Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Big Chill

I haven't been on here for a while.  We have been hunkered down trying to keep warm.  Like everyone else, we were hit by a VERY cold air mass.  It hasn't been this cold since I have moved here.  Record lows were met and broken all over the place.  I'm sure a lot of you have felt it too.  With our house not being done, it was COLD in here.

As a lot of you know, Hubby and I live in the walk-in basement of our unfinished house.  The top part of our house is not done.  And when I say not done, I mean no insulation in the roof.  When the wind blows, it sucks all of our warm air right out the top of our house. We have plastic up on the basement ceiling.  It helps, some.  One night it got down to 45 degrees in here.  Brrrrrr!  But it's funny how our bodies get use to the temps.  We spent most of our days trying to get some kind of heat in the house.  It usually stayed around 50-55 degrees.  When it got up to 60, we were comfortable.  I'm glad, that this year, we are focused on getting the upstairs livable. These cold days won't be so bad then.  I hope.

I did worry about the animals.  It wouldn't have been as bad, but the temps dropped more than 70 degrees in 24 hours.  That's a big drop.  Then on top of that, we had wind chills around -40.  Those poor animals.  Their bodies can't get use to those types of temp changes.  I can tell you, it wasn't fun feeding and watering them either.

The rabbits, I made sure to give them a little extra feed, gave them water in a rubber water dishes, and them basically stuffed their cages full of hay.  That way, they could burrow their way into the hay and and make their own shelter from the wind.  They LOVED this!  They could be warm and eat hay until their little bellies were full.

The goats, we gave extra straw in their goat hut.  Plus, we wrapped tarps around it so that wind couldn't just blow through it.  Then we made sure they had hay inside the huts so they only had to come out to get something to drink.  And, they only done that when I came out and chipped out the ice and refilled their water tub.  They did fine.  The milk goats weren't very happy but, they never are. lol

The chickens were fine.  I just kept them in their coop.  I made sure their water wasn't frozen over.  They could peck into the ice and get down to the water.  The chicken poop, that was surrounding the tub, kept the water from freezing solid.  If I ever had any doubt about chicken poop giving off heat, I don't now.

The cows and horses?  Well, there really wasn't much I could do for them.  They had the shed side of the barn that they could get in away from the wind.  They had a running spring down in the holler that they could drink from and they had two hay hoops that were full.  They seemed to be okay.

I thought about getting some pictures of the animals and the ice on their whiskers, but I just wanted to get in out of the wind.  Plus, I think my camera would have fogged up.  That's okay, I don't think I wanted to stay out any extra time.  My nose was freezing up. :0)

The good news is that this weekend is suppose to be back up into the 50's.  Hopefully we won't get that kind of cold weather for another 20 years.  I've had my fill of it.  Did you do anything extra for your animals during this cold weather?

So until next time,

Small Farm Girl, frozen


Robbyn said...

Whew....that's all I can say! And that I'm glad everyone has stayed safe!! :)

small farm girl said...

It's all good now. The 40 degree days feels tropical! Lol

Kellie from Indiana said...

Todays supposed to be in the 20s. Last nite it was -3. We have almost a foot of snow out, and todays supposed to bring more snow/freezing rain. Can do without the frigid temps. My livingroom is mostly windows and an addition off the kitchen is not insulated yet. Plastic over the doorway and I added those cheap thick blankets and now theres no draft. I wonder if I should put them over the windows.. hmmm...

Catherine said...

Chickens. Stupid chickens. Stooooopid chickens! Would Not Go In The BARN! They ended up huddling outside against the side of the barn, right next to the opening for them to go INSIDE the barn. Even though they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are too STUPID to live, we didn't lose any. Go figure.