The sun is deceiving. It's a beautiful sunny morning but you know it's absolutely frigid and you have no choice but to go outside. It is a bit cloudier than the day before and not as cold but still frigid.Two pairs of socks are a necessity, a hat, lined gloves and off I go.
|Please pardon the screen...|
My coat makes a crackling noise as I move towards the barn. My eyes begin to water and the wind bites at whatever is exposed. I am having trouble opening the latch to the barn because of my gloves but I know if I tough the metal with my bare hands, they will be cold for some time, almost numb. It opens and the sheep greet me with baas and a few jumps for their chins to be rubbed. Their water is frozen solid. At least there isn't much left in the bottom of the bucket to thaw. I go outside and get their hay and notice how quickly I've been going through the large bale. The horses are the culprits here. They eat a lot. They also need more water to drink to digest all the extra hay they've been eating to stay warm. In fact with 12 sheep, I think the hay for 2 horses on a not so cold day would be the same.I currently have 4 horses.
I chuck some flakes of hay to the horses outside and by now my legs are starting to feel cold. I check their trough- they have enough water for today and the heater is working well. All is good until I see a rip in the horse blanket on the rescue horse. Better the blanket than his hide.
Next stop, chicken coop. Turn light on and check for casualties, check for food and I know their water always needs replacing in the morning.Check for eggs just in case and then proceed to house with all buckets and water dispensers in hand. Thaw buckets, fill with lukewarm water, trek back out to barn. This is far quicker to read about than achieve. This whole passage can take about 45 mins-not including any possible slips on ice or trouble cutting into new bales etc..
I now head in for breakfast and coffee or tea. I know I must make frequent trips to the coop in order to collect eggs before they freeze and to stir up the water bucket so they don't freeze solid.
Happiness/Comfort/Gratitude is: Warm, wool, hand-knit socks and hat.