Around 1,000 sheep were shorn in this shearing shed last summer, and somewhat sadly, they signalled the end of “Kildare’s” wool production era.
As I walk through this Australian icon, I can’t help but feel the sense of history, and imagine the hub of life and hard work that must have taken place in it, year after year after year. I’m sure the walls have so many tales to tell. When I look out our kitchen window and see the shearing shed, I sometimes think how others before me must have felt at shearing time, knowing they had to prepare food to fuel the workers. Maybe I’m just a romantic, but as we are now stewards of this long established property, I feel a sense of respect for the families who loved and nurtured it before us, and their tales of joy and sadness.
But this post is actually about the changing face of agriculture, and how we converted a shearing shed to brood chickens.
After much consideration about leaving things intact in case we ever need to shear again, we decided to dismantle the stands and begin conversion of the northern side of the shed.
The chutes were left intact and the lining began.
The existing northern louvres help warm the brooding area, and let in natural light and ventilation.
Only had to replace a few and a great opportunity to photograph that view.
As always, the kids made the most of any ready-made fun.
The ceiling took some grunt.
These must be saved. I’m thinking full of character and would look lovely in a farm cafe, Michael’s not.
It’s not easy to get this boy to sit down to do school work, so I’m calling this a history lesson. Dad did explain the sharpening system in detail because he use to be a shearer, way back when he was a young man.
The gas arrives.
Found another use for Ag BELT. But couldn’t find the rest of the bell drinkers (positive they’d come in one of the loads).
The brooder surround is now removed and we are very happy with the environment. We have also found our bell drinkers, fitted a small header tank and plumbed and hung them. Our first brooded chickens at “Kildare” will hit the paddock in a bit over a week.
Like many Australian shearing sheds, this one has hosted a few family parties and dances in its time, but I wonder if the people who built it ever imagined chicken brooding? The changing face of Australian agriculture can be a good thing, as long as we learn from our history and our hard working pioneers.