Friday, December 9, 2011

Jack Frost Kicking My Butt

It has been a little while since I wrote last and that is because the Funny Farm was under the control of a very bitter sub zero cold snap. That is the nice way of saying it - you do not want to know what I have to say about it at 2am.

Never the less - I have been keeping watch over the flocks round the clock because without hauling warm water out to the far pastures and full feed bunkers I surely would have had dead animals. Stock man warning were out for three days in a row out here and the one night it hit
-27 here at the farm. Now I would never not do this for my animals but the putting on and peeling off of the four layers of wet frozen clothes and pulling with all I am worth my wonderfully warm yet ever so heavy snow boots starts to wear thin after a couple of days of NO SLEEP!! The nip in the air was more like a "Bitch Slap" across the face each time I opened the door. My worry and concern was all that kept me going..

Heck, it was so cold that I even gave the weaned bottle kids warm formula during the coldest parts of this event because as they stood under the heat lamps with all their buttery soft fiber covering their bodies shaking and then their tiny cries just made my heart break. I know I am one big softy but if you looked into those faces you would have done the same thing. I made Kasha to move into one of the smaller barns to force her into giving up her nightly patrols. The other two are strong enough to withstand those temps but Kasha is feeling her age like all of us. Once I knew the danger was over she was right back out working the farm and rolling in the deep snow and enjoying every minute that I was outside with her.

As the temp is now reaching a whopping 34 degrees today I am able to sit in front of the computer and get some work done without hopping out the door every three hours. I felt like that old TV Commercial about the Dunkin Donut Man who opens the door to leave for work looking like he has not slept in weeks while muttering to himself "Time to Make the Donuts" and meets himself on the other side of the door saying the same thing. This type of a schedule can really mess with your brain and body.

I do have to admit that I still love the bitter cold just not all the worry that goes with caring for animals in sub zero nights. I am probably the only person on the planet who thinks it is PURE JOY to pull a sleigh full of hay across the wind blowing pastures in knee high snow to loving and hungry animals who want nothing more then for me to hurry my dragging butt up so they can eat. Another joy is when I snow shoe over to the girls barn and pull back the frozen doors - I am greeted by all the girls at once complaining about the weather - it really is very funny because they act as if I had no clue how cold it was outside. After getting them their warm water and hay I sit down and snuggling up to my big hearted Chief . As I pulled out from one of the inside pockets of my winter coat a warm bottle of formula I start to feed the little babies who are stepping all over each other to get to the nipple first. As they eagerly suck down the warm formula I have to chuckle - I love listening to their sounds of sucking as the warm milk is reaching their tummy and then in a flash Chief gently licks off their mouth the bubbles of extra formula. As we finish this routine I take my time to snuggle all those who wish it and check everyone over to make sure there is no effects from the cold.

As I snow shoe back to the house to only once again try to get the frozen layers off and warm myself up I give thanks that I may be tired but I am strong and healthy to keep this pace up for as long as needed.

So now that I am back did you miss me??? Sorry for no pictures to go with this but it was so cold that the camera would not even work..


Ngo Family Farm said...

Oh, yes, I missed you Grace! Figured you were fighting the freezing temps to tend to your animals. I'm also glad today for this "warm" 34 degree weather ;)

Glad you made it through to the other side of this storm.

Sheri said...

Isn't amazing when 34 feels balmy?? I'm glad you are finally getting a break from it. Just battling the schedule can wear anyone out but add into it the mind numbing cold - I seriously don't know how you do it! I know how it goes though - how can we possibly resist those furry 4 leggeds with their soulful eyes....

Tombstone Livestock said...

brrrr, and I am cold with temps in the high 20's at night and sunshine and 50's during the day and I don't have any snow, guess I should stop whining. Hang in there, stay warm.

Karen said...

I missed you too. And I understand how busy you've been. My flock lambs in February which can be mighty cold here in Wisconsin. I'm out to the barn every 2-3 hours from the first lamb to the last.

larkspur funny farm said...

Karen that is the time my goats start kidding and I run that schedule too - folks just don't understand that so I am glad to know others do the same.

Tombstone go ahead your not whinning - we are all able to handle different things - I whine when the temp is above 80 degrees - I can not deal with heat - ask anyone I complain and whimper so go ahead we all do it.

Sheri I went out to do the hens without a coat - 34 is just fine with me... Even the hens had fun in the sun.

Jamie I was thinking of you guys in the cold as well - how did your goats like it???

Ngo Family Farm said...

The goats handled it well (they saw worse last year and survived that). This group of chickens we have now, however, were not very happy about the snow and cold--it's their first winter!