This wacky weather

We worked outside almost all day yesterday, finally finishing putting up the Clearspan Storage thingie that will we use to store hay. We bought this one except that we got the 3 foot rafter span to handle the snow load. It took much longer to put up than we expected, but Frank said the next one will be easy! Ha. It is so rare to do something twice on a farm, we’ve come to learn.

At least it is up. I took one last lonely ride in the truck to get one last load of hay, because Keith isn’t going to deliver a full load until Sunday, and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and Saturday both. We were down to two bales, and that just wasn’t going to last. We are feeding about two and a half bales a day. Three, if I do both feeds by myself!

Speaking of feeding hay, I saw a message on the Shetland Breeders message board from someone who’d made hay feeders out of recycled plastic barrels. That’s such a good idea. Last year, we bought Grate Bale Box Feeders. Well, that’s not exactly true. We bought a kit, so no box and no roof, just plans and the heavy grate for the top. It never got installed or put together, because we didn’t know what to do for a roof.

Those plastic barrels cut in half? Brilliant. I want to do something so the roof can lift up, which will make putting the hay in easier. We have five pens of sheep right now with all the different breeding groups, and spreading out all that hay is wasting so much. Plus, I’d love to free-feed. I like happy, happy critters.

I tried a few places for free barrels, like craigslist and freecycle, without any luck. I called around and found that Agway sold recycled ones, that had formerly held juice concentrate. They were sort of expensive, $35 each, but still much cheaper than the kit we bought last year and never used.

It was 45 degrees outside today. Unbelievable. Where’s the snow, man? We worked outside in just shirtsleeves, which is unheard of for January.

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