Frozen water dishes and bugs and hay, oh my!

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Winter has blasted through our homestead over the last few days. With below freezing temperatures, the sleet has coated everything in a thick layer of ice.  The roads were quite a mess last night and this morning so is our homestead!

This morning while gathering eggs I had to do some extra comfort care around the critters. Everyone’s water bowls had frozen into huge blocks of ice.  With the hubby out of town on a hunting trip, I didn’t have the muscles to break up the ice.  Instead, I got the biggest bowl from the kitchen and filled it with steaming, hot water.  I then made the treacherous journey down our wooden stairs and gravel stone walkway, which is nothing but pure ice.

After getting moderately soaked with the water sloshing around in the bowl, while I carefully balanced on the ice, I began to pour the hot water into the ice bowls.  It gradually began to break up the ice.  Houidini drinks gallons of water a day- one of the other reasons his address changed from inside to outside.  With his camel like drinking habits, it was impossible to house train him.  He would literally pee every 15 minutes due to the enormous amount of water he drank.

Pigs are able to live with limited food for a period of time, but taking away free access to water will quickly lead to their demise.  Once he saw that his beloved water was available again, he quickly ran over to indulge himself.

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With the ground covered in ice, it is harder for the girls to forage for food.  I do everything I can to encourage their reliance on their own foraging instincts, when the weather makes food scarce, we supply them with food.  They have free access to chicken feed as well as getting honey wheat bread and rice crackers this morning.

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The girls were feeling particularly bold with the camera this morning.

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The goats have proved to be the least affected by the icy weather.  They have been enjoying the challenge of climbing up their ramp in the ice.  One thing I have learned about goats, is they LOVE to climb.  Any new thing that is within their reach they will jump on, climb on, or knock over so they can get on it.  From what hubby and I have been told, the louder the goats are, the more safe they feel.  Apparently our boys think they live in Fort Knox.

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All in all, we are surviving the winter so far.  My mind is still dreaming of the spring to come, but I am trying to enjoy the winter’s delights as well.  It is taking a bit of extra work, but completely worth it to ensure everyone is warm and content.

Until next time…

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