Monday, November 28, 2016

Animal Shelter Completion 2016


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.

A couple of days ago Keith finished the last puzzle piece to animal shelter 2016 by creating this shed for our four young steers.



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. 


16 comments:

  1. I have always admired make-do agricultural buildings, from old railway carriages, to disused shipping containers, they all seem to end-up on farms.

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    1. Me too Cro. What I hate are these goofballs who pay $1500 for a pre made chicken coop with Victorian design no less, big enough to house 5 birds.

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  2. Make do or do without! Good job all around. Tell more about the 1865 house please or direct me to past post that do. What a beauty!

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    1. The old house here is sadly in very bad shape. When we bought this property in 2013, before moving here in 2015, it was even them beyond repair. Unlived in for many years, the property was bank owned and not maintained. the foundation was shot and the two roofs over the porches are now collapsing. The interior may last another year or two, we share see, so we use it to store all our non-valuables like extra wood and building materials. We hope to salvage parts of it like windows, for the barn we plan to build. The dogs get it for sleeping quarters and they think it is grand.

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  3. I need to knock something up similar fairly soon or I'll be lambing outside again where I can't catch them! I have a couple of containers that help me out with storage of equipment. The old house looks like a big project, are you thinking of tackling it one day?

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    1. See above Kev. One day I'll do a post just on the old house with more pics.

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  4. Re-purposing saves money and waste. Good for you!

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    1. Man, does it ever. Total cost of the new steer shed? A big fat zero.

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  5. Your chickens have a room with a view. I love it that you called the hog farrowing shed the Maternity Ward.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Even I like to hang out in the chicken coop for longer than is needed. The windows bring in a lot of light and since it faces south it has been quite warm and cozy in their this fall.

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  6. Living in the country is about achieving goals and solving problems in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. Using everything to hand, as often as possible, epitomizes that mantra. It looks to me like you folks are doing an outstanding job of practicing that essential skill.

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    1. Well thanks Harry.And you are so right about the problem solving, it's ongoing and many times a sturdy piece of hay twine will suffice and other times...it takes two pieces!

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  7. The structures may be not the prettiest around, but if they will get the job done and at a minimal cost then so what/ And repurposing is one of my favorite things to do, even when I recycle and reuse mailing envelopes and boxes.

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    1. When we win the lotto Beatrice we will splurge and but 1000 cans of spray paint and paint everything the same color. Maybe Fushia?

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  8. I think it is great to repurpose, and I like the result.

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    1. Thank you Linda. My parents both saved things, my husband has always saved things, I was caught between trying to avoid the cluttered look and yet saving money. So now I make my husband stack all his leftover woods in piles of descending order, wood type and number of nails in the saved wood. Yeah, you think I'm kidding.

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