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