Windbreaks are very important in our part of the country. We live on a bench where the wind can be relentless. Small buildings need to be anchored to the ground, or they blow away. Sometimes our house sounds like a wooden ship in high seas. Personally, I love it. Must be the Viking in me. My husband hates it.
Ranch animals spend the winters out in the open, and when the wind blows they take refuge behind a windbreak, be it natural or manmade. We have windbreaks in all of our pastures.
The picture below is of my horses and ponies during a January storm, taking advantage of the shelter.
They also enjoy the windbreak during the summer. I think of it as their bedroom.
It really is the new calves’ bedroom. When the weather turns, all the moms and babies bed down in the straw behind the windbreak and everyone is toasty warm.
But sometimes, the wind is too much. During our last storm, part of the calve pen windbreak went down. The railroad ties had deteriorated to the point that they broke off, which led to a full and rich Monday for my husband and me.
The first order of business is to assess damage. Yep. There’s a problem here.
Next we have to fetch new ties from the laydown yard, then use the auger to drill new holes. My job is to make sure the auger is straight and that it doesn’t wander while it’s going down.
After that, we take turns cleaning the dirt out of the hole. The auger only lifts out so much. The rest has to be removed by hand. If it’s dry, we have to pour water down the hole so that we can get a “grip” on the soil with the posthole digger.
Then the new tie is set in place. We use a level on two sides as we fill the hole and tamp in dirt to make sure it’s true. On a good day, we don’t have to go back to the house to get the level that we forgot.
After that, it’s a matter of re-attaching the boards to the new post, and then the windbreak is ready for another season of keeping the livestock safe and warm.
Do you want to know how happy I am that the windbreak blew down in August instead of February?
I’m having a give away today for a $15 Amazon gift card. To enter tell me about a your most recent unexpected repair. The winner, chosen by random drawing, will be announced on Saturday. Good luck everyone!