Welcome to Home Shalom!

Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Making a Live Stock Cage for Transport

The goal:

To build a med/small livestock cage to transport animals we collect, to bring on the farm. This cage would be suitable for medium to small animals.
The budget:


The time frame:

We would be picking up our first lamb next week and this was Ben's one day off to do it.

The trailer:

We had two choices:

1. We could use the back of the farm truck, but it has its cons. It doesn't often leave the farm, because it is geared really low and made to be a work horse, not a road car. It takes some "doing" to get it up to 55 mph. Currently, it's battery is dead and we just discovered our battery charger is too. We could jump it...but it is one of those vehicles that is best not driven far from the house and just used ON the farm. It only carries 3 passengers.

2. We have an open trailer we pull behind the Maxi Van. It has a loading ramp in the back. It measures 5x12. It has a wood floor and an open metal guard rail around the sides that reaches about a foot. (You can buy these in different sizes at most Lowes.) It has a tall loading gate in the back.

We chose to work with the trailer.

The parameters:
  • We wanted something we could easily take on and off the trailer, so we wouldn't lose the versatility of the openness of the trailer.
  • We hoped for something we could re-use with simple or no re-assembly.
  • We wanted it to be strong and sturdy, knowing we would likely be transporting adult rams..with horns...who like to "ram" things!
  • We also wanted it to be something that could be put on and off the trailer by one or two people. (Like a Pappa and a Mamma team or a parent tween child team.)
  • We wanted to work with materials we had on hand.
  • We wanted to be able to use it for smaller animals like chickens, turkeys, guineas, etc.
  • We wanted to utilize the whole size of the trailer if possible.
  • We need it to be well ventilated so we can use it in the summer time.

This is what we came up with:

We used some metal grid fencing that we had. Each panel measures 4X14. We were going to cut it to size, but we found that it bent easily enough, so we did that for most them in stead. We took it over to the trailer and got as many panels as we needed to enclose the top and sides and started bending. We fastened it together to itself with zip ties. This gave a tight strong hold. We will leave the cage in tact when not in use, and simply lift it on and off the trailer as needed. We will tie it to the trailer itself to ensure a solid safe unit that can NOT be removed by a ram's horn. It is well ventilated, yet, we could use tarp if we needed it to be sheltered/covered for long distance cold transport. We can also add chicken wire around the cage, as needed, for transporting smaller animals like birds when that need arises. Ben did end up cutting a 2 ft strip of the gate, with a saw-zaw, to close a gap in the ceiling of the cage so that it would be flush to the ramp gate. This cage met all the parameters we had hoped for, with the materials we already had on hand!

It was a triumphant "new homesteader moment" upon completion of our little project. We felt like "real farmers". We demonstrated, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and frugality. We filled a need to further advance our farm's growth. That's what good old fashioned homesteading is all about, right?! Maybe there is hope for these 40 year old (former) urbanites after all! :-) (Some days we wonder.)


This post was shared on Barn Hop #4

1 comment:

Jill @ The Prairie Homestead said...

Wow, great job! I love making useful stuff on a $0 budget. Nothing feels better! Thanks for sharing this with the HOmestead Barn Hop!!