Tag Archives: heater

Can Winter Be Over?

17 Nov

We are still over a month away from the start of winter, and I’m pretty sure I’m ready for it to be over.  Maybe it would have helped if we hadn’t had a full week of real winter cold and snow.  I had to feed full hay to the animals.  The last two years, I haven’t started feeding hay until the end of December.  Luckily, we’ve warmed back up and the goats are going back out to pasture.  Chores should get easier again for a while (hopefully till the end of December).

It seems like everything decided to break this week too.  Just when we hit our really cold spell, my heater in the well house died.  Luckily, I always have a backup, so it wasn’t out for very long.  And I’ve already bought a new backup.

LilyAnn and Clover in front of the well house

Same thing with the cattle tank.  The same day the heater in the well house went out, the heater in the cattle tank died.

Cupid, Coral and LilyAnn

Honestly, I have so much iron in my well water, it’s not a surprise that they die frequently.  Again, I always keep an extra, so it has also been changed and and new backup purchased.

This weekend my dad came and helped me with finishing the new back porch door.  It fastens now without me using baling twine!

accidental selfie

Sky has appreciated his dog door this past week, but he hasn’t needed it this weekend.


I’m also unable to use my bulk bin.  It must have a leak somewhere because the corn that was left in it over the summer is once again rotten.  That means, I’m back to frequent trips to the feed store to buy bags of feed.  But at least I’m making frequent trips so I can make sure I have plenty of backup heaters and stuff.

At least I can feed them.  And most of the snow has melted, and it’s supposed to stay more seasonal for at least the next week.

I might actually be starting to get ready for winter after this last week.

The Way Things Go

7 Nov

I am struggling with the last couple of weeks being ten degrees or so below our historical average.  I’m not ready for this!  It means I have to get ready for winter, and it never seems to be an easy task.  I don’t know why it never seems to be as easy as I think it should be.

Maisie basking on the south side of the greenhouse

Over the weekend, I decided I’d get some of the heated water ready to go.  I made a dozen trips in and out of where the boys are trying to get my light working so I could see to get the heated water tub moved into the shelter.  After digging out a different light, I finally, I got that done.


Then I hunted all over for the heater that goes into the cattle tank.  I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Seriously.  I know I have at least one that I used last winter.  Luckily, I had one new one left, so I put that in the tank.

Litha and Zinnia

For some reason, when I was milking, the cows were standing in the barnyard bellowing, so I went to see what the problem was.  I still don’t know what the problem was, but I saw that my cattle tank was overflowing.   I opened it up again, and I could see the float was wedged against the side.  I don’t know how that happened.  Really.  I finally decided to turn the water off in the well house and call my nephew to come help me out.

I didn’t have my camera for this, so you just get a picture of the cows lounging on top of the hill.

Luckily, he got it taken care of rather easily.  I was just afraid to totally bust it off if I tried manhandling it the way he did.  But it was all good!  The next day when I got home from work, I saw something lying on the deck.  Sky!  I never know what he’s going to find in my yard.  It’s rather embarrassing, really, to see all the stuff he’s drug up to the front yard and deck.


Well, this time, he decided to rip the handle off the well house.  You know.  He saw me in there to turn the well off, so he busted in and stole the drop cord I use to plug in the goats’ heated tub and the heater for the well house.  Needless to say, I have to go shopping now.

Remind me why I got a dog.  Sigh…  Hopefully it goes better when I finish winterizing.

A Clean Cattle Tank

5 Dec

Some of you might remember I’ve had a hard time with with keeping my cattle tank thawed whenever the temperature gets about one degree below the freezing point despite trying heater after heater.  It still froze over after the latest new heater was put in.  My brother-in-law told my nephew, who relayed the information to me, that I’d never be able to keep it from freezing over.  The heaters do a good job of keeping the water thawed so the inner workings don’t freeze and get damaged, but not to keep it open.  My thought is that is crap.

cattle tank

I finally called the company that made the tank, which is surprisingly only about an hour from my farm.  The man I spoke to didn’t seem surprised to hear my dilemma and was very happy to share that they have a good deal with the company that makes the heaters to provide a higher quality product to them.  I was only too happy to have him ship me a heater like the one that was originally in it and kept it from having a single shard of ice on the top when we actually had a cold winter.

cattle tank heater

It looks fairly similar to the one I had purchased (and is from the same company), but this one doesn’t have a plain stainless steel heating element.  There’s something covering and protecting that heat surface.  Hopefully it will stand up to the goose sludge a little better, and I’ll make sure to remove it for storage once it isn’t needed any more.

goat drinking


While I was working on the tank and we had sixty degree temperatures, I decided I ought to completely clean the tank out and its concrete slab too.  That goose sludge is hard on a heater, and I guess that’s why they tend to get hot spots and quit working.

cattle tank

Of course my usual little helper boy was there.  He might have gotten a bit too close and ended up with goose sludge on his feet.

goat kid


Of course our temperatures have been warm and I might have got a bit of water on the inside of the tank when I was cleaning it, so I didn’t turn on the electricity.  I figured I had until this weekend to turn it on according to the weather forecast.  For now, the llama is giving it his approval.  He likes the clean water.

llama drinking

llama drinking
llama drinking

llama drinking

It was only twenty degrees when I got up this morning, so I put on my coat and turned on the electricity.  I took my hammer and went to bust the ice, but it was open.  That’s because it was overflowing.  It was just a little, but enough to keep it from freezing.  Tonight, I get to play in the tank again and clean the bit of rust out of the seal.  Anyhow, that’s what usually causes it to overflow.

Linking to Alphabe-Thursday and Thursday’s Favorite Things.