Wind and Cold.
It was windy all night and as I write on my disappearing keyboard (the letters are almost all gone again) the wind is howling outside and it is 20F/-6C. This does not include windchill. The windchill equation brings us down to 4F/-15C but I have no interest in that number! I have to work out there so I prefer 20F.
The Westerly wind will keep this up all day and it will get no warmer. Is there any sun forecast my next question is? Let me check. Nope. Mostly cloudy. But it is winter and I am ready for this.
Here is big Sheila herding one of her calves. I tried to get a shot of her in her big bed of straw today but like all pigs she is up and trotting to meet me the moment she gets a whiff of human. Her bed is crushed right through the middle now, so she sleeps in a kind of topless tunnel – an enormous furrow that keeps her sides nice and warm. She is such a big animal that I am sure she contributes to warmth in that shed too. The impressions in what is left of the straw around her bed leads me to believe that they settle quite close to her. I am amazed at this development – I did not expect them to sleep together, I thought she would have stayed in her own straw filled hut.
I think it is time to bring the chick family out of the turkey house. The chicks are still too small to go in with the layers so I might set them up in the empty peacock palace. There are more places to get out of the cold.
Of course they will keep their mother as a heater!
The first wave of plonkers (five of them) left the farm yesterday. So now I have only four bigger ones left and Poppy’s Nine. The decibel difference at feeding time is pretty amazing!
Yesterday we spent extra time putting in water heaters and plugging in water buckets. Also I have to let the pigs in the barn run out of water at nightso I can fill their bowls with warm water in the mornings. They have big drinks in the evening so they are hydrated but they have to finish as a bucket full of ice is useless to me in the morning, I need an empty bucket to fill. I cannot fill a full bucket. Once something is frozen it will stay frozen for weeks now. So I add hot milk to their water and get them to drink it all down.
I cannot give the pigs heated buckets – they use the cords as toys.
All the hoses are drained and hanging. All the milking equipment is in the house. The holes in the barn are patched and everyone has extra straw. The cows get extra hay when it is below freezing so they get to warm from the inside out.
Now we hunker down for the duration of this cold spell.
I hope you have a lovely day.