Vacuuming the carpet and changing the sheets are things we do to clean our own houses, but cleaning my sheeps' house (ie. the barn) looks a little bit different! We finally have had the opportunity to do a big clean out this week that involves the tractor, a manure spreader and a some muscles.
Cleaning out the barn involves taking down the wooden gates, shuffling the sheep around and putting bucket load after bucket load of manure into the spreader. We are lucky to own enough land that we are able to spread the manure right behind the barn. A local dairy farm rents our fields, so we had to wait for the corn to be chopped off before we could clean the barns this year. The manure spread on the fields will be used as fertilizer for next year's corn crop. We borrow the spreader from a friend down the road, which is very helpful!
This job is very muddy (always), very stinky, and a lot of work but looks so good when we are done! I'm not entirely sure the sheep notice a difference, but it makes me feel better knowing they're on a cleaner pack. Half of our barn has a concrete floor and the other half has a dirt floor. Lambing takes place in the half with concrete, so we want to give the sheep enough time to build up a bit of a manure pack to keep the floor warmer in the wintertime.
I am SO thankful for my dad who did this project entirely on his own while I was at work during the week. He's a trooper! It looks so much better and we can continue our prep for the winter.
Emmaline Long, main owner of Orchard View Farm, has a passion for Lincoln sheep and loves educating others about her breed and farm, She currently serves as the Vice President of the National Lincoln Breeders Association.