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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Frozen Farm

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Woke up to a frozen farm this morning. I'd love to report that it was a lazy morning, sitting by the wood stove, sipping coffee and reading books, but instead it started off when I catapulting myself out of bed when the power flickering off and on (and then completely OFF) woke me and I realized we had 30+ chicks under heat lamps downstairs.

It was a mild panic, complicated by complete darkness, partial asleep-ness, and pre-coffee confusion, but I was finally able to get my wits about me enough to process the situation. The chick brooders are two 55-gallon fish tanks with heat lamps, so I combined all of the chicks into one and covered it with a blanket so that they would keep in what heat they had (and huddle). Luckily they are a week old and getting less fragile, but still warranting concern when heat is needed.

Thank goodness for a wood stove and a healthy stash of dry wood piled up along the wall. The power was back on by late morning but had been needed, we would have been fine for much longer.

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I don't even think the chicks noticed their lack of heat lamps. They went on about their chicky-business and didn't even flinch when the lamps came back on and I uncovered the tank.

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I skated out to the barn (not intentionally) to feed everyone breakfast and once again, I am so happy that I invested in heated water buckets this year. It's hard enough to make sure pregnant dairy goats and elderly horses are drinking enough water during weather like this, and having semi-warm water available makes it much easier.

While I was feeding everyone, I found several snapped pine tree limbs down across fences so we have a little work to do later.

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We've heard more snapping and falling throughout the afternoon so we will definitely have to be careful and attentive in our forest walks for a little while. You can smell the pine in our pastures, and you can see bright gold patches of bare wood stumps up in the trees where branches were before they collapsed under the weight of the ice.

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The goats ventured out long enough to see what we were up to while we checked fences and trees, the horses watched from their stalls in between big bites of hay. The chickens walked around fluffed up and hunting for corn that I threw out for them. And The Boy...

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Well it's his birthday! So we celebrated with a lazy hot breakfast and then warm pie for lunch (as per his request) while we enjoyed a movie.

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Doesn't look like the ice will be leaving this evening, so we will keep an eye on everyone and settle in to stay warm. We are ready for SPRING! Ready for growing chicks, working in the garden and playing with baby goats! Kidding season starts in 2 weeks...

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