We get a lot of rain on the West Coast and North Country Cheviot sheep are perfectly suited for our weather (as Keith keeps reminding me). Even though we have a two stall stable with covered loafing room, I felt we still needed more shelter out in the first pasture. Now that Warren has done his job (hopefully) covering all the girls and is back in his yard (with his own house), I pushed my agenda and put out the word for a work party weekend to our friends.
We’re very lucky to have a great group of friends that live close enough and are willing to give their time when asked. We helped A & R dismantle their old barn this summer and I was able to recycle three 2-panel doors that measured 4’x5′ each to make the walls and 3’x6′ metal roof panelling as well.
I chose the driest spot near the gate which is also near a stand of trees the sheep use for loafing. It wasn’t very level but we fixed that at the end.
Diana and Deborah were very entertained by all the commotion on the other side of the fence. Notice that Diana isn’t sheared because we didn’t take her to the shows this year, so you can see the difference in how long the two fleeces are. They will both get sheared again in the spring.
And where was I while all that building was going on? Getting ready to feed everyone and building a bonfire!
Alex, who is a chef, helped me make two big batches of chili, roast potatoes and salad. We also supplied everyone with bistro-worthy espresso’s with foamed milk, using the frother that Alex bought me. Have to keep everyone working!
What a great crew of carpenters.
The bad weather on Sunday made us take a break which was probably a good thing.
Monday was a nice, dry day so the neighbours came by to help us finish putting the roof ties on and fasten the panels in place.
It took quite a lot of moving the panels around on the ground before we figured out how they would go together.
What a great space! On Tuesday, Keith and I finished putting the siding on and jacked the building up to replace the temporary wood blocks with brick in the high corner. I put some bedding down and now we can get quite a few sheep in there.
This foggy morning photo shows that I filled gaps around the brick at the bottom corners with muck and straw to keep the weather out. It didn’t take long for the sheep to explore and find a cozy corner inside there. I will paint the outside in the spring.
When the lambs come in February I will be so thankful that we managed to accomplish this build in 4 days with awesome friends helping out. Thanks everyone!