Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mucking Around

Last week I mucked out the birthing stall in the goat barn and put all the "stuff" on the snow that covers the garden. It seems the goats really waste a lot of hay.

Today the Commander mucked out the stall that the sheep sleep in, he told me that it was a mushy mess. Both Barn doors and the windows were open today in hopes of airing things out a bit and helping it dry. (When the sheep were put up tonight the stall door was closed but when the Commander checked on them to see how they were getting on in their new sleeping area he found 3 of them inside the mucked out stall. The must have jumped over the railing, and Jeepers and Gardenia are hugely pregnant! He left the stall door open after that.)

Chip was not impressed by the pile of sheep poo stacked outside the door. The Commander couldn't haul it off anywhere because the snow was too deep and slushy for the wheelbarrow.

Chip didn't like the smell of sheep poo one bit!

The sheep were curious about what was going on inside their barn but Chip wasn't about to let them get by him.

After running off the sheep Chip tried a bit of baking soda in an attempt to clear his nose of the smell.

It worked!

"Quick Gidget, come over here and eat some of this while I hold them off!"

The sheep gave up trying to get past Chip and went back to eating.

Of course Chip and Gidget had to try some of the hay that the sheep were eating, just in case it tasted better.

The sheep weren't happy but being good hostesses they let Chip and Gidget help themselves.

It was 41*F today and we had hamburgers on the grill, they tasted like sunshine!


  1. It really is that time of year to get things cleaned out isn't it? I've been working on the chicken coop and will move on to the goats' areas next.

  2. Awww, hamburgers on the grill - a sure sign that spring is almost here!
    Nice work, Mr. Commander - while they may not thank you now, those sheep really will appreciate clean stalls. And if you happen to have any time left over, the goat house here on Critter Farm could use a good clean-out, too. ...Just sayin'

  3. That's where we are in our barn too...we need to get in there and muck, but are having a really hard time "getting" there....too much snow...or mud. Hopefully this summer we can execute our plans for the barn that will make mucking sooo much easier. Lambing is almost here! :)

  4. Teresa - The muck from the sheep barn is a lot better soil than what I got from the goats, the goats waste too much hay. Our coop has a plastic bottom so we can clean it year round!

    Danni - The grill cursed us, at least 3 inches of snow this morning...

    Stace - The mud and mush made it impossible to move the sheep poo anywhere useful. I need to figure a plan for next year so that we can get the smell away from the living areas. Lambs in about two weeks here as well!

  5. Cute pictures, gotta love that mucking out, not! Good exercise but it's exhausting. I know my goats waste a lot of hay too. All their pens are clean, but the sheep pen needs a good muck out and it's the biggest mess.

    So glad you got to grill! It feels good doesn't it? :) Sorry about the snow though, but never fear, it has to go now, spring is here no matter what mother nature has to say about it! :)

  6. Luckybunny - Spring and Winter dual it out here in March and April, just when I think it is safe to plant Winter strikes back! I think we will have snow on the ground through April 1st this year.

  7. BBQ sounds great!
    I might have to do that for supper tomorrow.
    I could use a change.
    I'm surprised you cleaned out before lambing or kidding.
    We do the deep bed method, it creates a heat pack to keep the little ones warm,we just keep adding fresh straw.
    We clean out with my DH 's excavator, my barn door rolls up 14ft so he can drive right in and pull it out! Works great.
    We disinfect and build new pens,it takes a whole day.
    I don't envy forking by hand,been there done that.

  8. Farmer - We wanted to clean it out before the lambing as I wanted things as clean as possible for them. I will throw down some DE and a new layer of straw once it dries out. Our sheep shed (not really a barn) has only three stalls so I will need them all for the new mothers. I was shocked at how wet it was under the top layers. It will get cold again this week with temps dropping back into the low single digits at night so I hope the girls hold off until April.

  9. Did some mucking out myself this weekend - although I certainly need to do more. We don't have the snow problems - just mud :). I see that your goats and sheep are together - maybe I can get some Nigerians and keep them with the sheep? What do you think?

  10. Mmmm, burgers on the grill! You needed some protein after all that work in the barn.

  11. Nancy - We don't house them together, the curious goats were just visiting. Since the sheep have horns I don't trust them to always play fair. The sheep and goats also require different loose minerals that can't be shared.

    BMKW - Grilling season really opens up our cooking options and provides a great break from dishes!

  12. I love that picture of the two little goats eating hay and the sheep standing back and watching :) Hamburgers on the BBQ sounds really good!

  13. Shannon - If the sheep only knew what big babies the goats were they wouldn't get pushed around so easily. Unfortunately we won't be grilling again for a while - winter is back.

  14. Being from Texas, I can't imagine having to do all of this in the snow!! I admire your dedication!