Monday, January 6, 2014

stacking hay bales

Every weather prediction is calling for dangerous temperatures in the next few days.

As farmers we keep livestock outdoors. We don't have a barn on this property. And wind chills of -20 are not anything we know.

The farmer has layers.

We own thin hats that go under fleece lined wool hats...3 layers over head AND ears. Lots of neck scarves. A face mask. 

And thermal legs, flannel lined jeans and boots made for snow mobile riding. A wide assortment of down filled coats so they fit one over another. Glove liners and heavy duty gloves. 

Our livestock have layers too: fat, fur, feathers, down...but they will still need help to survive these brutal conditions.

We will visit our local hay guy: 80 something year old Calvin and will load up on hay.

The weather will be above freezing on Monday. We will spend the day adding stacks of hay in L shaped patterns for the cattle and pigs to use for shelter from the wind. If the winds shift there will be enough space for all to move to the protected side. The little pigs will get their pens moved and then hay inside for burying into and outside for wind protection. 

There are 2 pens of broilers left. They will get shifted for wind protection and get additional hay on the ground, anothey tarp on top/sides and big drinks of water before temperatures plummet. 

There are 10 pens of egg layers. They will each get extra protection too. 

The dogs will all be in well protected spots too. 

The house and all of our plumbing fittings will need care. The kitchen sink cabinet will have the doors hanging open and we will cut off the water to outsiide. We read that houses in this part of the country are usually built to withstand temperatures of 13 degrees. It is predicted to be 1-2 degrees. That's a big difference when it comes to burst pipes and such. Since our outdoor "frost free" faucets were just replaced we will make certain and drain them out too. Don't want that job anytime soon. 

The regular chores need to be completed first. Every animal needs moved, watered and fed. On Tuesday and possibly Wednesday they might not be able to get liquid water. There is still snow on the ground, but at very cold temperatures water freezes quite quickly. Tuesday will certainly be a day where the animals and the farmers hunker down and stay as warm as possible. 

No brass monkeys here. But we would bring them in if we had them. 

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