The chickens, ducks, guineas, turkeys and geese were all coralled and closed up today, but tonight, the chickens that roost in the pine tree had flown the coop and were back up there. They are some of my best pullets and I do not want to lose them to the cold. I will continue to bring them in to the flock, hoping they will not leave for the night, or they will freeze. It is cold enough tonight that they should realize the coop was much warmer, but it is the first day of real snow, too. They are young and for them, everything happened at once, the snow and the cold.
The dogs have quite a few choices for shelter, from Fort Dogs, five houses surrounded by straw bales and covered with a roof of plywood and straw, to their summer houses with extra straw. They will sleep in the summer houses as long as the temperature is not too low. The pups will sleep with the sheep in the sheep shelter, though, where they are supposed to be.
The driveway was plowed today (thanks to my son, Travis), but the water was delivered by toboggan to the animals, via buckets. No more hose, boo hoo. I had two young ladies as helpers for much of the day, which passed quickly with the company of youth.
I do not dread winter as some do, even though I work outside at least four hours every day. As long as I am well dressed in layers, I stay warm enough in even very cold weather. It is a time to do other things, like make soap and sew and this winter, sort the things in the basement. But, there is no doubt after today…winter has arrived!