Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Animal Update


Not a new picture I admit. I really need to get a glare filter as the snow cover pretty much ruins any pics I tried taking in this weather.

As of my morning rounds this AM and again my early afternoon rounds I just got finished with all animals around the Small-Hold are accounted for and appear to be in good shape. The ram is a bit grumpy though as he wants more fresh hay from this seasons round bales and not the old stuff I been feeding him since his other bale froze.

All the chickens were out this morning although they did not venture far they were all there. Nugget was released back into the goat pasture but we will need to see if the dominant female kicks her out of the house again tonight. Nugget seemed pleased with her much warmer over night accommodations and barely made a sound all night although she did wait until we got her out and were heading for the door before she decided to leave some solid traces behind. When we brought her in last night she was standing in the blowing snow shivering and could barely move so I had to carry her inside. I have no doubt she would have succumbed to the cold if we had not brought her in.

The sheep of course don't see what all the fuss is about and only seem a bit pissy about the snow covering up all the left over grass. The 2 to 3 foot drifts are not much of a problem as they just plow through them without really noticing. They also have a new bales I manged to get out for them so they just focus on that.

About 3 AM this morning I stood out in the snow by the wood furnace and figured out why the Ram's water is always low. I watched about half a dozen rabbits come by and climb the snow drift next to his water bucket and dip their heads over the edge. They were scattered by a cat I have never seen before who took a quick drink and this morning I noticed a set of coyote tracks leading up to it as well. I guess he stuck his head in through the fence. I always figured we were running a Winter water hole for most of the wild and feral animal population but I have never been able to actually witness it in action before.

We got up to 12 degrees this afternoon and it feels like heaven. My one mistake through all this was I should have hooked up the blade on the 8N so it would be ready to use to cut through the snow drifts. Other than that looks like we are slowly starting to climb out of this frozen hell bit by bit. Still have a few more negative nights left they say but hopefully they will not stay around long although another snow dump is possible tonight and tomorrow morning.


Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!




  1. We've dodged the polar freeze so far but the snow keeps coming, along with the wind. We were done with winter but then that ol' groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter. I think mother nature heard him, the dirty bugger. Not much fun doing chores in the snow, wind and ice.

    Hopefully you'll get warmer temps soon, for man & beast!
    Take care!
    Karen (aka hobo)

    1. Karen - No doubt. Snow and cold add a high degree of difficulty to chores. I am also not happy at the number cold does to engines when I need em but the worst part of cold is what it does to pipes and running water. I can live through negative temps easily with my wood stove or furnace. I can bundle up and be happy as a clam (except for listening to the wife complain anyway) but whether or not I found all the little cracks, am I keeping the pipes warm enough, what if this fails etc. is the worst part about extreme cold. The way it looks after this week we are in for some much warmer temps though so I will be complaining about mud next week :)

    2. PP, the second year we had subzero temps after moving here only the old John Deere B fired up without any effort. Granted it is regular fuel, not diesel. The backhoe and truck are all plugged in but we're grateful we didn't get the subzero temperatures. Hard to keep the critters watered. Can you use battery tenders on the equipment or was it just too dang cold?

      Oh, and shame on you for bringing up that 3-letter word... m*u*d* lol!

    3. Hobo- There is a few things I could have done that I didn't. I went into this thing thinking it was gonna last a week and it went almost 3 weeks for us with a much longer stretch of real cold days. I do not have glow plugs for my diesel tractor and I really should buy a couple of block heaters too but needing them when it is this cold is kinda new to me. I usually just planned on doing without until it warmed up.
      As for battery tenders that is another problem I need to fix now that I am keeping my tractors inside the barn Before this Winter they were under just overhangs or on the edge. So I could use such things.

  2. Preppy, lots of problems for folks in the urban centers with water and piping. The thaw will occur by the end of this week; the problems will exists for months. Many, many plumbers are about to become very wealthy men.

    Glad Nugget did okay!

    1. TB - Ya our problems ballooned by several magnitudes yesterday morning. I will do a post on it later tonight lol.

  3. If you don't mind a few basic questions...
    Is there a problem with feeding from a frozen bale, or is it just harder to pull flakes to feed them?
    Sheep's bodies are warm from wool but how do they protect their bare eyes and noses from the snow?
    Is it harder to hook up the 8N blade when it's cold, or just harder to get to it in the snow?
    Does "the number cold does to engines when you need em" affect how they run, or only starting them up?

    I've fed animals and run tractors a little, but only in warm weather, so this is all new to me.
    Thanks in advance Preppy, you're busy and I'll understand if you can't spare the time to answer.

    1. Anon= I don't mind at all :)

      The bale is frozen on the ends so it is not flaking off and baled too tight to easily pull off just the middle. So basically just a pain in the ass as the four inches on each end are solid blocks of ice.

      That is a good question that I do not fully know the answer too. All I can say is when I was out feeding them at -5 with a wind chill to Lord only knows what even the pregnant Ewe's were running around like pre-school kids jumping up in the air and doing what I call the trout flop. I keep my sheep in a building of some sort every night but they never really curl up like they are protecting their faces so I do not know for sure.

      Everything is a pain when it's super cold but the snow is what makes it hard for me as the tractor will not stay put where I need it to hook the 3 point up. I also got the 8N kinda blocked by the divider fence I put up to get the sheep out of the mud so I need to move the sheep before I fire her up. Just a long process I want to whine about really. Not impossible I was just being whiney cause it's cold :)

      Realistically conditions like we have had maybe happen once a year around here and then go several without ever happening. I have not been inconvenienced by temperatures in almost three years and it's been a good 7 years since it was any where near like this or a blade on the tractor was even an after thought.

    2. Also when the cold first started a snow storm was not even forecast. All good I should have just had the blade on it in November and been done with it but as I said we have not had a snow fall worth using a blade on in years. Prolly a few I could have used one but it would have been only useful for maybe one afternoon before it was gone anyway.


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