January 28, 2014

Storm Chores

This is the first winter we've had
some daytime highs remain below
freezing. We've had to look to ways
to keep critter water from freezing
so fast. A straw filled bucket helps
insulate & forestall ice formation.
To check on and do:
  • fill wood boxes
  • fill kindling boxes
  • wood pile covered?
  • tools put away?
  • fill hay feeders
  • fill chicken feeder
  • fresh bedding
  • fresh warm water in all buckets
  • buckets in insulation tubs if necessary
  • check & fill kerosene lanterns
  • get a nice roast out of the freezer (enough to feed us for a couple of days should the electricity go out)

Now sit back with a warm mug of something tasty and enjoy some cozy time by the fire until it's time to check on everyone again.

Goats don't like snow.

The chickens allowed themselves to be lured out with scratch.

Sammy and Riley helped with chores.

Sam's preferred way to weather out a winter storm.

Riley's too.

This is the first snow we've had here in several years. Most of the goats and cats, and none of the chickens had experienced it before. We accumulated a little over an inch. How are you all faring out there?

Storm Chores © January 2014 by Leigh 


  1. I would take some snow for the moisture but I'm afraid it would all blow away here. We have had nothing but wind. At least that has subsided for the time being.

  2. The cats sure look cozy & like they have the right idea!

  3. We had sleet today, very rare here in New Orleans. It's 29 degrees, and it should stay below freezing all day tomorrow, too. Of course, since we're not built for such temps, the city is at a standstill. All our major roads are closed, and people are encouraged to stay home. We don't know how to drive on icy roads. Plus our electricity infrastructure isn't designed for extreme cold, so we're expecting power outages. Fortunately, as long as the power stays on, my husband can work from home - he teaches online computer courses to IT professionals, and he can do that from home when necessary. I'm staying warm with hot soup and hot tea and warm cats and handspun handknit sweaters and socks. :)

    Stay warm, Leigh!

  4. Leigh,
    Snow started about 1800 and by 2300 there was 3 inches drifted up the back of the house. They say that we could get 7 - 10 inches by tomorrow afternoon!
    Baby it's cold out there!

  5. I've thought about using insulation around Tang's tank, but she'd just eat it. I can't get electricity down that far (it's all concentrated in the bird/bunny barn), and if I did, it'd probably blow the breaker. I just bust out the ice and hope I got the hoses completely drained!!

    Stay warm!!

  6. Littlehawkyarns, I agree that no precipitation is the worst. Those unrelenting winds are tough too, especially because they dry everything out. Here's hoping for some relief for you soon.

    Sarah, cats always have the right idea, LOL

    Debbie, do stay safe. I'm sure you're home construction practices don't help either, I know they don't here. My computer is in my studio, which is mostly windows and no insulation. We keep the door shut to help keep the house warmer, but it's hard to spend much time in here, getting caught up on computer work!

    Tom, 7 to 10 inches! Yikes!

    Laura, that would be a lot of water to carry if you had to! We have no electricity to any of our outbuildings, so I know the problem. The goats would eat insulation as well, but it's a good thought. Try the straw, it helps a little. And you stay warm too!

  7. I'm a big fan of manure in the straw as anti-freeze. We have not gotten up above 10 for several days now, and the water bucket is nestled down into the manure pack. It is only frozen solid in the morning when they have been sleeping.

    The other bonus is that sheep eat snow. The giant sweater they are sporting allows them stand out in the falling snow as though nothing is going on.

  8. I guess we have it pretty nice here. If we get a storm it doesn't last more than a day or two. Our power lines are all buried so we hardly ever lose power. And soon the sun will be out melting it all away.

    The bummer is that we hardly ever get the kind of snow that makes a good snowman. I think I need a cat.

  9. My yard is covered with sleet and snow this morning. All our roads are closed. We have this kind of weather maybe once every 20 years, so no preventative measures taken on the roads. Icicles on the bird feeders. Trees with ice, too, from the rain. Thankfully the weather is past us but temps are still int he low 20's so no melting for a while. And, Saturday? Supposed to be 70 degrees. Harrumph!!!! I know, I know. It's all relative.

  10. About the same as you Leigh, although I have no idea how bad the roads are. SM says he's heading out in a bit for an appointment locally so I'll get a first hand update here soon.

    I just saw the mess in ATL on TV. Hopefully my boss will call the day and we'll get a "snow day". I don't think we'll get much over 32 today so no melting and tmrow might be "rinse and repeat."

  11. Leigh,

    It's good to hear you had an opportunity to get your chores done and things put away before the snow hit.

    The temperatures, snow, ice, and winds have been through here numerous times. With our low temperatures we are waiting for our big storm come Tuesday.

    Stay warm and be safe.

  12. Leigh I loved this glimpse into your barn yard, it went so perfectly with my cup of coffee this morning. I love all the pics! Stay warm and safe...

  13. The cats have the right idea! That's what I plan to do today now that the animals are taken care of. The chickens did not want to step out into the snow this morning. Our snow is already melting, so they didn't have to "suffer" long.

  14. Barb, I'm glad you mentioned the manure. I was changing out a water bucket this morning and noticed one of the goats had pooped in the insulation bucket. Manure is a great source of warmth! I'll add some to the insulation bucket the next time I change water.

    And interesting about the sheep eating snow! Apparently with their fleeces they don't notice. :p

    Renee, what a relief to have those power lines buried. Ours are buried to the house, but not down the street!

    And the bonus to having a cat is that they sleep on your feet and keep them warm! But would Lilly approve???

    Sue, that's really hard for Florida! What a winter.

    Tami, I'm so glad I don't live anywhere near Atlanta! We're supposed to top out at 35, but have yet to top 25.

    Sandy, being farther west, you've gotten way more of it than we have. And with another storm on the way! groan

    Jen, thanks. :)

    Candace, poor chickens. Mine are mostly staying in the coop. I put them to work by sprinkling scratch in there so they would stir up the litter for me.

  15. Leigh, it looks like you had everything under control. Over here in northwest Georgia we got 3 inches of snow. It shut down everything. The only one of my animals that went out was Sassy and she had a ball playing in it. Stay warm and dry.

  16. Um, about 8" of snow on the ground and nighttime temps in -10F range. Schools have been closed since after classes last Thursday. They might open tomorrow (Thursday). This polar weather is nasty, even if you don't figure in the wind chills (-40F Monday night!). Coldest winter since I moved here. Brrr. I'm doing a lot of cooking to keep warm.

  17. Lady Hawke, I hope so, LOL. Good for Sassy for enjoying her snow.

    Kris, yikes, that's a rougher winter than what we've been experiencing. Can't say I envy you that! I have to agree about doing a lot of cooking. :)

  18. Just saw on our nightly news here in Australia how bad the storms are across the USA. Hope you are all warm and safe.

  19. We got about 1.5" here. You would think it was the end of the world though, the way they have shut down schools and such for days on end.

    Glad to see y'all made it through just fine :)


  20. My goats spend a lot of time out in the snow (by choice!) but they are also wearing cashmere underwear ;)
    Take care, Leigh - all you folks in the suddenly-frosty South!

  21. I know you know how to take care of yourselves by sensible preparations. But stay off the slippery roads because of folks who aren't used to driving on them.

    We had a "warm" day here today. It nearly hit 10° ABOVE zero so we took advantage of it and used the roof rake to clear 2-3' of snow off one roof area. Then, of course, we had to shovel all that pulled down snow off the path by the side of the building that it fell on! I think both of us used some new muscles.

    Stay warm and safe.

  22. Louise Jane, I've learned from my Australian friends how dreadfully hot it's been down under. Extremes at both ends of the globe.

    I looked for a blog to visit at your G+ page but didn't find one. If I had, I would have visited you.

    Stephanie, LOL. I thought the same thing when I first moved south.

    Quinn, how fun. Actually my girls have grown down coats this winter, something unusual for Nubians.

    Mama Pea, it's true, folks down here simply do not know how to drive in snow and ice. At least ours melts before we have to reach for those snow shovels. :)


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