We had the keys a few weeks before moving in. This gave us a chance to get some things done, and let us have Christmas without any moving stress. For a couple of weeks before Christmas we did things like:
- Fix external plumbing. The big shed is fully plumbed, but the water was turned off. All we could get from the vendor was that a pipe had been cracked, and rather than fix it they’d isolated the shed and left it. We also had vague directions as to where the isolation valve/tap was. It took some digging, but we uncovered a heap of pipe work and found a ball valve a couple of feet down in the chook run. Seriously, the pipe had been cracked, they’d turned off the tap and then buried it! It took a while to work that out, after which we fixed the original leak, fixed some taps in the shed, and then had water back
- Fixed the chook coop. It’s a nicely built coop and run, but I don’t think it had been used in many years. It has corrugated iron running length-wise along the bottom, and then chook wire up to 6 feet or so. The wire was falling down, the iron was coming away from the uprights, and the gate was knackered. I had estimated that it’d take 2 hours to fix, and it ended up being a 10 to 12 hour job. I was in there on Christmas morning, before I got my kids, finishing it up.
- Get some stock.
- I picked up some meat chooks and got them situated in the big shed in my snake’s old vivarium. I was expecting about a 50% mortality rate as I’d never done this before and baby birds are fragile. With that in mind I ordered 20 as a starter, but the factory gave me 23. I suspect that they don’t count as much as they estimate them by the handful. Either way, we got 23 expecting about 10 to make it. Spoiler alert: all 23 made it.
- Get some sheep. We bought 4 sheep from a guy out near Mallala. They were merinos or merino crosses, and so not specifically meat animals.
- Organise feed for the stock.
- Thin some trees. There are many, many trees on the property, and some are planted in completely random spots. For example, there is access to the rear paddock down both sides of the property, but a couple of big melaleucas had been allowed to grow up in the middle of one, making it useless. We’ve spent a lot of time fixing that, and that started before we moved in.
- Get some machinery, including a trailer, chainsaws, a rotary hoe, and an awesome mulcher.
- I also did some inside work, including painting, ripping out carpet, replacing the air conditioner etc.