Our winter plans have to factor in our flock of sheep, our poultry which include laying hens and turkeys, and the pigs. Now the pigs are easy as they have been constantly escaping so the time has come to think about calling our friend Tim the butcher and having them processed. After their last break for freedom and a good roam around the farms near us, it was decided to call in the 'Dad' who simply blocked off their outside exit and confined them to the pig shed. No more pushing under the fence. They should be good there for the next little while. Then Tim will come do his thing and we'll be smoking bacon, making sausage and giving pork as Christmas gifts :) I want to make up a nice batch of English Bangers (sausages) and somehow deliver them to my father. It's only a problem because of the distance but I think it would make a great gift. We haven't made sausage since our last pigs were processed in BC and it was fun. I think we're going to stick with some basics recipes for breakfast sausage, bangers, mild Italian and maybe one spicy, haven't decided yet. But don't worry I'll keep you posted and have lots of 'how to' pics and maybe a video.
Most of our laying flock is now located underneath our back deck. Have you ever wondered what to do with that space? Well it's already got posts so we boarded and wired it all in and then covered the wire with 6mil poly to keep out a lot of the wind. Of course the roof is going to leak since that's what a deck is designed to do, and hanging plastic underneath can lead to pools of water that rip off the plastic. Your choices are to use a batten system in the undersides of the joists and make sure the water can run down and out without any build up, or plastic above on the top side of the deck. We don't use our deck in Winter so it's easy to just plastic the deck but it does make it virtually impossible to walk on as it's more slippery than ice. Trust me, I know!! I don't think there's room under there for the turkeys but we'll make it work.
The sheep of course love to be outside but they still need some protection from the harshest weather and the wind. Ours aren't a super hardy breed like the Swaledale and other hill breeds that live outside almost their whole lives, so we need some protection for them and it also gives us an easy place to keep their food and water. We've decided to move them into a single garage that's separate from our rental house but still in the same yard. It housed sheep previously so a thorough cleaning is needed but then it should be great. Just gotta move out the barrels of wheat and the oven and we'll be good to go. In the nastiest weather it will be great to have lights and power and to have them so close to hand. We'll get the addition finished and the mobile home ready for our family to live in over the winter and then move everyone, man and beast,to the farm in April. I can't wait to finally be on our own homestead full time!
Well I have to get going and start on the garage/barn. Have a wonderful day everyone!