Would you rather be with them or without them? Or as another neighbor puts it, Only them that's got'em can lose'em.
Well, let's tally up the bill so far...
Dozer work to create level site above grade: $7200
(also included regrading road to barn, cleaning out 2 farm ponds)
Portable electric milking system for 2 head: $2090
(includes Waikato meter for measuring production, expandable to 4 hd)
Fencing around barn, new dairy for better sheep flow: $2774
(this is the bid, final amount will be higher I'm sure)
Electric to dairy, water to barn, lamb pen and dairy: $$$
(don't have that bid yet, I figure about $5000-7000).
Hmmmm, couldn't find a suitable image on the web of someone staggering about, clutching their heart in the throes of overwhelming shock... So here are some pictures of a dairy sheep parlor in Wisconsin, instead.
This is a double 24 swing highline rapid exit parlor newly installed at Hawks Highland Farm, owned by the Edward Meisegeier family.
Here are the ewes entering one side of the parlor. Two sides each holding 24 ewes at a time hence 'double 24'
All lined up and ready to be milked. The milkers are hanging down from a pipeline above the sheep, in the middle of the parlor. They swing from one side to the other as each side fills and empties. Thus this is a 'swing highline' parlor.
They get grain in troughs filled from an overhead bin. The troughs are mounted on the hydraulic rail that raises to let them out.
When the rail lifts they all leave at once, hence the term rapid exit. While this side empties and refills with sheep the other side is being milked.
I am building a dairy. A single eight, rapid exit sheep dairy with a small cheeseplant attached. That means I will milk eight sheep at a time, then they will walk straight forward as a group, allowing the next eight sheep to come in and get started milking right away. Quicker than single file exit parlors, where all the sheep have to walk out single file before the next eight sheep can get in to be milked.