Predators 14, Steve 3

Well this is my catch up post.  We have been very busy with other things and haven’t had time to make a post.  So I am going to try and catch everything up.  For starters I snagged another raccoon in the live trap on Monday night.  I had to go to work very early Tuesday morning so Sarah and Annmarie had to finish it off and take it up to the bone yard to dump off the body.  Of course I managed to lose one more hen in the last week.  I haven’t done an official count in the last week, but I saw a new pile of feathers.  I will do one next week.  So I reset the trap and baited it with dog food tonight when I locked the chickens up.  I have been looking at my new baby chicks and I think I ended up with more roosters than hens.  The chickens are definitely of different sizes now.  I have 7 huge chicks and 4 small ones, plus one normal small showgirl and one showgirl that is so small if I did not know any better I would say she is a brand new chick.  Just tiny!  I played with them for a little while today.  We try and get them used to some handling.  We haven’t had one as friendly as “Wally” our WalMart greeter that got eaten last year.  Wally would jump up on the perch and want to be petted whenever you went into the coop.  She got eaten by a raccoon.

The barn is dug out!!  I am not sure of the total hours exactly, but it is somewhere just over 80 hours.

Hector did a great job.  The barn floor is in real rough shape.  I never could have used a piece of equipment to dig it out.    We did go over our budget by about 50% but it was worth it.  Now I need to work on the floor and supports after I figure out how to get the last 1 inch of sheep crap off of the wood floor so I can tell what is salvageable and what isn’t.  You can see the “dirt” on the wood floor (it is sheep crap).  I tried to use the hose with a spray nozzle, it got about 40% off but that glued on stuff was not coming off.  So I am going to use a pressure washer on it and I am sure it will work.  I will also pop a board up off the floor every 10 feet or so to spray the crap under the barn instead of working it toward an outside door.  Pretty obvious where the crap level was!  
Hector also dug out the attached lean to on the end of the barn.  It was even deeper than the barn as the cows used to get in there and hang out.
So this is all completed now.  It was finished today.  The floor is some menagerie.  I cannot sense any rhyme or reason to the direction of the different floor sections or why there are so many different sections.  Kinda weird.  This section is going to get ripped off so I can use the tin ceiling for the main barn and the wood in the barn.  
This is the pile of crap from the main part of the barn.  In the middle is a path so you can get to the barn.  Once this gets wet I expect those large chunks to turn into a smelly mush.  In a couple of years this will be primo compost!  The metal silver topped building is my chicken coop and the building to the left of that is the old house that we are using as a shed.  It is the shelter for my future wood shop.  You can see by the dryness that Summer is here.  We had a very impressive lightning storm today.  I expect some fires from it.  
This is the pile for the lean to.  All this was removed with a pick ax, shovel and wheelbarrow.  Not easy work, but Hector did a great job and wants more work.  I had a hard time explaining that I had run out of money and he did great work, I just could not afford for him to keep working.  I managed to get it across and wrote his phone number in the wood of the barn with a nail for future reference.  
I took this picture through one of the old barn windows.  They had some heavy duty screen on them.  We are going to screen them again and place wooden shutters inside the barn for ease of operation of the shutters.  I am still not sure if I will use fly screen or just use some hardware cloth (heavy duty mesh wire with 1/2 inch openings).  I figure the bugs can get in anywhere, but the hardware cloth will keep the birds and predators out.  Sarah took this last picture at Sunset the other day.  The longer I look at the picture the more I like it.  The symmetry works, the sky and ground lines line up, let me know what you think of it.  
Sarah’s sunset picture

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