Thursday, May 25, 2006

Why I'm Not Knitting, Part One

Since there is still no knitting going on at Liberty I thought I would show you what has been keeping me from the needles. With shearing coming up we wanted to get the new barn and pasture ready. This meant everything else took a back seat for a few weeks. (And since blogger won't let me upload all the pics to one post there will be multiple posts to tell the whole story.)
The barn is 24' x 40' and has spaces for stalls, feeding, hay storage, and a studio. The two overhead garage doors will remain open most of the time so that the alpacas can come and go as they please. There are gates across the openings for the times we want to keep them in or out but still allow the breezes to blow through. There is a large fan mounted above the feeding area to keep them cool when inside. The stall is used when we need to confine one or more alps for shots, grooming, and toenail trimming. This also a great area to stage them while they wait their turn on the shearing table. (Shearing was done where you see all the gates and ladder in the third picture.) I always wonder what the ones that are watching their buddies being sheared are thinking. "Oh my god, what are they doing to Cobble Stone? Did you see how they strapped him onto that contraption? Why are they taking all of his fleece off? Oh good, he's coming back. What, why are putting the lead on me? You're not putting me on that thing and taking all my fleece. Whee, that tilt thing is kinda fun. What's that noise? Ooh there goes my fleece! Hey, I can feel the breeze now. I'm so much cooler. Hey guys look at me; I'm cool. Don't be nervous Bailey, it doesn't hurt." (As told by Aztec.) In the fourth picture you can see the door into the studio and the view toward the other two barns (sheds really). If you look closely at the floor you will see a small white blob. That is a floor drain plug. The floor here is slightly recessed with a very gradual slope toward the drain. This serves two purposes. One, when the floor needs to be hosed off the drain is opened so that all the water can be removed. Two, and the one the alpacas appreciate most, we can actually run water into the slope with the plug in place and the alps have a place to take belly baths. They love their belly baths when the temps get high. It helps them cool down. Finally, in the last picture you can see into the studio and a full shot of the stall. The studio will serve multiple purposes. I will have space to skirt fleeces, dye, an area for vet work, and display space for the farm store. It is an 11' x 20' space so good planning is in order to fit in all of these activities. I haven't decided yet what I will cover the walls with. I have some slabs of old barn wood that I wanted to use but I don't have enough to do the entire area. The cabinets that are sitting in the stall will be mounted above the sink for storage of dyes and vet supplies. Stay tuned for part two.


At Thu May 25, 11:32:00 AM, Blogger silverarrowknits said...

Wow, the barn looks really neat. I am going to have to visit an alpaca farm (ranch? place where one raises alpacas?) at some point

At Thu May 25, 11:57:00 AM, Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

That really is amazing progress. You must be getting so excited to see this all coming together so quickly now? (Well, it looks like quick work fror this end, but I know you can only hit one nail with the hammer at a time.)


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