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The Hoop Building Construction Saga Continues at Coulter Farms!

Posted 12/27/2018 2:12pm by Kinley Coulter.

  

     A few weeks ago, you were given an insider's peek into our project to erect a hoop building for lambing our ewe flock of sheep, and storing round bales of dry hay.  We had just finished erecting a foundation with steel hoop trusses, and had pulled over half of the fabric cover for the building.  In the picture above, you see the chilly, foggy morning that greeted us when we sought to pull the second half of the cover fabric over the trusses.

     The first half of the cover weighed almost a ton!  It had to be winched over with four winches...it seemed like we were pulling so hard that it would surely tear the cover.  But, thankfully, it came over without incident (... at least, with no devastating incidents.)

 

 
     Winching over the second half of the cover.  Notice the tension in the first cover.  Over 150 ratchet straps pull the tarp tight... this protects the building from wind damage, providing much of the strength of the building.  I hope it never sees the 90 mph wind that it it supposedly rated for.
 
 
 
     Our 125 year old bank barn is feeling a little pathetic next to these two modern agricultural buildings...you can see our family's home in the background supervising the scene.  It's been said that the house will never pay for the barns... but (hopefully), the barns can pay for the house... time will tell :).
 
 
Shifting the whole fabric cover a couple of feet sideways is a bigger deal than you might think...
 
 
All right boys... time to get back to work...
 
     Success feels REALLY good!  We were all a little stressed about this critical part of the construction... we had heard stories of covers blowing a mile away into the woods, or a gust of wind on the tarp lifting a worker to dizzying heights :O.
 
 
     Oops... minor miscalculation, and we severed an electrical line with the backhoe... sadly, it was one we had just buried a week before... sigh...whose job was it to remember where we had buried it?  No electric meant no way to water the livestock, or run the milking equipment, so the boys worked until well past dark on the repair.
  
 
     The vastness of this 65'x180' building isn't really apparent until we put some big pieces of  hay equipment in and they looked like children's toys...
 
 
 
 
 
     The sheep and the youngest of the Jersey dairy calves got put in the very next day... they BAAAAHED and MOOOED  'thank you' for getting them out of the December weather...
 
 
     Hay isn't as tasty as green pasture... but getting out of the weather is worth a little sacrifice...
  
 
      Feeding one sheep is fun... when 100 of them start crowding around the four year old... she starts getting a little intimidated...
 
 
 
     The sun, low in the sky in the winter, gives plenty of warmth deep into the open south end of the building.  The far end is the north end, and it will get an end wall to break the dreaded winter wind, and to hold out rain and snow.  We hope to engineer the end wall to absorb 90 mph wind... no small feat!
  
     Feeding hay by hand isn't going to work in the long run... in the background, you can see the sheep eating from the Certified Organic fermented green hay bales that weigh 2/3 of a ton each.
  
 
     Many of you may not realize that our farm also raises monkeys...seen above playing in the trusses...
 
 
     Baby monkeys are much cuter...
 
 
     And some monkeys don't seem to have much expectation of a long life ahead of them...
 
     As always, thank you for supporting our family farm!