Yesterday, I talked Bill and my sister's family into helping me built a pen for the newest member of the family.
Bill was kind enough to bring down his truck so we could pick up some panels he found. I've obviously spent too much time doing "city" business. I figured we'd go, pick up the panels, pay and be on our way. But it didn't work out that way and I'm glad. I much prefer doing "country" business, but in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life, it's easy to forget.
In the way of doing "country" business, we learned about his menagerie of animals, his daughter and her two sons and his back surgery. Luckily, I had Bill with me who does the "country" business thing much more naturally than I do. Half an hour later, we had my new panels loaded up and were on our way to pick up the rest of the supplies.
For the cost of lunch at Red Robin, I got a ton of labor out of Nebalee's family. I know I got the better end of the deal.
We started by cleaning up the existing shed. One of the requirements for adoption is a shelter with at least two sides. Initially, I had grandiose dreams of building two pens; one within the shelter and one for working, connected by a gate. Once I added up the cost of the eighty-bajillion panels and extras I needed, I decided to go with a simple 20' x 20' square. The majority of the pen is under the shelter, with about 6' x 20' is outside.
We started by bracing the panels to the existing supports with "holey tape".
Nebalee and Asset marked our 2"x4"s at 6' so we would know where the top of the rail had to be.
Little by little, the pen went up. First the panels, then 2"x4" supports with a rail at 6' to meet the BLM's height requirements.
Kyzzer worked his butt off cleaning out the pen. The last tenant left a lot of used hay behind that I wasn't excited about, so Kyzzer hauled it all off for me.
I bought a 4' gate, but had a 6' gap, so we had come up with a solution. The solution? The water trough and additional 2"x4" rails to make up the difference.
While we were figuring out the missing two feet issue, Asset was going around the inside of the pen removing any nails or "pokey" things that a scared horse might get hurt on.
After two hours, we had a pen. It's not pretty, but it's clean, secure, and safe. We've got an idea of how to make a temporary chute for delivery day, but instead of rigging it up in advance, we'll wait until the livestock hauler gets there and let the driver tell us how they want it set up.