Barn roof day 6.

I was sure Wednesday would be the day we finished the cupola!  Mr. President came over at 0800 and we spent two hours finishing the siding assembly inside the barn.  We finished cutting the metal flashing that goes under the siding and then disassembled the entire thing into neat little piles laid out all over the barn. We managed to get that 30 foot ladder in place on the roof, not a one person job.  I had two different screw bags and had belted myself into the safety harness.  I decided to install the long sides first.  They weigh around eighty pounds and had to be carried up to the roof then drug up roof.  The worst part was trying to hold it in place while standing on those two little toe hold boards.  It kept trying to slide down while I was holding it in place and trying to not fall off the roof.  I got both long sides installed then installed four 2x4s across the top, side to side.  It was a good thing as the top had to be spread out almost two inches. The ends were relatively easy as they only weighed half of a long side.  Once all the sides were anchored together I put on the roof.  I stand in the vent holes to reach up onto roof.  I then installed the tin roof and peak vent.  I was drinking water like crazy and felt my brains cooking. The ambient temperature was 95 degrees and on top of the roof was 10-15 degrees warmer.  I called it good once the roof was installed.  I crawled off roof and there was no way I was going back up. So it is still not done.  We have 13 hrs into the current cupola alone, but this is a good thing.  The first one took 40 hours to complete and was done on the rooftop, piece by piece.  I am hoping a few hours on Monday will see us finished and back onto tinning the main roof.  I expect to be done in a few days and can move back into some fencing upgrades and a few gates. 
On a very good note the upper prime squared pasture has been disced under and is going to be ready for hay planting next year.  This will give us plenty of hay next winter.  Annmarie calculated that we need to separate out the baby calves in November so they can be kept away from the bull for six months. We will wean the two heifers and one neutered male all at the same time.  Next year we will breed the heifers. Things are starting to go in the right direction with the animals. 

Barn roof day 5.

Soon to be second cupola.

PGG going out of business sale.

It is happening.  The barn roof is going to get finished.  I crawled up onto the roof today and installed the pressure treated wooden anchor pieces.  Took a bunch of measurements and then Mr. President and I went into the barn and started cutting OSB.  We measured and cut out the four sides.  Then we started to add the 2×4 reinforcements.  I only had to crawl back onto the roof two more times to take measurements I did not know I needed.  Once that was done I considered mounting it on the roof and hollering down measurements for the siding.  The last cupola took 40 hours to install and I don’t want to repeat that.  So we are cutting the siding and fitting it in place.  The entire first layer is on and we are going to do the second layer first thing in the morning.  They are all numbered and layered so I can put it back on once the cupola shell is installed on the roof.  I am hoping to be done tomorrow! 

One of our local feed and farm supply stores is going out of business.  I managed to get two more gates and 100 T-posts, the last five bags of chicken layer crumbles, five bags of wheat and the two barrels of protein supplement for the cows.  The one barrel of protein supplement was the only thing I was sent to purchase.  The gates were selling fast I don’t think any made it past Monday. I have enough fencing supplies for next year except 8 railroad ties.  That is the only thing left.  I may get the barn roof done early and I have to install the cow fence over by the barn to make sorting easier and I want to install a small gate down in the lower pasture so we can let the animals down into the school house pasture next year.  I still have to fix school house pasture but the small gate will make it easier to move the animals.  Just a few more projects in the making. 

Barn work would be nice.

Summer storm rolling in.

Creek crossing for bull.

I wanted to get up on the barn roof last week, but our bull has been back just over a week at that point.  Annmarie told me he had gotten out of the pasture again.  He has been back less than 14 days and he is already escaping.  So instead of working on the barn roof Mr. President and I went in to Grandma’s house and cut the apple tree and lilac bush back from the sidewalk.  She had gotten a notice of noncompliance from the city.  She is now in compliance. 

We then went and worked on fence.  I had walked the fence line and below Donna’s house and found the creek crossing had been bent back by the bull.  Also, it looked like someone had been testing the fence all along the wheat field.  It was loose and bent in multiple locations.  I know the bull never got into the wheat field.  So we spent several hours tightening fence, installing some new T-posts and several wooden stays.  We also rearranged the panels over the creek and clipped them to the T-posts down next to the creek.  The fence looks much better now and the bull has not escaped since.  We went on vacation over the weekend so there was NO farm work done.

Barn inside work.

I keep meaning to get on the roof, but we had Ruby’s 90th birthday party so Mr. President and I worked inside for a few hours then went and finished cleaning up and putting away items.  We sold our medieval pavilion after the party.  We don’t use it and we had an interested party.  
We added a floor at the top of the barn loft stairs so I van load the grain chute easily.  I took one of the turbinators and chained it in place to act like a chute into the grain bin.  I just need to add some sheet metal to the openings so the mice cannot get in.  I am going to put in a couple of rails next to the dumping station as I did not extend the floor out that direction.  I don’t want to stumble off and fall eight feet onto a sheep jug.  I am sure I would not survive it unscathed.  
We added a see through wall at the far end of the barn. I still need to add a small 18 inch gate so the sheep will stay out of the dog area.  I ordered the missing gate from premiere last week and it should be here Thursday with the other wall holes.  At that point I can install the sorting chute.  Annmarie showed me how to angle the walls of the sorting chute so the sheep cannot turn around easily. I hope it keeps them from turning around at all.  Tomorrow the second cupola work begins as long as it doesn’t continue to rain throughout the night.  We had a weather alert today for severe thunderstorms with lightning, rain and wind over 60 mph.  We got it all.  

Dinner time.

Annmarie and I spent three hours trying to finesse the cows into the square pen.  They do not like the square pen, bad things happen to them there.  We kept Zeke under control and used him as a far away threat and it worked pretty good until we got down near the square pen.  We had to run them into the barn lot and then back into the square pen.  I am going to have to put a cross fence in the barn lot so we can do that every time.  One more chunk of fence to construct at some time in the not too distant future…

We left the bull in the back barn lot with free access to water and fed him a bale of hay.  That way he would be ready for the butcher.  Annmarie was going to be out of town and I was working so he needed to be easily accessible.  I happened to be there when the butcher came so I got to see him at work.  He is so fast!  The bull carcass looked really good at 13 months old and they called me later that day to say his carcass weight was 340 pounds, or half a normal beef carcass.  Exactly what we want, HALF!  The butcher kept out the tail, heart, liver, kidneys, and tongue for a friend who feeds their dogs an all natural diet.  Glad it can get used. 

I was out smoothing our driveway with the tractor when the semi truck delivery showed up with our sheep sorting chutes.  I helped with the tractor and it took about three minutes to get the load off the truck.  It had to sit out in the driveway for a week until I could get some free time, Mr. President could not unload some of the panels so it had to wait until today so I could help.

Wheat harvest was done last week.  It was the first year out of CRP and I was told the nitrogen load test was zero.  The club wheat only yielded 20 bushels/acre but it was not good around here in general.  So hopefully, next year will be better.



Soon to be dinnertime.

Sheep sorting chute.

Harvest in progress

Our first beef.

Barn coming together.

It is very hot here.  I have not gotten back onto the roof of the barn.  Annmarie and I are cooking for grandma’s 90 th birthday party so I have my four days allotted to setting up pavilion and popups and chairs and tables and food and cooking food.  So no barn progress for a while. I put in for a bunch of vacation on the next work schedule so I can finish it up. Mr. President and I arranged the new sorting chute panels in the barn. I need to order one more gate, two pegs and 15 wood holes to attach it all in place. Once that arrives I will secure it in place.  It is going to work out very nice.  One person and the dog will be able to sort an entire herd of sheep alone and do the tagging and banding alone. 
We added a lid to the internal old metal grain bin and I added an articulated handle made out of scraps I picked off the metal pile.  It works great and makes it so we can ensure a positive door closure. Now I just need to cut a hole in the lid and drop one of the turbinators through it so the bin can be loaded by just emptying the bag out at waist height into the turbinators, then passing into bin.  I will work on that a little at a time.  
I used the tractor and graded an area for the new cross fence in the barn lot.  I just need to get four railroad ties, two 4×4 and one sixteen foot gate and I will be ready to install it.  This will happen in next six weeks so it will be ready when we have to roundup other two cows for butcher.  Mr. President is moving the dirt so the lot will be empty with no obstacles. The dirt is going in the rocky part of the orchard so hopefully I can get some grass to grow.  
I picked our golden plums this week.  Another four days would have been ideal but the hornets had already eaten half of them so I braved the stinging insects and picked twenty decent fruits from the tree.  I tossed all the bad stuff onto the ground for the sheep.  We need another ten cow panels so I can circle the rose bushes and a few trees protecting them from the animals. It’s only another $300. 
I also need to order our wind vane for the barn roof this weekend. Eventually, I would like to get one on every outbuilding. I think they look cool. 


Steve cobbled handle from scrap.

New sheep sorting chute system.

Sheep chute needs another gate.

Horses, sheep and chickens all comingling peacefully.  Our ram is near the middle of the picture.