Monday, March 2, 2009

It's March Already!

I Can't believe it's already March! And to be honest - I'm not sad to see February gone. It's been a dreadful month - cold and snow (I mean that's what February is all about) - but enough is enough - and I'm tired of it. Of course the month couldn't have ended much worse here.
On Friday, I had to make the dreaded vet call, and he had to come out to euthanize my poor old
Cherrington Queen Mary.

This is actually a terrible picture of her (she would
never stand still for a picture) - but it was the only
one I could find of her.
Mary was going to be 14 in May. She was still as black as black could be - not a white hair to be found. And
her fleece was like butter. So incredibly soft - almost
like a lambs.
Last year, Mary went blind, and we moved her into our
special needs stall, where she was quite content to spend
her time - and be lavished with lots of attention and
treats. However - age, arthritis and this darned persistent cold took its toll, and by last
Friday I knew that her time had come. She could no longer get up or down easily - and several
times she rolled onto her side and couldn't get back up. I spent a lot of time with her last week, just petting her, and reassuring her that her new world would be free of pain and warm - and the grass would always be green there - and all of her friends would be waiting on the other side of the rainbow bridge. Adieu my friend - for we will meet again.

So - February is gone -- thankfully. It was a busy month - I logged a lot of overtime at the office - and many evenings at home till midnight. I was also away a few weekends for pottery workshops.

Now - I'm trying to get some work done around the house (this seems to be a real losing battle).

Pippin loves to help:

And we wonder why we can't get anything done
around here.

One thing my DH did get done in February was this:

This - is a square bale hay feeder.

(They aren't painted yet).

The great thing is that they break down into 4 easy to move panels - that probably weigh about 50 pounds each. The panels set up around the bale of hay - so no need to move the bale to the feeder with a tractor - you can bring the feeder to the bale.

As the animals eat the hay - they push in on the feeder - which causes 2 sides to move inwards and compress the bale. They work quite nicely. We built this set for a friend who has goats, llamas and horses - and they really like them.

I'm debating whether to have the bars running
up and down vertically for the next set to try that out with the sheep. Of course - any of my
rams won't be able to use these as we would worry about them getting their horns stuck.

I also think they would work great with the small square bale (or large square bales) - you could stack the small square bales - probably in a group of about 8-12 bales (removing the strings first of course) - and then the sheep could work their way through them. I'm going to test this out in the large stall next winter to see how it works.
I think it would beat the heck out of throwing down 2-3 bales out of the loft everyday.

I may tweak the design a bit to see if we can make it work along one wall as well.