If you are like most of the country you are bracing for record low temperatures this week heading into the Christmas Holiday. This extreme cold is also going to be accompanied by significant snowfall, so what may you ask are we doing to prepare for this? Well, I would say up until today I was feeling very overwhelmed, so I stayed up this morning after Avery's 5:30 AM nursing session and got to work. I did all the normal morning chores and then I started on the extra's that need to be accomplished before sub zero weather hits. I installed the two heat lamps in the barn for the does then I headed over to the buck house. This is where I dusted off their heat lamp, I keep it in their house year round, and started stripping their house. I know with the weather in the single digits straw is much more insulative and warm for the goats, so I put a layer of wood chips down and then covered it with a bale of straw to help the bucks stay warm. I also installed both their heated water and the chicken heated water. I usually leave the back buck house door open so the bucks can come and go in their run as they please. but as Thursday night rolls around I will be locking the bucks in their house over night.
I also took this opportunity to take straw over to the doe barn, that way was Thursday night rolls around they can also enjoy a deep straw bed in their barn. I will be bringing the horses in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights which always keeps the doe barn warmer from the added body heat, but the horses will be going out during the day. That being said, I also dug out their winter blankets for them to help keep them more comfortable out in the field. The last two things I need to do is dig out and install the heated buckets in the doe barn and the horses heated buckets.
Rob is also, as we speak working on our four wheeler that we plow with. It needed an oil change, and we noticed this fall when I was power washing it how dry rotted the tires were, so he purchased new tires and is installing them along with replacing one of the plow springs as I write this.
Finally, tommorrow morning we will be moving our tractor under the overhang of our barn and putting my old trusty rancher in the garage of our house. This will allow us to use the tractor to dig out if there is a big enough snow fall, and also keep the block heater and trickle chargers plugged into the machines.
The most important part of cold weather prep with the animals is as much hay as they would like, unfrozen water and protection from the wind and most animals do really well! I hope you and your herd stays warm and safe during the upcoming storm!
Happy Goating and Merry Christmas!!!