and setting posts.
Apparently some of the holes had to be re-dug because of some plumbing pipes. Thankfully none of the pipes were cracked/broken to create a new lawn irrigation system during the digging!
I am impressed with the string system to keep everything close to square. (Well, as square as it can be with a LaMancha wether plucking at it.)
The guys were setting in the last post about the time I got home. This building will be closer to square and plumb than anything else we have built ourselves so far.
I heard rumors that the work crew will be back tomorrow afternoon for the next stage of construction.
In order to give us some room to build the new buck
fortress palace, we needed to move a few fence lines around. The boys needed to stay secure at the same time, since we didn’t want to spend the better part of the day chasing them back home.
We had an old chain link kennel that we used if we needed to keep one of the animals separate for a few minutes. We expanded it and are using it as part of a temporary fence and the entrance gate. Once we had the front fenced off, the Anatolian wasn’t too sure about the new pen. It was a lot smaller than he liked and it made him a bit nervous. He pretty much gave in once the back part of the old fence came down and he had access to about three times the amount of space.
This is one of the corner posts we put in 10 years ago. It was just part of a fir tree that we cut into logs to use as fence posts. The fence panels were only things that were holding it up! The chickens are having a field day picking the rotten log apart and snacking on the grubs!
Here it is all ready for the next phase. I think Eric will bring in the tractor and try to level out the ground as much as possible. There are some pretty good ruts along the former fence lines. I’m thinking about ways to mitigate that problem for next fall. I am looking at installing some of that weed block type fabric and then covering it with gravel around the areas that will get the most traffic. It looks like it does a pretty good job around the high traffic areas in horse stables. I’m all for avoiding large mud holes if I can.
While we still have plenty of work to do, Otis is enjoying the new pasture space and a new spool. You can see the line in the grass in front of the spool where the old fence came out.
The two Old Girls get a spacious shed and pasture. The Milkers get the new barn with a nice-sized pasture and access to the woods. What do the Boys get?
A run down shack tucked under a fir tree. And that has been pretty much torn apart by a horned meat goat who was a previous inhabitant. Actually, that stupid goat did more damage to buildings and fences in his year here than all of the rest of the boys combined have done in 11 years. He was a stupid animal. He stood and whacked his head on the fence pole for hours day after day.
Anyhow, I digress.
It is time to bring the boys up to the standard of living that they would like to become accustomed to. First things first. Enlarge their pasture to the back perimeter fence, nearly tripling the size. Upgrade the separating fence to cattle panels to keep them on their side. (Very important during breeding season!)
This is the progress we made for the day. Eric got the poles dug and set. We installed the new fence panels.
The deconstruction of the current isolation/boarding/holding pen is underway. It will be rebuilt with slightly different dimensions once the new buck barn is built. We did manage to get all of the 2×4 kennel mesh fence down and out of there tonight. Somebody put A LOT of wire twists on there to keep it securely affixed to the other fencing.
Tomorrow is more fence fiddling for the continued containment of the boys and dog during this adventure. I’ll keep you posted!
The goats were moved in to their new barn yesterday. The girls weren’t really too sure about the whole thing. They had never been in a building with ceilings that high. Most of the “shelters” that they have lived in since they were born on the farm have not been much over 8 feet tall. (The height of a sheet of plywood stood on end.)
They were a bit leery of the space, and the way sounds bounce around in there. It won’t echo quite so bad once we have the concrete pad poured and the hay stored inside. The tall goats made quick work of figuring out how to get into the hay feeder. The vertically challenged ones took a little longer to work out a solution. Saturday’s job is to put up a toe rail for them to step up on so they can get their heads in to the feeder holes.
The fence and front gate sections were put in, and seem to be doing their job just fine. Everybody is still where we put them the night before. We will add some hot wire to keep them from standing on the fence and slowly pulling it to the ground.
We did have to do a bit of trenching until we can get the rain water drained off the way we want it. As we were working, it reminded me of the special we saw on how the Grand Canyon was carved. I do believe that we had an added benefit of using a grub-hoe and a trenching shovel, but it was still fascinating to see the power that water has to create or destroy, even on that small of a scale. Our efforts seem to have paid off. The barn did not get any more water inside, and the puddling, mini-lakes have drained. I am sure the EPA/ground-water guy will not be happy with our answer to keeping the barn from having an indoor water feature. He can get in the line behind the quilting police for “People who want to have a word with me on how I do things.”
So, all in all it was a Happy Hay Day, and how can you start out a year better than that? I suppose you could go to my Aunt & Uncle’s to have a New Year’s sandwich party and visit with the family like we did. But, since there is limited parking at their place, and you don’t know all of the inside family jokes, you will have to find your own way.
Happy New Year to you all!
The crew finished framing in the front windows and door this morning.
They managed to finish adding the siding at the top of the roof and some of the skin for the door by the end of the day. They arrive at about 7AM and knock off by about 3:30 to 4PM. Which is probably good since it is starting to get dark by then.
This is the space that will be the milk parlour and handling space once we get it framed in and figure out what the codes really are. I am sure that will be another post all in its own!
We have walls now! The construction guys got the majority of the wall work done today. The rear sliding door was hung, but is not covered in siding yet.
I also received a lesson in windows. Apparently if you want to put a window within two feet of a door the window must be made of tempered glass. I did not know that. The week before, I purchased two windows for the front of the barn. One of them was tempered and the other was not, and I didn’t even notice. I purchased them from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. This is a great place to shop, as there are many great bargains to be had if you know exactly what you are looking for. The only stipulation is that they don’t take returns or exchanges. The tempered glass window was about 10 inches too wide to go next to the door, and the other window would have been perfect, but it wasn’t tempered and wouldn’t meet code. Grrr. So, today I headed back to the store to find a tempered window that was about 2 feet wide. They had one tempered glass window. One. It was 25″x30″, but doesn’t open. Nice. Oh well, at least I will have some light in the room, even if there won’t be a fresh breeze.
The window is the reason that they didn’t get to the front of the place. Kind of hard to frame in a window you can’t see to measure exactly. I had to wait to drop off the window until after parent-teacher conferences at pre-school. We will see how close they get to finished before Thanksgiving.