Sheep Handling - Building Begins

We started thinking on it a couple years ago, roughed it out on paper last fall and revisited, revised and refined it all, during this past month. I didn’t put half this much planning into our wedding.

This past week we got to work and are now well underway in the building of some forcing yards, alleyway, bugle, and races to help us manage the flock on treatment days.

We have to build mostly with what we have on hand to keep costs to a minimum.

Day 1
The paper plan was transferred to the ground. Everything was measured out, so we know where to drill post holes, where and how gates will fit, and make sure we're good on the layout of the bugle design and how animals will flow. It's not an extensive design, but it took half a day to do this. It was worth it to 'see' how it will work before building. In the photo this is the alleyway running along the length of the building, the bugle curls around the back of the building and inside.

Day 2
We are using railroad ties for posts since we have them (they were bought for another project and never used). We rented the equipment to auger post holes since pounding railroad ties with a post pounder doesn't work too well.

I had the enviable job of shoveling wet soil away from the holes so it didn't fall back in, refilling the hole. This next photo is after the post holes are dug.

Day 3
Railroad ties were moved to the site, lifted into place by Allen in all the tight spots and with a tractor otherwise.  This was a full day of work - in some hot July heat.

Along the alleyway

Entrance to start of the bugle forcing race
Day 4
That was today. We brought a couple bucket loads of gravel over and began tamping posts (lining up and leveling the posts, then adding gravel and packing it around the post). We began with the key posts - the ones where the gates will hang. Then started on the line posts. This is a slow, heavy labour job. More slow than usual in the heavy, humid, heat. It will likely take us the most time to do this stage. I'll share more as we progress.