We all know about winter, spring, summer, and fall. We also have a 5th season....MUD. Sometimes the mud season comes twice a year, between fall and winter, and again between winter and spring. I hate mud season, with a passion, but there is no avoiding it.
We have gotten a lot of rain lately....every few days it seems like it rains. There's just nowhere for the rain to go, and the ground is saturated. That means the sacrifice area in the sheep pasture is a mucky mess. Gross.
I keep the sheep off the main part of the pasture over the winter, because if not, they'll over graze the grass and cause permanent damage. You can see the mud in the sacrifice lot vs. the pasture, what a difference there is.
I kept hoping the ground would freeze and it wouldn't be so sloppy for the sheep and goats, but finally I'd had enough, and I'm sure they'd had enough. I pulled out a roll of the electronet fence and put it up in the yard, so they could get onto solid ground for a while. They were so happy!
They do have dry ground under their shelter, but they don't want to stay under the shelter all day. Speaking of their shelter, I added a bit on this year, using t-posts, pallets, and a cattle panel.
Now they've got almost double the space they had before, and I can move the addition if I want to, or take it down in the summer (but I probably won't). Now I can close in the side and front of the shelter, leaving the front of the new part open, and they'll have a really nice area that's out of the weather.
I also just replaced the gate post...for the second time. When we built the fence, we were on a tight budget and I didn't want to spend the money on nice fence posts. I bought landscape timbers instead, which weren't pressure treated. We did coat them with drivcway sealant, hoping that would help, but it really didn't. The gate post broke off about a year ago, and I replaced it with another landscape timber I had from another section of fence that got moved. Well, it rotted off too, so this time I was going to do it right.
I had put concrete in the hole, and I needed to dig the whole thing out. I tried using David's floor jack, and it might have worked if the post wasn't so rotten. I ended up using a digging bar to pry the huge chunk of concrete out of the hole.
You can see the rotted section of the post.
Here's the new post, just set down into the hole to check depth. I ended up using 100 lbs of concrete, so the post is rock solid now. It's a pressure treated 6" diameter post, and that sucker should last for a long time!
Oh, and I had an audience while I worked...
Here is the completed post. The post to the right of the gate is also rotted, so it'll be replaced soon too. I'm going to be going around counting posts that need replacing, and working on that when I can. The lesson of the day is, spend the money and do it right the first time.
This is what happens when you try to take pictures of goats.
Sheep are much more cooperative.