Hard to believe the first month of 2019 is already done. I’m often asked what I do during winter months – it surprises folks when I recount a typical winter days chores. Farming is a year-round business – and it requires an entirely different wardrobe!
Last week we had sub-zero wind chills – but cold weather doesn’t mean I get to stay inside. The animals still need feed, water, and outdoor access.
Cold is not my favorite weather, so I pile on the layers to keep myself warm and healthy while I care for my animals. In this photo I have on Carhartt coveralls, 2 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of socks, Muck boots, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, 2 sweatshirts, 3 hats and 2 pairs of gloves. It was an extreme type of day!
We have heater lines on the water taps so I can get fresh water by buckets to the poultry and goats. Ice forms quickly so every 3-4 hours I’m out with my hatchet chopping through it. We tried heated submersible heating elements for the goat troughs, but they sap too much power and kept throwing the breaker. I have a heated water bucket for the chickens, but we’ve had power issues outside so keeping the taps flowing is my priority this season.
I’m astounded to watch the ducks take their morning bath, no matter how cold it is. They are fascinating creatures! The chickens stay inside when its really windy, but they flood the run when the sun emerges to soak up all the warmth possible.
Our youngest goat, Beru, is not a fan of the cold at all – she starts crying early and hides in the barn! Our half-Angora, Amylin, loves it and enjoys having the outdoor space to herself.
Cold is a good break for my soil, and all the snow/ice this year gives it lots of beneficial moisture. I’m happy to wear winter gear for a few months – but I’ll be thankful when spring arrives.