Finally. The moment I have been waiting for. There are ponies in my barn!
It took a lot of hard work (much of which while I’ve been fighting a cold from hell), but the barn is up and running! Well, mostly, we still need the electric to be hooked up, but that may need to wait until spring.
Friday, after panicking all day about HOW to build Jiminy a stall (my initial plan didn’t pan out) and bothering Michele, we purchased gates at Tractor Supply for a whopping $22.49. Yes, you read that correctly. Thanks to a 10% off coupon and 2 gift cards, I spend $22 on gates. We moved out mats in to the stalls and run in when we got home (I’ll probably add another into the run in, but I was in the midst of an asthma attack that nearly took me to the ER) and called it a night.
Saturday, we got up bright an early, purchased straw in case the anticipated 1-2″ of rain left us with crazy pooling prior to the flash freeze, put up gates (10ft and 14ft), put of bucket hooks, hay net hooks, and salt licks. Then stalls were bedded down. Only thing left was…
The transition into the stalls was NOT easy. I’m not going to lie.
Subi reared 4 or 5 times walking to the barn and was a nervous wreck inside. Jiminy was OK, but feeding off of Subi. Batt? Well, he found his dinner and his hay and life was pretty damn good. I checked on them multiple times. The big boys had the outside top Dutch door open until the rain started coming down pretty hard. Subi got a little wet and was less than thrilled that I closed him in. Batt didn’t actually care. They still had the top half open to see Jiminy under the overhang.
By the next morning, they’d all survived. Subi managed to eat some hay (5-6lbs), but never touched his dinner. Typical. He did have a nap as when I first appeared there was a bang and commotion before he appeared looking disheveled. I’ll take it. Batt emptied his hay net and was annoyed at my lack of hay net filling abilities… Jiminy ate half of his 2 flakes which was all he really needed. Batt, I learned, is a complete PIG in his stall. Subi pooped in his water bucket…
I turned out and they were SLIGHTLY better behaved, especially after Subi and I had a quick discussion. Subi also only ran around for about 7 steps before stopping so? Progress. He failed to eat breakfast in his stall but ate it in the field.
Last night? Prior to coming in, they were all huddled, cold, in the run in. Subi marched to the barn like a gentleman. He knew where we were going and he knew it was warm. He didn’t eat his dinner between 5 and 8, but ate it sometime overnight. He also ate most of his hay and seemed 100% more relaxed. In a few days? He’ll have the routine down. Batt? Batt likes stall life but feels he needs more hay. Not my fault he’s a pig and 15 lbs of hay isn’t enough for fatty. He also parks himself by the round bale the second he’s back outside…
Last night it was cold. I know that. Single digits and wind chills well below 0. At 9am, it warmed up to 9 with windchills at -12. I’m SO HAPPY the barn is up and running. I do need ideas to block more wind for Jiminy as the gates do let wind in. Or, at least the front gate. The side gate is pretty well blocked with a tree and fence close by. Any ideas?
So exciting! I can only picture a tarp to help block the wind, but I imagine that may be super scary for him? Could you attach a board to the gate?
The board is a good idea, but will it be really heavy? I’ll have to do some thinking… I stuck 4 straw bales in the “stall” stacked in front of the gate. They’re taller than Jiminy so for now they might just do the trick. They don’t run the full length of the gate, but they’ll cover where he hangs out–by his food and most of the gate.
What a deal for those gates! And scary about the almost-ER visit. 😳
I’ve seen people cut plywood, drill holes, and zip tie it to the panel gate. Pretty cheap and easy and removeable!
I’m so worried about the weight of the plywood… I don’t want the gate sagging at all… It’s so perfectly level now. But, it’s definitely an idea. I have straw bales in place for now so maybe they’ll work?
How about some corrugated plastic panels akin to what people use to build little backyard greenhouses?
Hmmm… that’s an idea. Need to investigate more.
yay yay yay! And you bother me? NEVER:) HA HA I agree a tarp would block wind but might be creepy but how bout something a bit less flappy in the wind?? And a tarp tightly tied down might not flap. Or as Liz says plywood or some kind. HOWEVER I do not think Jiminy is going to freeze 🙂
All your barn looks great! So happy for you. And glad they are getting used to it. OH i need to jot down instructions for you for the pellets. If Batt is half as piggy as Remus it will help with cleaning up.
Remus has gone thru a phase where he likes spreading his hay around like an all you can eat buffet. ICK
pS is that an insulator around your bucket?? In the stall??
Jiminy wants me to think he’s suffering but I’m sure he’s not. Definitely let me know about the pellets. I picked up a couple bags to get started but obviously I’ll need more. Thankfully Batty is good about just eating from his net.
Yes, bucket insulators from SmartPak. I have 3 and since my other buckets were frozen solid vs just a top coating of ice (2″ think on the sides…), I just ordered 3 more…
thanks for the links off to order them my buckets only had a bit of ice so i think these will work fine in our temperate (HA) climate!
They did a pretty decent job overnight. They’d have done a better job during the day if I’d have shut the dutch doors… But the difference in ice between the insulated and non insulated was amazing. Only a layer on the top vs ice on top, thick ice on sides, and bottom…. And it was COLD today/last night. I imagine they’ll be really good when it’s not single digits/low teens.
Yay! It’s so exciting. And so stressful. I was wondering where the 3rd equine was going. I echo Liz’s suggestion- I’ve seen that too. And you can take it down in the summer when the breeze will be beneficial.
Subi and Irish are very smilar. I have found that any stress puts him off eating. I don’t worry about it. I have good success with the new feed called ‘fibre nuggets’. It’s essentially forage in a small cube format. If I soak them he gobbles them down. He also eats them without soaking but I like giving them a mash at night in the winter.
I guess I should look into plywood. It just seems so heavy! I really don’t want to damage the gate/hinges. Maybe I can think of something lighter than plywood…
Subi just hates change. Once he figures out the routine, he’ll be fine. I hesitate to change his feed (he gets a lot of hay cubes — timothy alfalfa ONLY and beet pulp plus soaked senior extruded pellets and sweet feed — a combo he currently seems so like). Once he decides this is no longer acceptable, I’ll look into fibre nuggets. His current issue is I changed the routine. He’ll get over that. He already is happier than 2 days ago which is good.
Oh yeah- I know the ‘he’s doing fine so I’m not messing with it’. I was just surprised how Irish continued to eat this feed despite his moods and had to share. 😀
I was going to recommend the plywood as well. It will block the wind but not be as noisy as a tarp would be
thanks! Just wish is wasn’t so heavy. It’s a 10 foot gate (the other side is 14 foot)
Omg it looks so good! Glad they’re all settling in to the new digs!!!
Thanks! I’m really happy to have it ready for this miserable long weekend.
Looks great! Sound like they are already adjusting to the idea of a nice warm barn at night!
Covered in shavings every morning!
So exciting! You could always do a diagonal cable brace on the gate to keep it from sagging or use a lighter weight material like plexiglass?
I like the plexiglass idea! Though the straw bales are working really well and are super cheap in comparison to anything.
I was thinking some more about the gates. If the wood is heavy try sail cloth. It’s heavier then a tarpand wind proof.
Wow, I love it!
Yay congratulations! What a huge relief!