More work...learning so much...but pictures, too!

So, I think I've mentioned that we're working on the sheep barn...a lot (both working on it a lot AND mentioned it A LOT!). Oh my gosh. So much gunk to remove from that poor barn!!! Back in my February 9th post ("Archaeologist turned Shepherdess turned...Archaeologist?"), I described the "flooring" (a term which I use very loosely) that is being removed so that we can create a healthy space for our sheep. As we've pried layer after layer out of there, we've even found mold underneath it, and the last thing I want is to bring Black Velvet, Mikey, and Panda Bear home, only to give them a barn where they could contract some kind of respiratory disease.

This week I've worked on the barn in half-hour increments, in an effort to not hurt my back (two surgeries for herniated discs mean that I do have to be a bit careful), and...dare I say it...I'm seeing a light at the end of this particular tunnel.  I think it helps that we've gotten a bit of warmer weather because as I was prying up the particle board/straw nightmare, a HUGE chunk of it came up, in one fell swoop! It was one of the most satisfying feelings - and when my Dear Son saw it, he said, "Whoa." Now, for a not-super-talkative teenager, that was saying a great deal! The chunk was so heavy that Dear Daughter had to help me carry it out of the barn and onto one of the tarps that we're using for hauling all of this garbage to the burn pile, then both kids had to drag the tarp down the hill to said was massive!  What a wonderful feeling!
So we're nearly to the part where we can rake the last bits out. After that, my plan is to use this funky digging tool that I have (Dear Husband calls it "THE CRAW" as it is a Garden Claw) to get all of the dirt loosened up and make sure any last bits of crap that I missed are torn apart:
Once this is done, I'll be able to power scrub the wooden feeder that the sheep will use for their hay, and then spray it down with a weak bleach solution. We'll then haul gravel in there to spread onto the dirt - and I'll spray THAT down with a weak bleach solution! After it has a chance to thoroughly dry, clean straw will be spread out onto the gravel and our babies will have a warm and cozy place to come in out of the weather, if they so desire!
This week I also learned from Lee that in addition to their pasture foraging, they have to have mineral feed and salt, everyday. So I'll be purchasing two feeders to hang in the barn, near their hay feeder. AND I was able to "help" (another term I'm throwing out there in the loosest possible manner) her vaccinate Black Velvet:
I held her lead and kept her head lifted up while Lee gave her two vaccinations - one that "protects against tetanus, blackleg, over-eating disease and many other clostridial-born diseases," and one that "prevents white-muscle disease and as an aid in the prevention and treatment of selenium-tocopherol deficiency."  These quotes are from an e-mail that Lee sent, explaining what the vaccines were for and how often they're administered (once per year). Her e-mail also explained a bit about worming, which is done twice per year, but is administered orally, as opposed to the injections that they got the other day. Basically, what it boils down to is that I've still got a long ways to go...a lot to learn...but I'm fortunate in having a mentor like Lee who will help me through the process of becoming a shepherdess! I feel like Fate has brought me to somebody who cares for her animals like I want to care for mine (and like I've cared for my indoor pets) - by providing a clean living environment, plenty of nourishing food, water, and minerals, and the preventative medicine to keep them healthy.
Thank you again for reading my story and sharing the excitement I'm feeling for this new adventure in my life! In my next post, I'll write about the beautiful Icelandic fleece that will be coming off of my babies, showing some that I've already skirted and scoured from another Icelandic, and demonstrating (hopefully!) how to use Viking combs to prepare the fleece for spinning!
My sweet Mikey with some of his flockmates



Panda Bear strikes a pose - she's so lovely!


My dear friend and mentor, Lee - and a few friends!



Wow, didn't realize there was so much to do with Sheep, besides just enjoying their beauty. I'm glad that you have a friend and Mentor to help you on your journey.I am also looking forward to your next post....:)

Jennifer Bogut

It's kind of overwhelming, but Lee breaks it all down into manageable, learnable chunks for me - she's awesome! Thank you, my friend, for reading and being interested in all of this! :D


I love reading about your sheepie adventures! And the pics are wonderful!

Jennifer Bogut

Thank you so much, Cindy!!! :)

Jill McCullough

Its coming along, and you are getting so close!!!!! Amazing!!!!

Jennifer Bogut

I am SO excited to share "after" pictures once the barn is all finished - a wee red sheepy barn, all fresh and new for its new residents! :D

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