Michael took some time off during the Christmas Season. Did he rest and relax? Nope. He made some wonderful upgrades to the barn. He is such a type A. Usually I’m a type A as well, but having to deal with a lengthy recovery from surgery my type A has been forced to rest.
Thank goodness Michael was still finding things to do.
The first thing he focused on was wrapping the pipes in the barn. They have frozen in the past and although below-freezing temperatures are not frequent in the Willamette Valley they can happen. The beginning of December we got down to 22°.
Firstly, he put Heat Cable on all the pipes. If the temperature is going to be freezing we can plug the cords into an outlet and the Heat Cable will warm up the pipes keeping them from freezing. On top of the Heat Cable, Michael added foam insulation.
This is where the water comes into the barn.
When the water was brought to the barn, the pipes were run above-head down the length of the barn and into the stalls.
He brought the pipes into the milking room for the sink and hot water heater.
I’m pretty sure these pipes can withstand any cold coming our way.
Michael’s next project was lighting in the barn.
Originally, the barn was randomly lit with fluorescent lights. They worked but they were few and far between. We had been wanting to put nicer lighting in for a while. Michael learning how to install electrical has been a blessing.
First, he focused on the aisle. We had seen hanging lights like these and thought they would be functional and look nice down the aisle.
Next, he moved some of the fluorescent lights into the stalls. Here is a picture of the girls’ stall.
This is really the best part of the lighting. The stalls were always dark and it was difficult to see if their water needed filling as well as other things. Now we can see everything we need to. The best part, it will make kidding so much nicer. Good visibility in each stall. We are only two weeks out from the beginning of kidding season so this is great timing.
Lastly, he added another feeder in the girls’ stall. Yes, they already had two feeders (one that is four feet long) but there is a hierarchy in the herd and that meant that Halle Berry monopolized one feeder, and Brown Sugar the other. Both would let their daughters eat with them but not Mouse, Rose or Oreo. They had to wait until the others had finished.
Nicholas built a feeder, Michael bought it from him, and the boys installed it. There should be enough feeders for everyone to eat at the same time.
It seems the barn is done. I can’t think of anything else we need. Michael is always thinking of things that need to be done ….so there could be more….some day.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year,