Although most of the major farm projects for the year are over, we're thankful that the weather is holding so we can get one last major project accomplished this year. The hog house is finally getting a new roof! While the ground level of the building is made of blocks, the upper story was wooden. The roof has been leaking for some time now, and the big blue tarp over the roof has long been shredded by the weather. The whole building was turning into an eyesore as well as a danger, as the leaning wood promised to collapse sometime if we didn't get to it ourselves. Since the bottom is in good shape, Dan and I had decided this spring the best plan would be to tear down the upper story and replace it with a steel roof, sloping only one way so the water would no longer end up in front of the pigs' door to the outside run. We're hoping this new layout will help to eliminate the giant mud puddle currently in front of their door. Eliminating the second story is really no loss of space, since pigs don't use staircases and we weren't using the space for storage or anything else. It should cut down on the mice as well, as they had taken over the top story and were abundant below as well.
The project began yesterday, with Dan and his brother knocking down all of the boards not responsible for holding the roof up. Then ropes were tied to the support beams. The other end was fastened to the van. The second story came down with a big crash, but safely for all involved. They've recycled lots of the usable lumber to build supports and give the roof a proper angle so that snow and rain will slide off. As I type, the green sheets of metal roofing are being nailed into place. Daylight will be running short, but we'll try to get it all on tonight. The the most time consuming part will start- the cleanup! We'll save any still-usable boards for future projects, but there will still be lots of rotten wood and shingles and random junk that will need to be picked up and disposed of. We'll give the inside a thorough cleaning and spread the manure on the fields and then line the pens with fresh bedding. This was really important to get done before winter, this way the sows won't have to go to a new building before the next litter of piglets are born in early March.