Thursday, January 5, 2017

Building Unity Farm Sanctuary - First Week of January 2017

As  temperatures fall and the snow accumulates, work on the Sanctuary gets harder.   It’s -1 degrees F (without wind chill) today and that makes bare handed fine motor movements difficult.  In the early weeks of building the sanctuary, we’re focused on infrastructure -  fencing, heating, plumbing, electrical, and building maintenance.

For the fences, we’ve replaced rotten fence posts and cross pieces.   We’ve replaced the electric fence, rewired the electrical supply to paddocks, and added additional gate hardware to keep the horses and goats inside the fences.   Napoleon, our pygmy goat, figured out a way to break out.   We had an “escaped goat” (Napoleon is to blame).    We watched him as he figured out a way to burrow under the fence!  Who knew goats were so skilled.   We’ve added additional support panels to the place he breached, so the goats are now well contained.

We’ve modified the horse run in to enclose it more fully, keeping the horses warm and out of the wind.

We’ve maintained the yard siphons (underground water supplies) and placed heated buckets in all animal areas so that unfrozen fresh water is also available.

All the light bulbs on the sanctuary property (inside and out) are now LED and the outdoor motion detectors now use high lumens LEDs to keep all animal areas lit when there is movement - predators running by or humans refilling hay in the dark.

We’ve replaced locks so that the entire property has one set of master keys, upgraded door hardware, and lubricated all door and window hardware so that everything works smoothly.

We now have 3 horses and 3 goats housed at the sanctuary and we’ve mastered the daily routines to keep them fed, warm and exercised.    A fourth horse arrives in February (Mille, a 20 year old Welsh Pony mare)

Here’s what the horses look like wearing their blankets and exercising on a cold afternoon.

Our next step with the sanctuary is refinish every floor surface including 1830’s Southern Pine and American Chestnut.    Once the floors are done and cured, we can begin moving in the furniture and equipment that will make the sanctuary a place for public events - tables/chairs, audio visual equipment, and food service equipment.  

We’re making rapid progress and by next month, we’ll be ready to host our first public educational event!

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