As mentioned before one of the barn cleaners froze when the cold snap hit. Both cleaners have ancient chains, which don't put up with any nonsense. To try to run it when frozen would have resulted in hundreds of bucks in repairs...at least...and the barn still wouldn't have been clean.
During the freeze we couldn't turn the cows outside while we worked on it because all the water lines would have frozen. It is the warmth of the cows, with their big fermentation tank stomachs, that keeps it warm all winter.
Thus we moved manure around the stable to places where there are no cows, or just calves etc. It was not pleasant.
Until today. Today it got up in the 20s so the ladies could go outside to frolic with a couple of tasty round bales and the boss and Liz and I could fork manure. And shovel manure. And pry gutter cleaner paddles up from their frozen little beds. And scrape and chip and when we were done put down lime and sand and fresh bedding.
With three fork operators and two wheel barrows it went amazingly quickly and hallelujah!!! the chain didn't break or derail or feed itself merrily out into the manure shed. No corner wheels popped. No belts broke. No cows fell down going out or coming in.
Couldn't really ask for a better outcome, except that I cracked my stupid foot when a gutter grate tipped under me after I slipped in a pile of the stuff we were motivating. Note to self you KNOW that grate will tip. Watch where you are going!
While they were outside it snowed a bunch and when the girls came inside they were covered with snow. I expect by chore time they will be all dry and fluffy and look very nice.
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