Friday, March 2, 2012

A Barn with a View

When we first built the barn back in ’97, we could have never envisioned all the living and dying and changing that our newly erected red structure would see.

With little level ground, each addition to the barn is a little lower than the original building. By the time we got to addition #3…or was it four? the new area was about four feet lower than the main barn. Coupled with the oak wall, one part of the barn was completely blocked from view. Since this area has nice big poly-carb windows, it makes a perfect place for lambing. It’s warm and sheltered…and somewhat secluded. However, this also meant that I had to interrupt all the sleeping animals to check for activity.

I’ve wanted to change things for a while, but construction and renovation are not feasible when the animals are in the barn. Summer is not at all conducive to any type of construction/renovation project, so we waited until the Boss had some “free time”. Back in November, he took down part of a wall, and now I can see from the upper part of the barn to the lower without walking in with the animals. With the new opening, the plan was to be able to shine my light around the shed, check things out, and head back to the house without waking a single sheep. (in theory, of course) A security mirror installed in the far corner makes it possible to check all the corners. The opening has the added benefit of providing some much needed light to the rest of the barn.

During lambing season, this new set-up worked very well. I didn’t have to disturb the entire flock with my nocturnal checks. Although, only one ewe chose to lamb in the newly arranged area.

I hadn’t given much thought to the new lay-out of the barn until the other day. One of the ewes, a new, somewhat freaky, frazzled mom, was frantically looking for her lamb. She ran all around, calling and looking for her offspring. Finally, she looked over the ledge into the sleeping area, still calling. Her lamb was dozing, he looked up, answered her, and she immediately calmed down.
Hey, that's great! ...and I thought the sheep would never truly appreciate our barn with a view.

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