This area is the jenny’s hang out. Over the last few winters we’ve had some deep ice build up by the time we hit February. That meant the melt flowed back into the barns instead of away off the paddock. So this year I decided to add some stall mats outside. They provide a base I can shovel down to each snowfall. That hopefully will help keep the barns dry. I keep writing ‘barnS’ – as in plural. The jennies have a run-in where I put their hay. They also have deep wood chip bedding in another area that they like to sleep in. I began to notice that on bad weather days they were getting soaked – having to come out of one barn and make a turn into the other. The two ‘rooms’ are right next door to each other. I’ve been tempted for years to join them on the inside … but with Darby ruling the barn it would have meant Rosie would not have anywhere to scoot into. Now Rosie and Bella are on their own … and there isn’t the same problem. So … we decided to have a go!
We’d have to cut through the walls on either side – including removing the kick board in the sleeping barn. I’ve been watching the jennies for years now and knew exactly where I wanted the doorway to go.
We’re getting to be pretty good at this reno business! As Ede noted – our specialty is to wait for the coldest days … Ha! 😉
And there it was. Two little barns now have the feel of a bigger space. The jennies will be able to move from room to room without having to go outside. Yet, on good weather days there are plenty of doors to let fresh air and sunshine in. (Note – that heat lamp on just behind me? That was to keep we humans a little warmer today.)
We also replaced the hanging tarp curtain with a plywood half wall. That makes the hay feeder area much warmer by blocking off the northwest winds.
This is the view from the north. The double doors open onto the wood chip sleeping barn. Now the new door gives way to the feed barn. The area shown in the previous photos is to the right of this – on the west side.
The feeders fit perfectly on either side of the door.
When I finished up the chores the girls were chowing down on tonight’s deliciously sweet smelling hay. However … as I came around the house with the bird seed for the morning there was Rosie … chewing on the new wood in the door frames. So … back I went with some hardware cloth and my screwdriver. I didn’t want to come out in the morning to find they’d had the new door frame for breakfast!
I’m so pleased with the result! Tomorrow I will clean back to the corners – replace the wood chips – and even take down the chewed up name signs to finish the refresh. I can tell the jennies are pleased. The improvement is not lost on them! The two barns are now a ‘two-room lodging’!