IN A PIGS EAR

Look at Sheila in her bed. How on earth Poppy fits in there too I have no idea.

Poppy certainly wanted to fit her ears in the photo though.

But they do.

With the temperatures slowly drifting down into hell I am taking stock of the hay. I figure that as long as these two big cows get sold soon and it does not stay too cold for too long, we should last another two months with nothing at all to spare.

When it is really cold like this everyone gets extra rations to warm them from the inside out.

Tima is totally undeterred by the weather. She steams along her icy path in pursuit of food without any thought for the cold.

You cannot show weather in images – we might show the results but this image was taken in a howling wind accompanied by blowing snow. And the ducks all look so calm and warm – caught with their heads up. I put straw out on the ground for them so at least they are off the ice a little.

Straight after this shot I shooed the ducks into the barn out of the wind and off the ice and pulled their gate shut early. I gave them food and a little pot of water. I will not fill up their big dishes until it is a bit warmer. I am afraid they will become encased in ice from bathing in water and if we are in sub zero temperatures that cannot be good for a birds body temperature. Plus the water freezes faster than they can splash it rendering the dish useless for as long as the freeze lasts which could be weeks.

In these temperatures I water the animals and birds three times a day then tip out what they do not drink. Many of them have heated waters of course which makes life easier.

And look at the weather forecast below- yes – do you see that MINUS 18? I heard a meteorologist talking on the radio yesterday referencing the JANUARY OF 2014 when discussing the coming weeks. My worst winter so far was The Winter of 2014. I was deeply unimpressed.

Those kinds of temperatures result in animals with frostbite. All we can hope for is that it is a quick dip into the freeze.

Lest we forget: I grew up on a beach in New Zealand! Like the ducks this is not my natural habitat!

The ducks and the chickens have slowed down and are laying way less eggs. Too many grey cold days.

But the skies are clear this morning and it is 2f ( -16c). And there will be sun!

Have a lovely day.

Celi

40 Comments on “IN A PIGS EAR

  1. The chooks need nice warm knitted beanies to keep their combs from frostbite. I trust your own fingers, nose and toes are well protected…? Do you come in with white frosty eyelashes and brows?

    • Kate – I love that you say that every year then I say – but there are about 50 of them! Sadly though I think this next bout of bitter cold will be hard on the old girls. I have lost a few white ones already this winter.

      • I don’t much like the idea of dressing animals, but your cold just now is so bitter… So sad to see them with blackened, damaged combs. I hope the rest of your girls all make it through.

  2. Certain ancient philosophers advised moderation in all things. I certainly hope your weather moderates sooner rather than later, for all your sakes!

  3. Sheila looks so sweet! Those duck will want a heated pool next year, but it’s no joke, ducks do sometimes get frozen in to a pond. That last picture looks like the Fens in winter – it looks like the marshland it used to be with no vegetation gowing.

      • I think they paddle on a pond and that normally keeps the water unfrozen, but if the temperature goes low very quickly they can get stuck.

  4. I hope you and your animals make it through the cold dip hale and hearty. Makes sense you have to feed ’em a little more. It takes more energy to keep yourself warm- why people and animals alike eat more and sleep more in the winter. And why are all pig sayings a resounding nope. (Thinking of “in a pigs ear” and, “when pigs fly.”)

  5. I have a heated water bucket for my goose…I”m afraid she will choke on her food if she doesn’t have water next to her food bowl, but I dread dealing with the buckets come winter cause they are such a pain to dump being attached to the socket. But I am not able to get straw…I do get 10 bales of hay delivered and I have to use it sparingly all winter for feed and for the ground. Your barn looks so warm and comfy.
    That is an amazing close up of the ducks!…ducks are so hard to photograph.

  6. No not another polar vortex. That would be cruel. We could all do with some moderation – the southern hemisphere is overheating and the North freezing. Love today’s landscape though. Only 20 or so days and you will be able to thaw out on the beach. Keep going miss c. Laura

  7. I always remember a PSA (Public Service Announcement) that was made way back in the 70s. It was about how to stay alive in a blizzard if you get stuck in your car. The mantra was “food is fuel” and to make sure you always kept high energy food in your car in the winter (peanut butter, etc). I think of that “food is fuel” every time I put out extra food for my two feral cats that I feed. I also warm up their wet cat food so they don’t have to burn any energy to warm it up internally. While I personally love cold weather, I always worry about the outside animals.

  8. Whoa! 2 degrees F?!? I thought we were cold here at 16 F!!! Sending warm thoughts your way! I leave Saturday for CA and then Thailand!!! Yipppeeee!!! I’ve been hoping to go back since we moved back to the US almost 8 years ago! My John will be staying to mind the farm. I’ll be traveling with girlfriends, laying in hammocks, swimming, snorkeling and having a warm, wonderful time soon! Sorry, don’t mean to rub it in, just super excited! :):):)

  9. It’s a bit like balancing on a knife edge…enough food to keep warm, making sure there’s enough to see everyone through, getting the jobs done. Stay warm and happy!

  10. That Tima is a rascal, as we all know. Full steam ahead’s her motto. More power to her! I hope she cuddles up with Tane. This weather is downright fearsome. Worse, it looks like it’s hanging around for quite a while.

  11. Haven’t visited your blog in ages with one thing and another. Goodness, all these new goings on in your life, I feel exhausted just trying to catch up with them all! I shall endeavour to be more vigilant in keeping up with all things farmy!
    Christine

  12. But you can not make a silk purse from a pigs ear. Poppy and Sheila are happy about that I am sure. Those ducks are doing great for you. Sturdy animals! So happy that was a WIN so far. (touch wood!)

  13. New Zealand is experiencing extreme heat right now aren’t they? How is the son’s project coming along?

    • No extreme heat here yet, but it is forecasted to get up into the mid-30s (Celsius) this coming week. Nothing like Australia’s temperatures of 46°C though!

  14. I remember the winter some of your chooks ended up with frost-bitten combs, poor loves. I refill the water bowls a few times a day for the chooks and wild creatures, but for the opposite reason……we are boiling over with heat here. I use old cat litter trays (clean of course) and saw two young crows having a marvellous time in one the other day…..frolicking and splashing. Lovely to see, they usually sit on the fence but don’t often venture down, or very quickly if they do, but must’ve been so hot they couldn’t resist a swim.

  15. For a moment there I thought you were so frustrated with the weather that you lashed out at dear loveable Sheila and Poppy by calling them “big cows,” but then I thought, no, you are not going to sell them. You couldn’t. (Right?)

  16. We need to get busy knitting hats for the cockscombs. Oh dear. I think of you every time I pull my collar a bit higher and tighter around my neck…reminding myself that I am a pussy and that the cold here is nothing by comparison. I’m often amazed at how serene the animals look in the photos, as if the cold doesn’t matter to them at all. Here’s to the clown suit! x

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