I'll soon be done bragging about the new sheep barn, but I'm still enjoying all the little details that we're slowly adding, I can't help but show them off. Like the little ledge we've added in the alley to keep grain within reach of the sheep (see below). If you've ever seen sheep go crazy for grain (which we've just started feeding this week in preparation for lambing), I think it must be agonizing to be able to smell it and see it, but not be able to reach it. So, now they can reach every little kernel, as long as I can pour it in a straight line down the row.
My favorite new detail however, is the sign I got for Christmas. My creative little niece, Ellie Wilson, with the help of her equally creative Dad, Bruce, made the Baa Baa Ln. sign for me. Decorated with little hand drawn sheep and some fantastic colouring skills, it pretty clearly marks the sheep zone. As soon as you step into the barn, the sign can easily be spotted, glimmering away in the back, obviously indicating the presence of some fine wooly creatures. Thanks Trafalgarians!
We've had the problem every year of the weather getting too cold and the chickens quitting laying eggs. It usually happens around the end of January, early February, when our good Maritime winters really kick it into gear. So we get a nice list of customers relying on our eggs, and then Kazaam, we have none at all. It's also a shock to the system of the Bernard household, since we eat four dozen eggs a week (that's without any baking!). Anyway, so we considered all of our options and wondered about the feasibilty of insulating the whole chicken barn (we only use a corner of it for the layers, the rest is for the meat chicks brooder house) and decided that was silly and only creating a rat habitat. My father has always been a firm advocate against (is that an oxymoron-advocate against?) heat lamps in barns, and I see his point, but we're trying something new this year. We always have a light on a timer for the chickens in the winter, to increase thier daylight (enhance egg laying), so we thought, since it's only on for a couple hours, and the couple hours before bed, maybe a heat lamp would keep them warm enough and also not be on long enough to be a hazard? Anyway, everytime I go in there to get the eggs at night I feel like I'm entering the red light district and find myself singing, "Roxanne".
Wilson slept through the night last night and has started eating like the little man that his is, so all is well here today! This is a shot of early morning in the kitchen, while we 'hatch', the kids have cereal (an appetizer before our main course of 6 eggs!).
Hope all is well in your corner of the world!