Progress on the crooked barn is moving slowly but safely. The entire inside of the old barn has been gutted out and it is now time to work on the roof. Since we are cleaning up the area as we dismantle, we are able to salvage much of the useable material from the structure. We have piles of timbers, piles of roofing, piles of piles, and buckets of nails.
A crow bar and sledge hammer are used to do most of the dismantling. The tractor helps move the heavy stuff now and again but most of the process is manual. Some of the timbers will be used on the new barn to solidify the manager area for hay feeding, other boards will be moved across the river to complete the corral around the barnyard. The salvaged nails and roofing will be taken to the recycling center. Old beams that are not sound are cut and used for firewood (we use these in our outdoor furnace). The cedar shakes on the sides of the barn are fragile and break as the nails are pulled, since they are not solid enough to use for anything, they are burned and the nails are plucked from the ashes by strong magnets.
This old barn is located in what we refer to as the bull pen. This acreage has large fir trees and areas for grazing as well as this barn. One half of this land is used to separate the 8 and 9 month old bull calves from their mothers after weaning, and through the yearling stages until they are old enough to be sold for herd sires. The other half of this pen is the stomping ground for the older bulls (pun intended… have you seen the size of their feet?). It is beneficial to keep the bulls sorted by size to avoid fighting and conflict over feed and space. Smaller animals just don’t do well when they have to fight for each bite of grass or resting spot.
This old barn was just not tough enough to endure the strength of large animals and was becoming a hazard. The new structure will be about the same size but will have a cement foundation which will be a much anticipated improvement. The old cedar blocks that held this barn in place had deteriorated, leaving the barn without a strong leg to stand on.
Upcoming posts will include the dismantling process step by step so you can see progress. In the meantime, we will keep working away.