The news is all aflutter with statements about record low temps for eastern NC today, tonight and tomorrow morning, complicated by the 25+ mph winds bringing the wind chill factor down to zero degrees tonight. And yes, I know I know I know... For all of our northern folks, this is the norm for this time of year. I know. For here, it isn't, and we have to find ways of dealing with it. It's one thing to adapt and take care of yourself (and potentially freezing pipes) but it's another thing to safely get livestock through this without major ordeals.
Chickens & ducks: Have extra cracked corn thrown out (which helps generate internal heat), and going out every couple hours with buckets of fresh water.
Goats: Plenty of hay, alfalfa pellets free choice, and refilling their heated water bucket as needed. All four are presumed very, very pregnant and therefore we need them eating, drinking, moving and staying warm.
Horses: The big one was blanketed for the first time this year (due to the winds) and both her and the pony got some turnout time in a small forest-blocked pasture with hay. Fresh water refilled regularly and they will be stalled tonight with heated water buckets.
Baby chicks: They don't care what's going on outside because they've been living the high life inside under heat lamps with endless feed and water. I, however, would like for Mother Nature to get things fixed outside ASAP so that I can kick these chicks out of the house and into the brooder pen outside! They are cute. But also smelly and messy and dusty. Times 30.
So that's the day, in a nutshell, leaving out the necessary soap work. Spending tomorrow getting ready for the weekend market and repeating the cold weather chores from today. Twenty-nine days until Spring and it can't come fast enough for us here on the farm!