Just like everyone else this week we are experiencing a good bit of winter weather. Not too bad really, a little snow, but no problems yet for us. The wind on Monday certainly made it very uncomfortably cold but there was no drifting snow accumulations to cause problems let alone forcing us to break out the shovels. The cold of course freezes up all the animal’s drinking water buckets so we have to keep watch on them, put out fewer buckets, fill them more often and dump them out overnight. The ducks will not be able to go swimming when it is below freezing. They would spray water all over the place cause the containers to freeze in place and make it icy for about 6 feet all round.
On Monday, because of the wind, the ducks and the laying flock chickens, who are all bunked together, were not let out. The chicken house would have gotten far too cold and everyone would have huddled at the end furthest from the open door. The special chickens and the old flock were let out as they are in a more sheltered location. They came out, some stayed out for a while, but most preferred to stay inside. Tuesday dawning sunny and staying nice and calm until noon or so, we let all the birds out and they did like that. They were in more than out but do like to be able to go out when they please.
We were able to get the chicken house mostly finished in time for the real cold temperatures. We are quite pleased how it all turned out. It has a plastic over wire covering at the front facing the sun so that the house can be warmed somewhat on sunny days. The other walls will eventually be covered in plastic as well so that the air leakage will be reduced to just enough to give a good air exchange. Looks good!
The new colt has adapted to his new reality … snow. The first day with snow on the ground, calm winds and a strong sun, Leucan lay sprawled on his side soaking up the sun and sleeping for more than two hours. He has a nice thick winter coat. The older teams are, like all of us who get a bit older, feeling the cold much more and we are continuing to feed them extra grain (crimped oats), and a senior horse ration to help them cope.
Cows of course are fine. They have a good thick coat now too and the ones we milk are giving us a good supply of milk still. We will need lots of milk soon as eggnog and baking season is near.
We are taking chickens to the processors today, Thursday. We have to be at E.N.S. Poultry on 8th Line near Elora for 7:30 a.m. and will not be able to pick them up again until at least 5 in the afternoon or maybe even later, and then we have to drive back home again which will take about an hour and a half, minimum. The weather should be o.k. unless the winds get up and it starts snowing. E.N.S. has a very good reputation for doing a good job. The chickens will be killed, plucked, cleaned, bagged, cooled and bagged. Not sure if they are frozen, think not though. It looks like they are all spoken for too.
Some of the scenes in the photos this week are quite a change from seven days ago and these were all taken on Wednesday near noon time. Some of the photos were taken earlier in the week and those will be obvious. Just three weeks back it was so nice too. Never mind; Spring is on it’s way. By April we will be wondering what the fuss was all about.