We were NOT expecting to wake up to see all that work covered over by another foot of snow while we slept. The forecast called for 3-4 inches max. What the what???!?!?!?! Sean has been really sick since Friday night with a horrible flu. In accordance with our agreement that only one of us can be really sick at any given time, I have been trying to patiently wait my turn and steadfastly refusing to give in to my sore throat, stuffy nose, or cough. The storm took none of this into account.
I have mentioned that I am not Snow's biggest fan in previous posts. After today, I think I am leaning towards joining those folks who actively dislike snow. THREE hours of shoveling with the wind howling and the temperatures dropping into the low teens, and I was more than ready to move somewhere warmer permanently, like the Caribbean or the sun.
Of course, the weather makes life for our livestock miserable, too.
Our chickens do surprisingly well in the snow. They spend more time than usual inside to coop and duck house, but they are not afraid to venture out into their yard. We put down hay in piles around their yard to help to keep them warm and give them a place to stand besides the cold snow. In the early afternoon, a few scoops of chicken scratch sprinkled in the hay encourages them to scratch and dig in it, which keeps them active and warms them up. Digesting the scratch also helps to warm their bodies. As a nice side effect of all this, we are still getting between 5-7 eggs in the nest boxes each day despite the freezing temperatures and shortened days of winter in Maine.
The geese and ducks are nearly unfazed by the snow. When we opened their house for them this morning, the ducks started trying to take a dust bath with the snow. It is funny to watch the ducks trying to swim through the mounds of wet snow. I will try to capture this at some point over the winter months.
Our Vietnamese Pot Bellies have seen many Maine winters. I can't say they like it any more than I, but with fresh hay and a large, clean stall in the barn, the girls dig themselves down under the hay to cover themselves and manage the frigid temperatures just fine. I am sure that they are looking forward to the Spring as much as I am, though.
It looks like there is no snow in the forecast for the coming week, but we are predicted for the temperatures to drop and stay in the 0-20 degree range, with wind chills dropping overnights to below 0. Brrrr. It is going to be difficult to keep the water buckets free of ice. And, we are going to have to be on the watch for frostbite on wattles, combs, and feet. I guess winter has finally decided to make it's appearance!
Thanks for visiting tonight. Please, come again.
Sean and Sonja♥