Demolition has been the name of the game this month as we modernise some of the cattle buildings.
The traditional Aberdeenshire farm steading was in the form of three wings in the shape of a U with the muck midden in the middle.
Most of these midden areas were in filled with another roof in the 60s and 70s to make a reasonable-sized shed. At one of our steadings we have been busy taking down two of the old outside wings and the infill which was built alongside a modern portal frame shed.
We are going to replace the old sheds with a mirror image of the newer shed which will be 36 metres by 18m (120ft by 60ft), with a valley gutter between. We will have a centre pass which I am normally not a fan of, but the two sheds are on different levels and it would be difficult to operate an outside pass. In fact, it will be handy as youngstock will be on the high side with cows on the low side, making access to the feed trough easier for newly-weaned calves.
We are also going to re-floor the outside pit and the yard in front of it to make the whole steading more user-friendly and tidy.
Dad is a great one for trying to use old walls to save a bit of money, but once he got going with the slough digger it has all landed in a heap to be crushed and will be used in the bottom of the shed and the yard to bring up levels for the new floors. We saved any dressed granite stones (of which there were many) which can be used in the future for any walls or house extensions which may be built in the future.
On the other side of the coin, I have been under pressure from the female members of the family to finish erecting the new horse shelter. It is a year since we moved to the new house, so Piper the horse and Wendy and Angel the lawn mower sheep have been without a shelter all that time. We have been able to recycle timber and box profile sheets from the demolition to keep costs down. I intend on making it into a family event, so the girls will have their joinery skills sharpened over the next few weekends.