A Winter Morning In My Shoes
Well, to start with, I don’t normally do the horses in the morning during the week. I’m the weekend feeder!
When you live at the farm and the weather is icy and cold like this you are the one that ends up taking care of the chores.
I woke up at 5:00 this morning. When I checked the radar I saw that it was not currently snowing or sleeting outside but there was more weather coming. So, I said no time like the present and headed out to the barn
Snow Covered In A Sheet Of Ice
In order to walk on the mess that is outside, I had to stomp my boots into the snow. If you walk normally, your legs will just slip out from underneath of you, no fun!
Outside Horses First
The outside horses always get fed first. Mostly because on a normal day we want them to finish eating so we can turn the stall horses out. So out of habit I fed them first.
It was a treacherous walk to the fields. Each of our fields is a little farther down the hill. The top field I stomped my way over to put the feed bags on. The middle field I slid down the hill into the gate. When I went to the bottom field, I got smart and walked holding onto the fence.
Next, I fed the stalled horses. It seems like it takes a lot longer because I have to make sure all the horses get the correct type of feed and supplements.
Back Out For The Bags
The trick to getting the feed bags off, is keeping an eye on the horses. Making sure you can catch them when they are done eating, but still close to the fence.
Let me tell you, it sucked having to walk out in the field to get Finn’s and Dublin’s. The ground under the snow and ice is frozen mud. It was like trekking up some kind of crazy icy mountain even though it was perfectly flat. I managed to stay on my feet though.
On my way back up the hill to the barn, I checked the water troughs. They were full, and the heaters were working. Unfrozen water troughs on a day like today at a farm are a god send!
Back In To Hay And Water
Next, it’s back inside the barn to hay and water the horses. I’m normally pretty conservative with how much hay I feed. Today though, since it is cold and they are going to be in all day, I gave them all a nice pile of hay.
I go to each stall. Put the hay in( it goes in different places in the stall depending on the horse, to avoid them going to the bathroom all over it!).
Next, I grab the water bucket off the wall, fill it and hang it back up. Some of the girls at the farm prefer to use the hose and go from stall to stall. This avoids having to carry the buckets.
I’m always afraid that I will not get all the water out of the hose and it will freeze up. Then if water troughs need to be filled later or someone wants to use the hose to do buckets they won’t be able to.
Our horses did not get their stalls cleaned today. It is too slippery for them to go outside. Yes, I could have cross tied the horses and cleaned then put them back.
The problem is that means I have to drive the tractor to the manure pile on the ice (scary). Not to mention pushing a wheelbarrow of sawdust on ice-covered snow is no walk in the park.
It won’t kill them to be in the dirty stalls for one day. Tomorrow, if they are stuck inside again due to the ice, I will suck it up and crosstie them and clean their stalls. It will be easy to clean at that point. Basically, we just shovel it all out and replace it with fresh bedding. The sucky part though is that the tractor fills up really fast when the stalls are that dirty and so you have to make multiple cold drives down to the manure pile.
Sweep and Rake
At our barn, after feeding we always sweep and rake. We have the tractor parked at the end of the barn, so I had to work around that. It still needs to get it done! The barn looks much nicer when the aisle way is tidy.
That’s Just The Horses! We Have Other Farm Animals Too!
We also have chickens, rabbits, a pig, and goats to take care of. They are pretty easy. Chickens get fed, watered, and let out into their yards.
The goats and pig, feed, water, and hay. I didn’t see much of those guys this morning. They came out ate their food and hunkered back down in their little houses.
The rabbits get fed. Their water bottles are taken in overnight so they don’t freeze. So after you give them their ration of food. They need to get their water bottles put back on the cages.
Luckily so far we have had some branches come down because they are so heavy with ice. Mostly little stuff. A bigger limb landed on our horse trailer. It looks like it didn’t damage it at all though, thank goodness.
The chance of damage gets worse the more snow and wind we get. We have old buildings and giant old oak trees on the farm that can get damaged in the storm.
Hard to believe we have another day of this to get through!
Farm Doesn’t Seem So Much Fun In The Snow Does It?
To those of you who are admiring the snow and ice covered trees from inside the house. Take a moment to think of us farmers who have to take care of our animals despite the weather. They rely on us and wait for us to flick those barn lights on each morning, no matter what the weather!
So That Is A Snow And Ice Morning In My Life !!
What National Day Is It?
National Baked Alaska Day
National Freedom Day
National Get Up Day
National Serpent Day ( YUCK, I hate serpents, I’m not celebrating this!)
National Texas Day