Our chickens have started to learn something. It is a secret the ducks have not be willing to share. The water in the bucket is WARM! To drink from it on a cold day is like having a hot cup of coffee. As the temps have been dropping and the winds have been picking up they are starting to learn. The white bar across the bucket is to keep the ducks from using the bucket as a hot tub. A few years back we had a larger tub and the ducks would take a swim in it at 5 below and wonder why their feathers froze when they got back out!
On the farm, the work goes on no matter the weather. The snow, when it falls looks so nice and fluffy, but around here it packs down to ice in no time. Then it is time.....For our secret weapon in traction control, ICE CLEATS!! Without these, walking upright is impossible. Here in the mountains, flat areas are in the house and nowhere else. So ice + manure = slicker then snot! So these babies are standard issue. So watch the chickens, when they slip and slide it is time for the cleats!
This year is the first time our current chickens have seen snow. To them it could be boiling lava. They do not like it. The snow is cold, wet and taste funny. To the point they refused to leave the coops. This coupled with below zero temps; egg production took a massive hit. We had to put food and water in the coops and still they did not lay well. Slowly, one by one they realized that this white stuff was not too bad. It is not boiling lava and walking on it was safe. Our egg production is slowly returning to normal.
Recently, we had some excitement on the farm. While going out to the tractor barn, we saw and heard the goats running and playing in the pasture. This is no big deal, until Michelle noticed that some of the goats running around had beards!!! Wait a second - that means the bucks are in with the does!! Thankfully, no one was in season and would not stand still to be bred. But they were chasing all the does around. The stress could cause them to miscarry. We both broke the land speed record to get into the pasture. Through two locked gates we went, then when got there we had to catch the bucks and haul them back into their area. Then we had to check all the does to see if the bucks got anywhere. After a thorough check, all the girls were fine. The bucks are now back in their area with a buffer zone between them.