October 7, 2014

Building The Barn- Part 1

Building a barn has always been in the plan since we bought this place. Not only is our tiny "tack shed" a joke because your saddle always seems to be in the back of the three other saddles, but pulling calves in the dark, and the rain isn't ideal. After three years of living here and working without a barn, we finally have the means to build one.
Since we hired someone to build our root cellar and have been sadly disappointed, we've decided to take this project into our own hands. We have limited time spans (weekends), to do any work on the barn, so this may go slower than we hoped. We just need it done by March, when the cows start calving. I had a drafting class in college, so I drew out what we'd been talking about- to scale. When I drew this up the Ranch Hand loved it. Here are the building plans: 

 Step one was to get the water lines in. We are also adding onto our corrals we put in the winter we got here. With that addition we are putting in two hydrants, one in the barn for the vet room sink, and one just outside the barn door. We are also putting in three automatic, NON FREEZING, read that NON FREEZING, no electricity required waterers. If you are my friend on Facebook then you know how much ice I've chopped and how fond of it I am. You may be wondering how can they not freeze over without a heat source that comes from electricity? I will explain more later, but suffice to say the plumbing is way underground- eleven feet to be exact, and it uses thermal heat to keep them warm. They may freeze the top of the standing water, but it's easy to break with your boot. Hooray! Throw away the axe, the ice chopper, and the scoop shovel! Maybe not, we've got plenty of other tanks that will freeze over. But it did make me happy just thinking about it!

The digging of the trenches for the water lines begins. We rented this John Deere backhoe. I ran it for a while, pretty fun. I did have a heavy machinery class in college and got to run one there, so I wasn't too intimidated. I'm SO glad I went to college for something that I love- agriculture. Despite the opposition I met. I had all sorts of practical classes like electrical wiring, small engines, heavy equipment, welding, all of which come in handy around here.(I may tell the University they should add fencing to that degree.) Don't tell the Ranch Hand that I don't like to weld though- he'll make sure it is on my list of things to do.... He thinks it builds character and confidence to do things that are tuff. I have to agree, but I'm just not into welding at the moment.
 Trench number one dug and the water line exposed without breaking it! That's a plus.

 Trench number two dug. The water line is on the hydrant right there, an easy exposure when it comes time to tie into the water.
Trench number three dug and the water line broken. This is how it happened: The Ranch Hand, our older son and I were looking at the ground and the barely visible indentation there is from when they put the water lines in long ago. I said I think it's "here." The Ranch Hand and our son say they think it is "there." Then they say, "Two to one," and keep digging. Well it happened to be "here," and not "there." I couldn't help but raise my eyebrows to them and say they should listen to the MOM more often. 
 After I got the pump shot off and the Ranch Hand scooped some of the water that flooded the trench, he hopped down there to fix it. Good thing I got a handy Ranch Hand around for emergencies like this! We were going to T off from the water there anyways. That puts us a step ahead for next weekend.

Well, this is it. This is where the barn will be sitting in a few months I hope. Stay tuned for Part 2!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kiley! We are excited too. Some people in the Branch want to come do a "barn raising", have a dinner and a dance, we'll see!


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