Baby chicks are here.

Baby chicks in dining room

The baby chicks came from Ideal hatchery today.  I spent yesterday building a nursery out of a large blue plastic bin.  I cut the lid and bolted down some rabbit wire on top so the air could circulate and the cats and dogs could not get to the baby chicks.  I had the heat lamp inside the bin but the chicks were getting too hot so I cut a clamp spot and moved it outside the bin.  The chicks seem to like it better.  We ended up with two extra chickens and four of them are yellow and probably not what we ordered.  They are all healthy and we had no deaths out of 100 chickens.  I will be ordering from them again. 
It is a good thing since Sarah only collected four eggs today!  We definitely need some new blood.  In a week or so we will move the chicks out to the coop.  This gives us some time to play with them and keep them nice and warm.  Still no more lambs.  They should be lambing again before the new year.  We figure at least another 3-4 ewes should deliver. 

Barn work commences again.

Last of the sheep pile, fence cleared and ground leveled.

Cow lean too with feeder in it for winter.

 I took the girls out with me today so we could start putting siding back up on the barn.  The South side needs all new facing.  It needs a large window up top, but facing is going to happen first.  First, we had to dig out all the animal feces in between the walls and take nails out of the boards.  Once that was done then I had to cut out some of the old siding.  I am going to salvage as much as I can so a surgical strike with the sawzall was necessary.  I was in a hurry and didn’t want to put the harness on.  The girls gave me lots of flack for not being safe.  Sarah kept wanting to know who she should call first 911 or mom.  I told her 911 if I fell from the top of the barn definitely. 
It took a while to get every thing ready before we could start reinstalling the siding.  The prep time seems to always take the longest of every project.  We did finally get to start putting up the siding.  When the girls went in for lunch I worked on the siding around the windows.  They didn’t actually go in for lunch, they snuck over and got on the horses Annmarie had just groomed.  The horses were in good spirits and Hogs only slid Monica off her back one time.  We let the sheep and horses in the front yard for the weekend to eat all the leaves and shorten the grass before going into winter.  This is a labor saving tool (who likes raking leaves?) not to be underestimated.

Front of the barn needing to be refaced.
Sawing off the boards with sawzall.

The girls riding the horses.

The large opening at the top of the barn is going to get a large 8 foot x 4 foot window eventually.  The two little windows go into Annmarie’s tack room and they let in a large amount of light.  It is easy to see and find things during the day. 

The top left side of the barn needs to have the boards removed so I can use the long horizontal top beam as an anchor point for the siding.  It is 16 feet from the bottom to the upper beam and my boards are 16 feet long so it was important to get those removed.  They did not want to come free easily.
Monica ended up getting a piece of sawdust in her left eye while her and Sarah were sliding one of the 16 foot boards up the wall.  It was just dust from the boards.  We ended up having to go in and try to get it out.  I was unsuccessful but while we waited for the eye doctor to call us back it resolved itself.   So we just went out, put all the tools away and called it a day.  I will get it done eventually. 

Partially completed first layer.