I took this farm on with a partner who was skilled in carpentry. I ended up doing it with the help of friends and all that I could remember from reading his technical books. Last weekend I successfully completed my first real carpentry project (with the help on mom an friends): we installed four support beams to the rafters in the barn so we can build and support a hay loft.
We laid down pier blocks 1/2 way into the ground, then ran threaded rod into the beams and installed them into the pier blocks with the rod. At the rafters we had a few inches between the posts so we shimmed it up and ran a 1/2 inch blot through everything. Its a good thing we did this because one of the rafters was starting to twist, but it straightened out when I tightened the bolt down. Interestingly, one rafter was about 12 inches across, the other 13. A big difference in carpentry. We made it work, though and the barn actually looks like a barn (wish I had a before and after picture!) Now to build a feed area safe from animals and get the feed.
No, I haven’t picked up my hay for winter yet. Most people have theirs already, but I’m sad to say I don’t. This is because I don’t have a dry, animal proof place to store it. I get my pig feed weekly because of this (and mice) Now that I have the beams up I can build a nice space for the feed. I went ahead and bought a ton of feed for the pigs and split it with another farmer.
It was my first trip to the feed mill and it was in interesting experience. I believe this mill is over 100 years old. You drive up to the scale made of wood and they weigh you up, then fill the feed containers you provide, and weigh you up a second time. I learned that feed totes have special pockets on the corners that should be filled up first so as to provide support so the bag doesn’t fall over.
Somehow on my hour long drive to the mill I got heat exhaustion despite all the liquid I was drinking. By the time I got home I was in no mood to deal with moving 1000 lbs of feed.
Gosh, 1000 lbs is alot. it will be interesting to see how long this lasts of 3 pigs…