Farm Animals Coping With the Cold

We’re back to horrible cold again after one balmy day in the twenties.  It was -3*F when I milked yesterday evening.  Today is supposed to be in the twenties again and then tomorrow we’re expecting a high of 11*.  How do the animals cope with the cold?

The Birds

The geese take it all in stride.  You’d never know it was cold.  Millie jokes about their feet being made of rubber, but I think she might be right.  They still stick their whole heads in the cattle tank and get water all over themselves.  I don’t know how they do it, but the cold is just another day to them.

African goose

Of course, they do draw those legs up into their down feathers and tuck their beaks under their wings to sleep.  They are pretty aerodynamic in their shape, and the winds seems to go right over them.  It takes the worst blizzard before they bother to go inside.

geese in quonset hut

The other birds are not as fond of the cold weather, but they have warm down feathers and a building.  They huddle together for warmth, and they do pretty good.  It is awfully hard on the chickens though.  I haven’t lost any yet, but cold really is hard on them.

The Caprine and Bovine

The goats and cattle do pretty good.  Of course, the extreme weather is hardest on the old and the young.  I give them a bit of grain and they have plenty of hay.  MJ has made it challenging this year.

steer and goats in barn

I give him a huge pile of hay, but the goats seem to think they should get all the hay I put out there.  MJ is awfully nice, but he’s figured out he’ll have to stay with his food or he’ll lose it.

steer and goats eating hay

Cora, Victoria and MJ

I think I’ve talked him into staying by his big pile instead of checking out the other piles.

steer and goats in barn

I’ve also had MJ talking over the fence and telling Maxine and Norma Jean how awesome the room service is on his side of the fence.  I was really worried about Maxine trying to jump the fence to get in with him.  I took them a bale of hay, and my dear nephew set out the first big round bale of the winter.

cows in snow eating hay

Norma Jean and Maxine

The Canine

Stella has a double coat.  She tolerates the cold much better than she does the heat of summer.  When everyone else is huddled in, she’s out walking her route and barking all night.

Great Pyrenees


Still she’s getting older, and a girl needs a place to get out of the snow and wind and pull the ice balls out of her feet.

Great Pyrenees

Sadly, she’s also a freak.  I’m trying to get her to realize the greenhouse is open, and she can have the space behind the panel.

Great Pyrenees in building

The Felines

The cats are spoiled.  Leo spends most of his time lying over the register, soaking up the hot air coming out.  He will curl up in the chair with Snickers too.

cats on cushion

Leo and Snickers

sleeping cat

Bob is staying inside, but he’s an annoying Bob right now.



He’s already going stir crazy, much to the annoyance of both Snickers and me.

Honestly, for all the animals access to plenty of food, clean water (not just ice) and shelter is important.  If they are healthy and have these things, most times they’ll be fine.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday with Create With Joy.

December One

I am just amazed at how this year has flown.  It’s December 1, and that means it’s time for The First of the Month.  This year, I’ve highlighted my backyard.  With the drought, it’s not been as interesting as I had hoped.

But look!  I have an angel here for the holidays!

Christmas tree angel


My backyard is looking about the same as last month. The leaves are gone.  The grass is still kind of green.  The asparagus is still bright!


I do get to see my wonderful bovine as they graze next to the yard.





I did see a blue jay out in the trees this morning.

blue jay

Who’s hiding back there?

Great Pyrenees

Stella!  She’s always hanging out in the yard somewhere.



I did see my Marley and Stormy kind of wish they didn’t have a fence between them today.

Stormy and Marley~SOOC

Stormy and Marley~SOOC

I’ve really enjoyed doing this meme, 1st of the Month.

I’m also linking to SOOC Sunday, Bird d’Pot, and Camera Critters.

Frosty Mornings

We’ve really had some beautiful mornings around here lately.  There was even one or two frosty mornings.

Sadly, you have to have moisture to have frost, and we are still experiencing extreme drought situations, so I had to take advantage of the  little bit of frost we’ve had.

The goats have been going out as soon as the sun has been up.  It was too cold for them to even leave the barnyard today.

The real surprise for me this fall has been the bright colors on the gooseneck flowers that are now dead.

Stella is also enjoying the cooler weather.  As a Great Pyrenees, she prefers cold to hot.

I’m hoping this is the signal that we’re really going to have a real cold winter this year!

Linking to  Farm Fun Friday, Show and Tell Friday, Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest, Camera Critters and Macro Monday.

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The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.