Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ready Set Pour - Chicken house phase one

Here we are almost to December. It has been more then two months since my last post and a lot has happened since then. The production season has wrapped up. Almost all of the Turkeys are sold. I purchased 30 bales of hay since production was down from the dry conditions we had locally.  I found a good price on hay over by Martensdale (30 miles) and hauled them back home three at a time.  
Turkeys in Pasture in early October

One of Ten Hay Loads

I am trying to build a chicken house before we get full blown winter. The big problem with the chicken house is all of the other projects that the building affects that have to get done first. First, I had to run a water line through the area the building was going in so I could have a hydrant on the west side of our main building. 

Installed Water Line

Using the same trench, I put solid drainage tile in to route the water from the south side of our main building and future chicken building away from the cattle lot. To do that, I had to expand the initial excavation and fill it in a bit to create the proper fall to route the water away. 

Helper Showing Off the Modified Trench

Getting Drainage Tile Out of Storage

After all that, it is time to make the form and actually start the building. I hauled three truck loads (my truck, not a dump truck) of concrete sand. That was around 5,000 pounds. I have a truck bed unroller that I bought years ago (and never used) that made unloading the truck surprisingly easy (I no longer regret the purchase). After that, I put in a rebar perimeter. I decided to use bagged ready mix for the project and to pour the pad in two passes. For this project, the bagged product was over $200 cheaper and doing it in two rounds made it easier for me to manage most of the project alone. 

The Basic Form

Sand, Rebar, and Moisture Barrier Installed on Half

This Would End Up Being Two-Thirds of the Concrete Needed for the Entire Project

Ready Set Pour

Both Sides Poured

With both sides poured, the next step was to pull off the forms and grade the soil back. I had to install a wood fence to keep the cows from wrecking the building once it was built and to create a safe workspace for myself. I also had to reroute and rework the power line that supplies some of the electric fence on the farm. This gave me a chance to put in a shut-off switch for that section. 

Newly Installed Shut-off Switch

I am half way through bolting down the moisture barrier and base plate. This week, I plan to pour a concrete stoop and start putting up the walls. 

Cattle Fence Installed and Base Plate Started

On the home front, Janice has been working late almost every day. She got a good promotion at work, but is still working her old job along with her new one while she gets a new person hired and trained.  I have been keeping the house running and cooking many of the meals. Janice has continued to tackle some of the remaining household projects in her scant free time. 

Janice Staining Some of the Last Windows

The kids are doing well. Our daughter is still a social butterfly and is reading more and more on her own. Our son is learning his letters at preschool and can now reliably count to twelve. 

Checking out Their Pumpkins

Flying Her Kite

My last post introduced our farm puppy, Meeka. As a border collie, she was a difficult dog to manage as she would herd or chase anything. We tried to work with her, but she ultimately got struck by a car in mid-November. We are willing to give this one last try. This is the two month old female great Pyrenees that we picked up today. The name is still being debated.

Great Pyrenees Puppy

Trying to Go For a Walk

I think that is it for now. Hopefully, it won't be so long between posts, and hopefully we can get get that chicken building moving along.  Until next time, thank you for reading, and stay tuned. 

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