Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gimme Shelter

Take a few 4x4 posts, some 2x4s, a few sheets of plywood and five sheets of metal roofing, screw it all together and boom you've got yourself a sheep shelter. They have pretty simple needs, they really only want a place to get in out of the wind and rain.
The Engineer even made a fancy Dutch door for it so we can corral them when we need to . Now all it needs is a coat of barn paint. My plan is to lead them in here each evening with treats. Hoping if they're tucked away at night they will be less tempting to coyotes. We're adding a solar powered electric wire to the no-climb horse fence around the perimeter but that doesn't always stop them. And we sure as heck know they're out there. We can hear them. It creeps me out and I live in the house.

This little sheep shack will serve us well this year while we fix up the barn. We found out it was attacked by carpenter bees, then a woodpecker came along and attacked the bee larva. Just like that old woman who swallowed the fly. Fortunately, the woodpecker may have exterminated all the bees for us. Unfortunately, he did some serious damage during the process and lots of wood is going to need replaced.

When the quote for a new roof came back to be more expensive than putting a roof on the house it sealed the fate of my Turkey Town/Banty Shanty plans. Instead we'll be patching up the old roof and closing in the south end with some rough cut lumber. We'll just use the center part of the building as feed/hay storage and a couple of hospital/lambing pens. Then we'll fix up a spot on the left side for a winter sheep shelter and fence off a winter paddock surrounding the barn.

Meanwhile I stopped by a fiber festival on Saturday, just to check things out a little bit. Figured I might learn something about the sheep raising business. Now, I'll have you know, I completely and totally intended to only use the sheep's wool for quilt batting. I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head. But after dipping my hands into all those wonderful bags of fiber and watching the ladies spin it into the most amazing yarns, I couldn't help myself. I came home with a book, a drop spindle and a pound of Shetland roving.

I was this close to bringing home a super soft and fuzzy Angora rabbit. And then there was the alpaca. He was awfully cute. Luckily I came to my senses when I realized he wouldn't fit in the back of the Blazer. But now that I'm home I have to admit I'm eying the long-haired cat and the big, shaggy dog with new interest. They might be catching on though. They're starting to act a little suspicious of me.


Milah said...

I don't blame you for worrying about coyotes. I'm surprised they haven't gotten into your chickens. We've had ducks in the past on our pond but the coyotes always get them sooner or later.

Winona said...

Christine, I love reading your blog. You always make me smile. You have me thinking about my long haired cat, Callie. Naw, I really can't get another hobby. I can't get everything done, now, that I want. LOL Have a good day. Winona

Carol said...

I didn't realize that you have coyotes in that area of the US. I live in the Northern Arizona desert and we have them. In fact my favorite old guy who has been around for about 4 yrs. ended up with 3 girlfriends this spring instead of the usual two. They never try to hop fences here as there are plenty of rabbits and desert squirrels for them.

Jayne said...

I live in the middle of town, but since "town" is only about 4 square miles with lots of farmland and woods around it, I hear coyotes sometimes when I'm out on my porch. And about spinning pet hair, I googled and lots of people do it! Who knew?! They say it's warmer & softer than wool!

melanie said...

Once you shear the sheep, the pets will be safe. You will have so much fun with the fleece - be careful! It's addicting...