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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Farmin'

You would think by now this farmer girl would have learned to be totally prepared for this crazy cold weather. 
Well, I was mostly..

I did get the cattle water tank moved down, filled, the heater plugged in and hoses emptied. Check✅ Both ponds are completely frozen over, and I do not want our Dexters ice skating on the pond to try to break the ice for a drink! 
Check out the completely unfrozen water in the tank!  In fact, it's actually steaming a little. This will last our little herd of Dexters about 3 days. 

We did get a new round bale out so they would have plenty of fresh hay to eat continuously for energy and warmth. Check✅
And.. I did get more pellets to feed extra grain. Check ✅
Jasmine, our newest Dexter girl, is due to calve any minute. I'm totally worried about her, being a first time mom and all. Sometimes it takes a new mom a little while to figure out what to do, and a newborn wet calf won't have a long time to get dried off at zero degrees.  So I go out and check on her every few hours. I did not mean for her to calve this time of year. For some reason she didn't take the first time or maybe she lost the calf early on. She should have calved in November. These things happen. 

This is Jasmine from the rear.. She's a sweetheart and is normally asking for scratches, but it's feeding time yo! 

We did get the freeze proof automatic waterer installed for the goats this summer. Check✅   - However, I procrastinated training them to use it before freezing temps..whoops. So back to using the hydrant and short hose. ⛔

The top has already frozen over by 1:00pm after filling around 9:00am.  That's some serious coldness!  Check out our new non-electric, freeze proof waterer: it's a "Horse Drinker" by Bar Bar A. A few of the goats have learned to use it on their own.. But most of them are clueless to push down the paddle. I SHOULD have put a plug down in it which would have held water to train them to it BEFORE freezing temps.  Oh well... 

The dogs getting a drink after I removed the ice layer. These crazy pups like to grab a chuck of ice and lay down and chew it! 

I didn't get the indoor kidding pens completely set up and ready to go.⛔
 I believe I am still in denial about winter this year.. and that the goats will need help in these temps.  I didn't make sure the space heater worked.⛔ whoops.. I think there might have been a mouse nest in that stinky sucker!   I am thankful no one decided it's time, so far, but Cassidy is close. 
Cassidy, a Boer/Kiko doe, is bagged up and looking close to kidding time. 

As bad as I hate to, I fed the goats a square bale in their barn. I know they will waste a good portion of it. But I figure they need to stay out of this brutal wind and what they don't eat will make more bedding to keep them warm tonight as temps keep dropping down to 0 degrees and under Check✅

The doelings have it made in the greenhouse.. It's not too bad in there actually. They have plenty of hay to eat and bed down in as well. Check✅

This is Cinnamon, Cassidy's daughter from last year following me around as I check on things and feed them in the evening. She had the tips of her ears frost bitten because Cassidy had her outside on the ice. I found her shortly after she was born and got her warmed up. She's one of my favorites! 

I got their waterer full and heated as well. Check✅
This tank waterer is actually for pigs but it works perfectly for young goats and dogs.  Our MFA had a special heater that is designed not to melt the plastic that is inside. Hubby made this lid for it to keep the water clean and dogs out in the summer, but it also works to keep the heat in. 

Stopping by the outdoor furnace to heat up a bit. This thing rocks!!! I am so thankful for this gem.. It keeps us toasty warm with wood from our farm the hubby cuts. 

The chickens didn't bother coming out of their house today. Can't say I blame them. I fed them inside and they have a heated waterer. Check✅ Every time I went outside, I checked for eggs because they will definitely freeze. And the hens have just started back to laying so they are cherished around here. 

So all in all, I probably spent a couple hours outside taking care of our animals. I will be out to check on them several more times this evening and right before bed. (I think we should invest in a barn cam!) It's not too bad bundled up in my coveralls, knit hat, gloves and face mask. 

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