Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
Not just a quaint country saying but our real life mantra. Livestock shelter has been a challenge for us as our finances dwindle and we work towards that goal of getting by on less, and less, and even less. On the old place we had a HUGE barn that sheltered over a hundred animals at one point. Here, there is no barn at all but creative farmer-geneering will get us and our few critters though the winter.
Three of the steers are under six months while one is just over a year. It is by far the most convoluted of all our shelters on the property but the dang thing is solid and will provide a good dry spot out of rain and snow and wind for our beefy boys.
Keith started with our original hog farrowing hut, thus my "maternity ward" lettering, that we had brought from the old farm, and used as chicken coop for the last year here. But when he remodeled the old well house, which used to be an old wood shop into our "new" chicken house, this small building was empty.
Too short for the yearling steer to get into, Keith used a variety of materials to build a three sided lean- to and attach it to the farrowing shed turned chicken coop turned calf shed.
These materials included old pallets, leftover wooden gates, old plywood panels, corrugated metal panels removed form the 100 year old collapsed barn on this property and four rubber horse stall mats (for the roof) gifted to us by one of my sisters. (Thanks again Teresa and John!)
Sure, it's a bit homely, but it is sturdy and dry.
Much the same can be said about the author of this blog.
And now a quick review of all our critters homes for this upcoming winter.
The Chicken Coop that used to be a well house that used to be a wood shop
The cow shed/milking parlor that used to be a steer shed on the old farm
The original Poor Farm Feed Shed which remains a feed shed and storage shed
The section on the right is original to the farm from 1856 but the addition of the
left is probably from the 1970's
The Horse Barn which is really a livestock trailer.
We move it in and out of her pen when we have to haul hay or take animals to the locker.
The Decrepit House circa 1865
Used for storage and dog housing
One day we will have gathered enough materials and financial resources to have a real barn again, but until then we're make do, because we don't want the animals to do without.