There have been a few losses. One young female Muscovy duck has frozen feet. I have no idea where she spent the night to have frozen feet. If she went in the coop, she would have been 100% fine, but obviously she did not. One chicken froze too. She spent the night outside. Why? Who knows. She was mostly dead the next morning, totally frozen, but still wagging her head and attempting to walk. I wanted to put her down, but I could not. She passed away shortly thereafter. I felt bad for both these young birds. They have a warm enough coop to spend the night in. Now that the piglets have made it their home too, it is quite warm. They provide an enormouse boost to the temperature, but they also bring in humidity, which is not great for chickens. The vent is left cranked open to help with the humidity now, but that means some heat loss too.
The water freezes within an hour of pouring, so the animals need to drink when I bring it. The goats have that down pat, but most of the sheep could care less. They have been eating snow, now that we have some and do not even come running to the water, so I end up cracking the ice out of the rubber tubs the next day. The rabbits do drink when the water is poured and some afterwards, but they do not have long. Even they have been huddled in their houses, except for the French/Giant Angora crosses. They are outside almost all time and seem impervious to the cold and even that wind. They do hide on the windless side of their hut, but seldom go inside.
The turkeys are very hardy and have an open shelter that is protected from the wind. It is not warm and they are doing as usual. Normally they hunker down on top of the chicken coop in bad weather, but the remaining two turkeys are sold and are waiting to be picked up.
The dogs seem to be fine. Harley, the old boy, wants to come in the porch for the night and Charka has started to follow him, though I think Charka is fine outside. The other dogs sleep in the hay they paw down from the bale, except in the worst wind, when they actually seek the shelter of their dog houses. They have several choices for dog houses and will move to the one that is away from the wind. They are thirsty though because their water is freezing so fast and the creek has frozen over too. I will look into getting a heated bucket for them, but the last one froze and the bucket cracked, so maybe not. The cold is supposed to let up in a few days with back to normal for the season tempertures of minus ten to fifteen on the way. Whew!
I am dressing in four layers with one of them being my beautiful felted wool parka and I am not cold. I can stay out for hours and as long as I am moving, I am fine. My face has been a little chapped from the wind and my lips a bit dry. Otherwise I am tolerating the cold very well. Staying out longer than I have to is not my preference so once the chores are done I am back inside.
Today the lambs and one goat were picked up and brought home in small frozen wrapped packages, and the piglets came back whole. The next few days we will be distributing them to those who have requested one. There were 17 taken in and there are 5 left here. The butcher shop does not want to do any piglets under 60 pounds in the future, so they will have to be butchered in the spring. After that, no more piggies for the farm! No more turkeys, either! Way less ducks and geese, but I will keep quite a few hens for eggs, as they are starting to sell finally and I have sourced unsprayed grain for them too.
In the meantime, we are trying hard to keep from freezing and surviving until tomorrow in the frozen north. Now, time for bed, zzzzz. Good night all.