I have fallen behind in these postings — time to catch up…
After the breakout on October 20, we decided to not risk moving the sheep back across the street. Instead, we switched to feeding hay a little earlier than expected. We now have the new sheep on the west side and the older guys on the west side.
Ray built a couple of hay feeders after watching the sheep waste much of the hay we threw on the ground for them.
The design follows a sketch that Bruce suggested last winter after he sheared Betty’s sheep. Ray adapted the design to the material on hand — a couple of 4×8 sheets of 3/4 plywood. The new sheep prompted an addition modification because they promptly squeezed through the openings and started walking on the hay. Lowering the top rails thwarted that activity and prompted another — the jumped over the top rail. Adding a couple of sticks from the summer’s tomato patch to the top fixed that.
As the temperatures crept lower and lower Karen decided we needed some shelter for those cold, wet, and windy days ahead. Ray had been working on a shed design, but it had not yet been built and seemed like it might be overkill. Ray ran across a website apparently devoted to structures constructed from PVC plumbing pipe and fitting. This seemed promising so we gathered the requisite parts and assembled a hoophouse.
The hoophouse consists of lengths of PVC pipe bent into semicircular shape as rafters, fastened with fittings, and covered with a tarp. It went together pretty quickly and seemed like it might do the job. We moved it into the west pasture with the new sheep. The sheep were curious and spent some time in it, but the weather was still pretty mild.
This lasted about a week until the second week in November. Karen was away on a business trip. Ray awoke on Monday morning after a cold, wet and windy night expecting to see sheep snug and dry in their new shelter only to find there was no shelter. It was gone! The sheep were fine, but there was no hoophouse to be seen. A quick look around revealed its presence in the east field being examined by the older sheep. The wind had uprooted the stakes holding it down and rolled it over the fence (twice) into the east field where some of the tubing snapped spoiling its parachute-like shape. Ray removed the tarps to preclude any further unauthorized travels and declared the hoophouse experiment to be finished.