The real cold is coming

Boo loves snow and has no interest in any discussion about cold that may result in the curtailment of his outdoor ventures.


We have snow again. Just a few inches.


It blew snow showers all day yesterday, so the north doors had to be closed. Sheep hate to be locked inside but the barn would be filled with snow if I did not shut their big door. Mama has shown real signs of good strong recovery in the last week.  I think she is almost back up to speed. Just in the nick of time too. Bad winter is coming to give us ‘the bash’.



Last night it was forecast to go down to -3F(-19C) – and  by Sunday we will be at -14F (-25C) with a bendy tree. These temperatures are pretty extreme for our neck of the woods.   And though I am not concerned for our wooly flock…


I am concerned for our  Pigs. They do not have wooly coats. Though the Hereford breed does have quite long coarse hair and are known for their hardiness. Everyone is fat and healthy though and that is a good start.

Once again today Sheila picked up her bowl and carried it (full of food) into her bedroom to eat. Too cold out there in the snow evidently!


I can’t wait until she does this when I have a camera in my hand.

Today I will continue to line her bedroom with straw bales so she sleeps down in a draft free space. She will have two blankets  and both she and the plonkers have a heat lamp that they sleep under. But I don’t know. Minus 14 with a bad wind is freaky cold for a piggie.

it-is-getting-cold-027 it-is-getting-cold-025

Queenie and Daisy also have deep beds. We scoop all around the two areas designated for sleeping. They are not fed where they sleep so they don’t tend to loaf about and make a mess in there, well not too much, so on either side of their big pen are two big deep straw filled spaces. I keep clean straw on top. In these temperatures when they poo it immediately freezes. So it is easy to take the manure out in these frozen piles (unless it hits the concrete floor then it is there for the duration) but I can keep their straw beds clean.  They always sleep in the same place. In their own corners, so Daisy has the super size extra king and Queenie (of course) has a Queen sized bed.

When it thaws we do a big clean up and start all over again.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farmy,


57 Comments on “The real cold is coming

  1. Stay warm, Celi!

    Phoebe is in the same camp as Boo. When she realized it was snowing, it meant lots of extra trips outside to play in it. She pretends she really has go do her wees, when really, she’s ready to run up the road and see if the foxes want to play in the snow with her. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her they don’t.

    • By the time we went out to feed the animals this morning it was -8 and Boo was shivering at the door. yikes… c

  2. I think if I was Miss Sheila, I’d be taking my breakfast back to bed and tucking up warm too… -14 is very cold, even if you have a nice thick layer of lard under your pigskin coat. I worry about the tip of her snout and her ears getting frost-nipped. I have visions of a nice furry bonnet to keep her cosy, and a fabulous quilted dressing gown, perhaps with some tasteful roses. OK, now this is getting silly, and it’s time to stop!

    • I think Sheila would like a rose covered dressing gown, definitely quilted to flatter the fuller figure! c

      • Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!! Yes! Most definitely! And a hot toddy for this chilly weather!!! 🙂

  3. Brrrrr. -25 is cruel. Interestingly enough, Hereforedshire and Shropshire regularly record the lowest temperatures in England. I can remember several instances of -16 when we lived just over the border in Worcestershire. That is where those pigs were bred, so at least they have a fighting chance with your lows! We are still wet and windy but not too cold but the ferry to take my family home has been delayed at least 2 hours, which will leave them driving through the night on the other side, arriving home around 7am.

    Your yesterday’s post appeared in my email inbox but was unfindable on your blog. Weird. I can’t remember a day without a dose of farmy news.

    Wrap up warm.


    • Viv…Mine was weird yesterday too. I read her blog and then it was gone. I looked and looked and it never came back!

  4. Now here is a brilliant idea…old cardigans .put jumpers and cardigans on Sheila and the plonkers ..that way they will stay warm….I used to keep my skinny dog warm using a cut off fro my stretch pants…that is getting real longjohns on to keep bottoms warm

  5. We were all complaining bitterly last Sunday when our (summer time) temps dipped to (+)15C – can’t even begin to imagine how cold -25 C is. Sensible Sheila – what a magnificent pair of double chins she has 🙂 Keep warm Celi – do whatever it takes 🙂 Laura

  6. That is what you call cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey… and that is not rude… google it to get where it comes from./… but it would freeze a ball or two I’m sure…

  7. I am so concerned about the bitter cold temps predicted for Monday! We will be doing deeper, more extensive winterizing this weekend… Good luck with your farm-y!!

  8. OH look at Boo Baby! You know, he is still just a kid at less than 1 year old. Our yorkie is crazy for the cold weather also – 4 lbs of holy terrier!

    Bundle up and tuck everyone in. I would so want to cuddle down in the barn after you described the bedding for the family -> and I want a heat lamp!

  9. Rufus is just the opposite – he nearly wouldn’t go out to do his business this morning. He actually cried when I opened the door!
    We have blowing snow (about 8 inches, I think) and a -15 windchill this morning. Hubby’s out on the tractor, and I’ve been making brief forays out to shovel…then back in to make sure all is well (and Warm!) inside…
    But even that pales in comparison to what I heard was coming to your neck of the woods…thinking lots of Good Thoughts for you and the denizens of the Farmy!

  10. Will Sheila have a chance to be a mother when the temperature warm up? I bet she’ll make a super one! Did I tell you Roxie, our big pig, (the mother of Daisy Mae, who just had 8 piglets) is due to have her second litter in the next few days? Hopefully she’ll wait until the temperature warms up a bit! 🙂

    • I hope so, i will try to breed her myself.. I don’t have room for a boar.. you are a real pig farmer now!! Do you keep the piglets inside, in heated rooms?.. c

      • Sadly we don’t have a barn with heated rooms. Our old…very old, barn has only one side for the chickens and guineas, and the other side for our goats. The middle, open part holds everyone’s food and our rabbits. GOS pigs are quite hardy, and so far they are doing well. BUT, it’s getting down to 4 degrees F tomorrow night, and only 8 degrees the next night. We are hoping Roxie waits until the weather breaks to have her babies.

  11. Rather you than me with those temperatures! Interestingly, it would seem that your super cold temps meeting up with lovely warm conditions further south are creating a super-fast jet stream which is delivering all our current storms! Wrap up!

  12. Ooh. That makes me pull the blanket around a little closer. I hope the piggies fare okay. And you too. No acrobatics on icy stairs, OK?

  13. My goodness! You just have to press on and deal with those extreme temps – there is no choice about it. I can just feel the icy draw of air in the lungs and skin chapping and cracking as I read your post. You’re a good mama, caring for the critters and seeing to their comforts.

  14. I have a little idea of the cold you are experiencing, C, but only a little. My power went out last night and it was below freezing and terrible winds. I was afraid my nose would freeze as I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. Could it be time for insulated barns? Unheard of on a farm, I know. Visualizing everyone warm and cozy on the farmy. How are the bees?

  15. Pigs in blankets have a different meaning in our house – whole sausage sarnies! In fact I just had one for my lunch and was thinking of you and Sheila …

  16. Yes BRRR! I thought of you when all this nasty weather news started coming in. We are also going to get some freaky cold down this way.The plumbers are going to have plenty of work. I feel like your piggies should be ok. I also had trouble with getting yesterdays post. Wrap up and get braced.

  17. Ok silly me.I was able to go back a read yesterdays post. Great words well written. Sparrows wings on your/my cheek is a lovely picture. Also check for kittens in the dryer.Yes I did. 🙂

  18. Check out Walter’s Sugar Mountain Farm blog, he keeps pigs in very cold temps, and usually has lots of good info on most aspects of keeping pigs. Sounds like you are doing all you can for the pigs, building an extra wall out of straw to keep out draft sounds like a good idea.

    • Yes i read him regularly, he is an inspiring fellow! I would love to have his back country so i could just let them go and be free to live like pigs!! c

  19. Oh, yes, the cold is coming. Up here in Minnesota, our temps will be even lower than yours. Yesterday Embarrass in extreme northeastern MN recorded a low temp of minus 46 degrees F. Today it’s warmer here, but wicked windy. This is our one-day reprieve.

  20. Oh my, it’s terribly cold here too and I’m glad your farmie is surviving well. One thing is that it likely won’t snow or rain when it is this cold, so that’s a plus!

  21. Lovely heart warming images. I misread a previous blog of yours by putting the comma in the wrong place in my head: The sun, rose white and cold …
    The image of cracked bleeding dry hands jolted me back to my childhood, as lots of your writing does. Not me but my best friend had bad eczema. The talk of lanolin brings me back to my rousie days in the shearing shed, greasy hands, trying to throw the perfect fleece every time, loving the challenge but every body part aching, ‘Hotel California’ rocking from the wireless, piles of baked treats at smoko time. Back in school a few days later, the bliss of physical rest and annoyed I missed the lesson on ‘The mitochondria’, annoyed because the concept seemed so fascinating.
    This is just a glimpse of the wonderful feeling/thoughts you writing and images give to me.
    Thank you and belated Happy New Year to you and all of your loved ones.

  22. We had our cold temps last month at 20 below zero F. Hopefully that was the end of it. Without snow on the ground those kinds of temps are killers for trees and pipes. I know the sheep love the cold but I feel sorry for Sheila. I know you will make her comfortable no matter what. All kids love playing in the snow,….even animal ones. Must be the higher metabolism in youngsters. When we were kids we played in freezing snow all day and loved it. I, too, would love to see a picture of Sheila carrying her dish inside. So smart is she! Say, how about some cuteness? Missed seeing Marmalade for a few days. Daisy is beautiful and Mama is looking so good.

  23. I cannot imagine such cold! Anything under zero is right off my radar. You have to be so intrepid (By the way, thanks for the Celsius temperatures). Hope you can hunker down and keep warm.

  24. Yikes that’s cold – I don’t know how well I’d do out your way in the winter. The pups here hate going out when it’s raining, let alone snowing. Andalucian doggy blood!

  25. Great photos today!!! Freezing rain here. Couldn’t pick up my puppy today. In a blizzard all day til a little while ago when it turned from blowing to freezing rain. uffda…
    Going down to -30 tomorrow now they are saying. Was 50-70 below wind chill. Yikes! Colder later this weekend though.
    Stacking the bales for insulation is a great idea! And the kitties will catch the juicy mice!!! LOL Circle of life!
    Yep! Once that manure is frozen to the floor it is there for life til spring! I would just keep laying the straw on top of it and try to get it up quickly when I could so it didn’t pile too high.
    Sheep are the lucky ones!!! Nice and toasty…poor piggies though..sigh…
    Take care Celi! Our storm should be over by the morning, but then the chill sets in… 😦
    But the eastern seaboard is getting pummeled! Have to call my brother tonight and see what’s up!
    Love to all!!! Stay warm if you are in the storm areas!
    Hugs Boo! Where is your little buddy? By the nice warm stove I’ll bet! 🙂

  26. Celi…I heard that this terrible weather is headed your way…take care my friend!

  27. Last night about a quarter of each news bulletin here concerned your present and coming cold: cold and then the wind. Have never been in such and cannot imagine what the animals think in the barn! Remember you writing awhile back about birds [starlings?] dropping off the telegraph wires because of cold ~ well, the opposite is supposedly happening here: with inland temperatures at 50 C and over, small birds are dropping off the lines because of the heat!! Have been lucky so far, most of the heat is inland and north [Brisbane 40 C today!] and we have comfortable mid-thirties for the next 3-4 days! i know where I am happy to be!! Our birds also 🙂 ! All the best!!

  28. Thanks for sharing your cold I will post some of ours 🙂 Brrrr stay warm!

  29. We are in between fronts for about 24 hours the Arctic blast returns..but not to the extent as there. Lots of effort required with livestock in winter.(Be careful moving hay bales!)
    Boo and Molly share views on cold: always ready to romp or plop down in a sunny spot. The German, however, being older, is happy with a little run, then a sunny spot by window indoors. But today, they will both be outside as much as possible …maybe they will sleep more tomorrow when stuck inside. (Shortly the German will return home again – I’m sure she’s ready have a break from high energy dog friend)
    Stay warm farmy!

  30. Pingback: Smart as a Pig | kiwsparks

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