Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Colder by the Day

THAT is frost crystals along the top of the gate to the entrance of the goat pastures. It is now coating everything each daybreak.

Slightly more sinister than the frost covered lawn, cars, and scoops are the several inches of ice frozen across the tops of all the water buckets. Sean breaks through the ice and then scoops the large chunks out of the buckets onto the ground. It is regularly cold enough these days that they do not melt away in the mid-day sun anymore. We were gifted some heated watering buckets, but have not found the time to drive south to procure them. Perhaps, it is time to do that.

(Those are bare fingers tossing out the ice. Brrrrr.)

I am thankful that my jobs-scooping grain and loading the hay mangers allows me to use gloved fingers.

I originally snapped this picture to show the design of the new door Sean and I built in the gloaming hours last night. I attached the 1x6 pine boards around the exterior of the 4x8 OSB sheets. Then, I helped hold them in place using the top of my toes as a guide while Sean attached the hinges. It is hard to see here, but the door sits off the ground a few inches to make it easier to open when the snow arrives this winter.

When we checked the swing, it couldn't have looked any better. Not bad for building in the near dark to the light of a half moon.

These are not the permanent doors to the barn, but they work to keep the cold from whipping up over the pasture and blowing directly into the barn stalls. They cost less than $35 in material to build 2 of them. And, they only took us about an hour to build and install both of them. I'll take it.

I used my sitting log stump to keep the doors propped open- just wide enough to allow the goats to come and go- today. It worked great. The air in the stalls was significantly warmer than the windy air outside when I visited with the goats after work. In the spring, more appealing doors will be built. Sean is thinking he might build some traditional "Dutch" style doors made of solid 1x6's.

Until we have time to install some handles for these doors, I simply move my sitting stump in front of the door to keep the cold (30 degree) night air locked out and the goats locked in.

We only need 4 more sheets of OSB and the entire first floor of the barn will be sheathed both inside and out. Slowly, slowly, but it is getting there.

Four doors down. One more to go.

Thanks for stopping for a visit. We're glad you came.
Sean and Sonja ♥

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  1. The doors look great! I bet they will work really well this winter. Our waterers have been frozen over the past few mornings, too. I got a black rubber basin at the feed store because I read online that it helps keep the water from freezing. I'll have to put it out tonight.

    1. Ooooh. Let me know how that works, okay? The ones we have been gifted plug in. I appreciate the gift of them, but am mindful of the cost to these things.

      I have also heard of floating tennis balls in the buckets to stop ice from forming. It agitates the water as it is blown around and prevents ice from closing over the top. Worth a try, maybe?

    2. Well, the rubber basin doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. It was totally frozen over this morning. I think it only works while the sun is shining and it gets warm so the water doesn't freeze. We haven't had freezing temps during the day yet, so I don't know how it will work out. But I suspect it would be ok during the day to prevent freezing but doesn't do anything overnight.

      I think you're onto something with the tennis balls! I may have to try that next if I can get my hands on some.