At this time of year all farmers in this hemisphere are shuffling animals into their winter pens, arranging their outside access. Dragging out the heated water bowls, stopping up drafts, creating an extra feed pile in case we get snowed in, checking the generator and finding the heating lamps.
We always prepare for the most extreme weather. Making sure the animals can get out of the ice storms, and snow storms, and freezing winds. Digging doors free that have stood open for the whole summer, oiling hinges, cleaning windows for maximum light, repairing the Poppy holes in the fences. Repairing holes in the loft floors that we might fall through when working fast in the dark. All the things we cannot do when the temperatures drop well below freezing.
I have been running this small farm for almost eight years now and so I have learned to prepare for the WORST. Think about every tiny detail. Spend time imagining what could go wrong so I do not get surprises and am ready. Then visualise my procedures. I pay great attention to the small stuff. If I Prepare for a disaster of mammoth proportions (like no electricity for a week which did happen once) and then I can deal with all the little problems as they come.
It is very important to have a plan, a detailed plan for every eventuality. Plus with this many animals in two barns I need to have my head screwed on right and my work has to be transparent with good systems so if I twist my ankle, or have to travel, anyone can take over and things continue to run smoothly. So everything is placed and labelled. We have been lucky with the weather so far, it is still very mild.
And today we prepare Hugo to travel tomorrow, so it will be a busy day. Parting this boy from his dirty laundry is like pulling teeth! But last night we wrote a plan for today so we will do just fine.
Manu was transported yesterday to the winter barn and got on and off the trailer with ease and little fuss. I had planned that move very carefully and it went without a hitch. He is going to be in his bedroom area for a few days to get his bearings before he goes out into the big inside run. He loves his deep bed and after a drink and an apple he found a soft corner and lay down with a sigh Like I do at the end of every day.
I hope you have a good day!