The day before it was terribly foggy. The whole farm was covered with a huge hoar frost and when the sun broke through the fog later in the afternoon, the air was glittering with ice crystals. This moist cold air penetrates the bones, unlike the usual cold dry air in this country. Then that wind, oh that wind...when it began to blow from the north west, I am sure some of the Arctic was in it.
And wouldn't you know it! That was the night, last night, when the second heat lamp bulb burned out in the chicken coop. Fortunately, with the wind from the north west, the coop stayed reasonably warm with the heat from the single lamp and the 25 chickens. It was the poor ducks and geese I felt so sorry for. They have no heat, no insulated shelter, just a shed sided with hay bales on the south and plywood on the other sides. They had not been outside when I arrived in the late morning and that is highly uncharacteristic. So, I put nice dry fresh straw down in their pens and gave them hot water from the house. A few of those crazy ducks climbed in the water to have a bath and froze to solid ice when they emerged. Goodness, they are fortunate to have that down under those feathers, but even they were shivering.
And the poor goats were cold. The one who raised triplets had not recovered fully from being a mother when winter set in. She is thin and does not want to come out to eat or drink when it is cold, so today she got a dog coat and fresh hay delivered to her house. Three sheep and the goats share a shelter. The sheep are there to add warmth and last night was the first time they all crowded together inside. With that many bodies to heat the shelter, the temperature must have been quite a bit warmer than outside, plus they did not have that frigid wind to contend with.
Tonight is the last night predicted for frigid weather and then the forecast for February is consistently warmer. Spring is on its way! I am grateful for the cold so when it is not so, I appreciate it more.