Winter is on the way.
For those who do not have livestock or need to do much outdoors
during the cold, you might not realize what a rough time of the year this can be or realize how many issues you can encounter.
Last year, we lost power quite a bit there in the month of December. Feed livestock in the dark on a mountain is a feat!
Our frost free (an oxymoron to the next word) froze up a lot, and this required the farming husband to carry many, many gallons of water from down below at our house up the hill to the barn for horses, goats and the cow.
The bedding inside stalls freezes to the ground, and cleaning out stalls is a disaster.
The horses usually look miserable, but the goats and cow seem to handle it fairly well. Although Nubians do tend to do best in warmer climates, ours seem happy enough in the cold weather.
All of the grass ceases to grow, and the amounts of hay we have to buy is staggering. Last year, we went through 12,000 - 15,000 lbs of hay in 3 months, to the day! The expense is pretty heavy.
Chickens present a new issue since there are issues with their water and splashing around in it, only to develop a frozen comb!
During the winter months, I feel like we are in limbo. We cannot work much outside, but we cannot really enjoy the animals at all.
We cannot afford, yet, heaters in all the water buckets, so breaking ice becomes the norm from Jan - March, at least.
The Horses, in their winter coats, look more like Mules than anything else, and it makes us appreciate just how beautiful they really are when they shed out in the spring!
So we are preparing for Winter now. . . and I (Husband does not mind the winter, as I have come to) look forward to spring!
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens
- Proverbs 27:23-27