Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wintertime on Our Little Farm


It seems like the past several days the majority of my time has been filled with simply taking care of our animals! That's what bitterly cold temperatures, snow, and strong winds can do. :) Monday morning was our coldest of the days with a temperature of -9 and a wind chill of -32 . . . and the high for the day: 0! Even with watering everything with warm water, it didn't take long at all for waterers to freeze.

Looking towards our small barn

Winter days like what we've been having at the start of this week find us doing chores three times a day . . . bundling up, tromping through snow, breaking ice out of water buckets/tubs, hauling warm water out to the animals, haying, etc. etc.

Then when you add in the regular household tasks of the day, making dinner in the evening, etc., there hasn't been a great deal of time for much else! Though I have been fitting in at least some time for sewing and reading which has been nice. :)

The rabbit bottles filled once again with warm water and ready to be given back to the rabbits

Enjoying the warm water!

Willow and Dixie eating their evening meal of grain and alfalfa pellets

Sierra did not want her photo taken, but stood on the fence and wanted to be petted instead. :) I obliged her after snapping this quick one!

Four of the five beehives . . . I am really curious to know how they are all faring so far. As soon as we get a day in the 50's, I'll be taking a quick peek inside!

Lily and Sierra having fun playing together and head butting

Thankfully it has started to warm up again, and the low 30's we had yesterday felt warm! And our extended forecast looks wonderful . . . after tomorrow, highs in the 40's! 

Some of the hens nestled down on the roosts in their coop

Eggs in the nestbox . . . the egg laying has been poor since sometime towards the beginning of December, and it is just recently beginning to pick up again. We have eighteen hens and have been getting about four to six eggs a day now for the past two weeks or so except for yesterday when we got only one!

I am already beginning to anticipate spring which is partly attributed to the fact that I have already been doing a fair bit of thinking and planning in preparation for it. I am thankful, though, that we still have a few months before then as there is a lot I hope to accomplish before springtime activities resume again!

 Lily really enjoyed the warmer temperature last evening and was 
racing all around. It was fun to watch her!

Hope you all who have been affected by this cold snap have been staying safe and warm!

10 comments:

Anne said...

:-) Same going on down here ~ tending animals. My hens haven't left the hen house, but egg production is still pretty good. Maybe by next week you can check on the bees. I think it's supposed to warm up to the 50's. We're getting a little snow and freezing rain right now. Enjoy your evening, Sarah!

Rena said...

I always love the posts you do showing your seasonal daily life :)

What kind of hens are they in the picture? And is the greenish egg laid by an aracauna?

May I ask if Willow and Dixie are pregnant?

Such freezing cold is hard for me to imagine. Even in the depths of winter we don't get anywhere near that. And just now, in summer, we've got a week of pleasantly cool weather, and a plague of bugs in my tomato plants!

Elizabethd said...

We have been reading about the extreme weather in the USA, and it does sound Sooo cold!
Sunshine here today in England, but storms are predicted.

Karen F said...

Phew! I think we are all glad that the super cold snap is over and we're getting some nice "warm" days now! :-)Here in Wisconsin we had 22 degrees below with wind chills of around 50 below! I think -9 is almost just as bad though, in some ways. Both are just plain COLD!! I guess the main difference is that the colder it actually is the more dangerous it is to be out for an extended period of time. It makes you want to get done with animal chores as quickly as possible and hurry back inside, and by that time, your hat and scarf are already covered with frost! :-)
Well, glad to hear that you and your little farm made it through and are enjoying some warmer weather now!
Karen

Sarah said...

I would imagine it would be a lot the same, Mrs. Anne! I thought of you a number of times as we went through that cold spell, wondering how you all and your animals were doing.

That’s great that your egg production is still going well! A lot of our hens have been molting so that is another reason for the lower production. I’m hoping it will pick up more soon!

The 50’s sounds lovely! It looks like we will indeed be getting that and I hope to check the hives then. I noticed yesterday that at least four of them were ‘cleaning house’ so that’s a good sign. :)

I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Sarah said...

I am glad that you enjoy them, Rena! They are some of my favorites to share. :)

The hens are Barred Rocks except for a Barred/Araucana cross (which lays blue eggs), one Buff Orpington, and a Barred/Buff Orpington cross. We have another white Araucana which isn’t pictured, and she’s the one who laid the green egg. Good guess! :)

Yes, Willow and Dixie are pregnant. At least they should be. :) Dixie looks like it, doesn’t she?! They are both due in March along with one of our Boer does, and we’re looking forward to having goat kids again!

Weather like this is hard to imagine . . . and thankfully it isn’t something we have here very often! I am sure you enjoyed your cooler summer week. Though I am sorry to hear about the bugs on your tomatoes! Hopefully you’ll be able to figure out how to get rid of them . . . and soon!

Sarah said...

It was very cold, Elizabeth! Thankfully more normal temperatures have returned, and we’re even expecting 50+ degrees tomorrow!

Enjoy your sunshine while it lasts . . . hopefully the storms won’t be bad ones!

Sarah said...

I think so, Karen! We very gladly welcomed the warmer weather as I am sure you did, too. :) It’s amazing how perspective can change! At the beginning of winter low 30’s and 20’s felt cold, but now, they feel so nice!

Brr . . . it was really cold up where you live. I’m glad that you and your animals made it through safely! I had read that wind chills like that can cause frostbite very quickly.

Enjoy your warmer weather!

Anonymous said...

Do those wire mesh floors hurt the feet of the rabbits? I have no experience with farming so I do not know but I imagine that cold wire mesh would be quite uncomfortable. Is this the case? I hope that all your animals are comfortable but I have a soft spot for rabbits. Thanks in advance for the reply.

Sarah said...

Thank you for your concern for the rabbits, Anonymous! The rabbits, though, have well-furred feet and the wire doesn't bother them at all. In fact, wire bottomed cages/pens are one of the healthiest housing options for rabbits!

I can see why you have a soft spot for rabbits :) . . . they are sweet!