Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cold Is Relative

It's funny how "cold" is a relative thing.
In summer when the temperature falls to 60, we grab our sweatshirts,
exclaiming how "cold" it is.

Then when winter comes and the temperature hovers around freezing
and the snows fly, we sit in front of a roaring fire and talk of how "cold" it is outside.

Now we are beyond cold.
Now... frigid.
The high temperatures have not risen above the teens here on the farm for what seems like
a couple weeks or so.
And colder, sub-zero air is on the way.

It's cold enough that the only time the pigs venture out of their warm house...

is for their Ritz cracker treats as we pass by during chore times.

The sheep rarely use their shelter, but prefer to remain outside in the cold.
They are perfectly adapted for cold weather and are happiest at this time of year.
It's amazing how different these two animals are.

It's during weather such as this that we thank our lucky stars that we have
electricity to all of our out-buildings, 

so we are able to keep all of our animals
comfortable with heat lamps and heated water buckets.

You might imagine how despondent I felt yesterday morning as I made my rounds 
and found that the goat waters had frozen (solid!)
 and that the heat lamps were not working.
I would love to say that I took it in my stride,
but alas, I felt sick to my stomach when I saw all the ice.
Our poor cold animals!

It seems that some time during the night, our underground electrical service that feeds 
the goat yard and the chicken and turkey houses broke.
It happens sometimes... the ground freezes, the wires become brittle, and just a little shifting of
shale can cause the wire to break sending electricity into the ground and tripping the circuit breaker.

It's a funny thing.
I had a call a few days ago from one of my cousins who asked
on behalf of a friend with chickens if there was any way 
to keep drinking water from freezing without electricity.
I replied "no" and suggested that they get extension cords and run them to their henhouse.

Fast forward to yesterday and you will find us at Lowes buying 400 feet of heavy duty
extension cord to run from our barn up to our chickens and turkeys.
Meanwhile, Dr. Becky ran her extension cords from her house down to the goat yard.

This will be our solution until Spring arrives and the ground thaws so that it can be trenched
and new electrical service run.

These days "cold" means a whole new thing!

So... the general consensus is that Chester is the bed-wrecker.
I must tell you...
the bed-messing evidence preceded Chester's arrival.
I know that Chester looks like the devilish one...and believe me,
he gets into his share of mischief.
At least twice daily we must remind him that cats are not playtoys,
and teeth are not to be cut on the bottom of easy chairs.
He's still an adolescent and full of himself...
but the bed-messing belongs to someone much more wily than Chester.

It probably won't surprise you to know that the culprit is 
none other than Bad Sammie!
I know...look at those innocent eyes...

It's all part of his schtick!
It might actually be payback for making him wear this silly hat!


Colleen said...

I can only imagine the feeling of seeing the frozen buckets!
Sammie... no way!

daisy gurl said...

The good news is that everyone made it through the cold night. Glad you found a temporary solution. I've read that some folks place stones in the sun and then add them to their birdbaths to keep the water from freezing. Clever!

We were in the single digits yesterday morning here in Central NC, so I know those further north are really feeling Ole Man Winter! Hope you are managing to get some needle time in today! Nothing better than lounging in front of a warm fire.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh no...what bad luck. at least you have a good temporary solution. even my little fur bundle won't stay out too long. her feet get cold.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Oh Sammie! How could you?

Patsy said...

Oh dear sweet Sammie. It just can't be him. Must be his evil twin.

Missy George said...

How can one be mad at Sammie?? I haven't minded the cold yet..It has been sunny and not windy..This weekend will be a different story..My heat is running non stop...Glad you caught the electric problem....gotta keep the babies warm...

diane in northern wis said...

So glad you are checking on your dear animals and turkeys/chickens so often. How scary to discover the power out. We know what you mean about cold. We are in our second week of below zero here and it just seems to keep stretching on. What an odd winter so far. The Plumbing and Heating trucks are certainly out and about working hard to keep everybody's furnaces running and pipes from freezing or fixing them if they do. Sunday our poor church had some water pipes break and the sound system go out...then we went to our favorite restaurant for breakfast and their furnace was out!!! This too shall pass....right??? :)

Mary A said...

Our daughter lives in Chicago and she is a nurse practitioner working hard to prevent frostbite and hyperthermia from killing her patients! This cold is deadly. Glad you are keeping a close eye on your animals. While here in California where I live, we are running around in short sleeves and praying for rain. Sending prayers for your cold weather to ease and rain to come our way!


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