Friday, July 23, 2010

Weathering the Weather

Saturday promises to be another scorching day for the girls, hot at 93 degrees and humid. Add T-Storms to the mix. Not wonderful. This time, I'm ready. Michael and Harold worked their magic, finding 2 great solutions. They cleaned a mini-hillside pasture alongside the chute to the upper and lower pastures--this was Mickey's idea. This area is large enough for the 6 girls, but is more ideal at 3. After proofing the area, we opened the gate and Tess was the first one in. Cierra was last in and first out. As she ages, Cierra takes the safe, secure route; always the leader but loner, she remains in the barn at night. Remarkably, she is still, at 14, the alpha female. One of benefits of life on this mountain is the breeze; almost always there is one. So in this sheltered area, there is usually natural AC that can keep the girls cool while outdoors. Today will be the test case, and if pressed to guess, I think they'll pick the second innovation.

We added 2 AC window units, and in our trial run, within 35 minutes the temperature dropped 6 degrees. But that was on a cooler day, toward evening, as Michael duly noted. Problem is the barn is big, so how can we best deliver the AC to the girls. Here's the solution, and I think it's way cool. I'll let you know later how it worked.
  1. Each stall has a large fan.
  2. We added this HUGE fan on the outside of the stalls.
  3. We opened the stall doors. Using 1 of the 4 portable fence pieces purchased from Carol Reigh, the guys fastened 2 bungee cords on the left, middle, and right sides.
  4. The left and right side closures are tight; the middle is looser.
  5. To enter the stalls, I open the right side 2 bungee cords and move each of them to one of the stall bars. It's a tight squeeze but a safe way to enter.
  6. There is still enough tension that the girls can't escape, but to be on the safe side, 1 of the 2 right side bungee cords gets reattached to the stall door.
  7. Finally, to keep the cat out, or at least to discourage her, they used a safe wire on the bottom of the "gate," kept in place with a bottom 2 x 4 and secure quick ties.
The final ingredient is turning on the AC units. Mickey says the large fan will pull the AC into the stalls. It seemed to yesterday when we did a trial run. Weather, when bad, can make a season endless. This year, summer has been an endless trial for all of us who have livestock. I think the guys have created a great solution.

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1 comment:

  1. Great video, interesting music - very unique. The farm looks like a great place. I'm sure that your llamas appreciate all of the comforts that you've provided them with.