More on Turning a New House into a Homestead

It is a beautiful fall day on the new homestead out here in Wisconsin. Rain has been falling for the last two days and the temperatures are cooling down to the mid 50’s during the day and mid 30’s at night. The leaves are now brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red and browns. I took these pictures about an hour ago to share how the barn floors are working out and had to share this one of Do out in his pasture.  Now, about the barn floors. We kept the sand we’d ordered in and moved over 7 yards of sand to build up the two big box stalls and a center stall between the two box stalls. The stall that the horse uses needed much more build up and was like walking on a beach. Each step was quite a bit of effort so we talked to some folks, did some research and finally decided to go with a friend’s advice to add shavings to the sand. This firmed up the footing tremendously!!! It’s super easy to keep clean too. We bought a 10 tine manure fork and the sand / shavings drop through and the manure, whether cow or horse, stays on the fork. Clean up takes minutes per evening, especially when they spend so much time in there on these rainy days! We added a total of four bags of shavings to the horse stall and two bags of shavings to Cookie cow’s stall. Her stall required about half the sand as what was needed in the horse stall. We have less than half of the sand pile left and when it dries out a bit after these rains, we’ll bag up 2500 pounds into sand bags (we bought 50 bags which will hold 50 pounds each) We plan to hang onto this for future projects and will toss a few in the back of the truck for traction this winter. I do believe we will call this sandy learning experience a success. The urine drains down well and dries up quickly while the barn still smells of pine bedding. We’ve done some other small projects over the past few weeks. We trimmed up several trees that were weighed down by heavy, low level limbs. We also got our hands dirty with some plumbing projects. My brother is out visiting from Arizona and showed us how to sweat copper fittings with flux and soldering. We had two valves that wouldn’t completely turn off and he gave us a DIY plumbing lesson on changing out the valves to a better type of water valve. The project was a leak free success! Now, we are all ready to enjoy a home made pot of chili that I made earlier today along with some fresh corn bread!
Happy Homesteading and I hope you enjoy the pictures below!
Nance
The horse stall with shavings mixed into the deep sand base.
Here is the other end of the horse stall. We have rubber mats down for him to eat his grain on.

This is Cookie Cow’s stall. It didn’t need quite as much sand (about half)

Here is the other end of Cookie’s box stall. She’s been bedding down in here at night now that it’s cooler.

Here is Cookie in Do’s stall (they were both in here) waiting out the rain today.

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