My winter chores are easier this year because of the nay nets. I have put a large round bale or two in each pen and no longer have to fork the hay over daily into the feeders. That has saved both hay and time, but has not contributed to keeping the vegetative matter out of the wool, which I had hoped so much for. I also wonder if the animals are getting enough to eat. Occasionally, I do fork over some hay and they grab a large mouthful, something they cannot do with the hay nets. When it is very cold, such as this week, they animals cannot eat quickly and go into the shelter to keep warm, either. Perhaps I should offer them free choice hay when it is frigid outside.
The only problem for me is that the outside water tap freezes. I am going to buy heat tape and install it tomorrow, which will solve my problem. Currently I go into the house and turn the dryer on, which vents next to the tap and I put a bucket over the two so the heat will thaw the faucet. But, when it is bitterly cold and windy, by the time I am back with the toboggan to refill the buckets, it has frozen again and I have to repeat the process. I had not thought of heat tape because there is no electrical outlet nearby, but I will run an extension cord along the house from the garage and that will allow the heat tape to work.
Last year I crocheted a hood hat out of some very soft wool spun by my friend Kara at SpinHeatSpin in Goodsoil, about 2 hours from here. I traded some fleece for the wool and am so pleased with the softness of it against my face. Wool is the best solution for cold windy winter days. Although it ices up, it still stays warm. That is why the sheepies sleep outside in the snow!
This winter has been quite mild until now and we have had very little snow, but there is enough to use the toboggan to deliver the water, yay. Everyday there is something else to add to the daily regimen too, like the bumblefoot operation I performed on a hen a few days ago, the treating of ear mites in a rabbit, giving an injection to a goat for a boost and so on. There is straw to put in the shelters and to repeat that every so often, which builds a bedding pack that helps insulate the place the animals lay or sleep. There is always something! But, I love to be outside in the clean air and love to talk to and pet the animals and am so grateful I chose this farm life. It is truly a beautiful way to exist, winter and all.