The past days have been very busy. It may be Fall, but it feels like winter here and I have no time left to prepare. The last days have been my last chance to try and winterize the pens and beds. I don't know how folks stand the cold that live out and up from Georgia. It cuts me to the bone. Regardless I have been out doing everything I can before the sun goes down. The wind has really been whipping the past couple of days on top of it being so cold. It barely hit 40 yesterday and the wind was brutal. Last night it dipped to 21. If I didn't have the animals to worry about I wouldnt care if it was the arctic tundra outside. Gone are the singing crickets and frogs and lush green grass to stretch out on at night. Now its time to hay down and bunch up.
First up I needed to get the rabbit hutches covered. The wind made it difficult but I managed to get the heavy tarps attached and tight around the hutches. This will keep the brutal winds off the bunnies. Still to cover are the three fantail pigeons. They have three sides covered on their pen, but need to have a heavy tarp to cover the front, and I am going to get a heat lamp on them soon too.
The Golden Phoenix pen and the silkie-serama-sultan combo pen are both covered. I hayed the combo pen down a few days ago as some of them still like to sleep on the ground. This is the pen with those three babies that Thelma hatched, the silkie hen. They look more like little chickens now that chicks. They still have some growing to do, but they are looking good and doing well.
Rudy and Rusty are in a split pen, completely covered and hayed down, but had to have that heat lamp put in immediately for last night. Serama do not do cold weather, it can kill them. A good friend of mine Dwain lost some of his precious pets last year to the freezing cold, even with a heat lamp. Turned out they had turned over their water and gotten wet, and that was bad news come night time and the freezing cold. I was so sad for him.
I got the goats house hayed down inside and added a big plastic dog house hayed down out there just in case they wanted to use that instead. They have a really nice HEAVY dog house I bought, but it is impossible to move it is so heavy. I have been trying to think of a way to get it moved over to their pen area. First I thought maybe if I had the neighbor come over with his tractor we could chain it up and have him lift it up and take it over and set it down. I am afraid that might damage the house though. Then I had a genius thought night before last right before I fell asleep. Why not put big castors on the bottom of the house? That way I can move it where I want it, and if I ever want to move it again it will be on wheels so no problems there. Ian didnt think that was a good idea, I don't know why. All he would say is that, and when we brought it home I should have been sure where I wanted it before we set it down somewhere. Circumstances change though and the situation called for modification of living quarters for the goats. The were getting into mischief and tearing things up, eating the chickens food and harrassing the emus. Right now they do have adequate shelter, but I really want them to have their house for the winter.
Then there is Mocha, the kitty in her cattery pen on the back porch. She has a cozy cube bed, but I put a heat lamp in there too. Shelbys cat, as she has so deemed it, has been renamed from TOO (The Other One) to Fergie. She has taken to sleeping on the padded seat of the double rocker on the front porch. I put out a warm afghan blanket on the seat and made a sort of round nest for her. She seems to love it and you can find her in it a lot of the time.
The horse is getting in his winter coat and looks very wooly now. The cold does not seem to bother him a lot. The goats have their winter coat also. I still like for them to have shelter from the wind here. The wind can really cut through a body as we have no wind breaks out here.
I have given the pigs some hay to work with. I don't have to arrange their bed for them. Pigs are smart enough to do things for themselves. I throw in the hay and they take it by the mouthful into their house and make their bed the way they like it. I still need to pull more off of that roll that the neighbor brought over and throw it in. I have also been working on expanding the pigs penned area. I have been driving in metal posts and attaching fencing. This has been slow work because I work on this with the time I have left before dark, which isn't much since the sun slips below the treeline and its dark within ten minutes after that. I am plugging away at it and will get it done eventually.
I still have so much more to do. I still have to completely cover the row of pens and the sultan pen. I need to hay down the pretties night time roost pen.
There will always be something to clean out, something to hay down, something to take down or string up. That is okay though, its what I do to make my animals comfortable as I can for the cold months of the year. We just endure the winter the best we all can and wait in anticipation for warmer days.
Now its time for me to make out the grocery list and get on out of here. I have animal and people food I need to get today.
I noticed I have a few new readers and I wanted to say HEY Y"ALL! I am glad you stopped in and I hope you'll come back often. I am just me, doing what I do, and if y'all like that, then that makes me happy. :)
Everyone STAY WARM! :) Time to get back to work now, have a good Wednesday.
PS...I apologize for the small print today. I set it for my usual size, the larger size, but it didn't work. Once I saved I went to look and there it was, all in small print. So I am sorry. I hope todays entry doesnt strain the eyes too much and I will try to be more careful next time.
6 days ago