It’s Cold Out There

Even though the temperatures are above freezing already this morning, at a whole 32 degrees…It sure hasn’t been that way for the past two or three days.

On Friday, we got hit with extremely high winds with some gusts over 40 mph and snow. I don’t mind the snow. I actually think it’s good to get some snow. Especially when the ground is already so saturated from all of this strange weather we have had this year. Buffalo, which is about a three hour drive from here, is 40 inches below their average snow fall accumulations for this season. We have had more rain than I can ever recall and there have been days in January that have days in the 40-50 degree marks.

January 13th, 2012

But on Saturday, the thermometer decided to plunge. It was 9 degrees out there when Mr. Farmer went out to do morning chores.

He had a few problems getting out little milking pump started but, everything else went alright. No frozen water lines, no cold animals and no sludge for oil like I had yesterday morning when I went out.

Sunday morning brought a headache, sore muscle and stress. One of our calves got cold stress. Cold stress in a calf is very dangerous. It is actually a form of hypothermia. The poor girl was our there shaking like a leaf in the breeze. She wouldn’t eat or drink. Having to bottle/force feed a five month old animal isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I didn’t want her to get dehydrated and I also know that giving her warm liquids is a good way to warm her up from the inside out.

After discovering that my girl was so cold. I decided to take a peek at the thermometer again. It turned out to be a big mistake when I pulled it up on my truck when I was headed to go pick up our weekly feed.

Just a little chilly out there

After the half hour feed trip, I had to work on getting the water lines unthawed. During all that, I had to keep checking on the heifer calf, making trips to the house to warm up blankets for her. Then the milker pump needed fixing. Mr. Farmer put on a different motor, cleaned it all up and warmed the oil (which turned out to be the only issue).

Then we cut firewood due to the fact that we were burning through lots of extra. All of those winds seemed to find yet more cracks in the walls of the house. At one point, the whole house was at 51 degrees. Thankfully, we didn’t have any frozen lines. We built a fire in the fireplace for added warmth but only ended up with temps around 60.

The chickens stayed nice and toasty inside of the chicken barn with their heat lamps. Believe it or not…they actually ALL laid an egg yesterday too. That was a whole boat load of eggs and more than my poor little bag could handle. I had eggs in my coat pockets, the front pouch on my hoodie and a couple in my hat along with the one’s in the bag as I raced hatless to the house! 45 eggs in total.

Old barn

My fingers and toes still hurt from frost bite but things are looking better for the time being. I guess that eventually, we will all pull through this and be alright. At least, I sure hope so. And here I was hoping for a better, even start to 2012. So far, everything has been full of severe swings of ups and downs…one positive thing, it has to get better from here!

Hope you are all staying warm and dry. God bless.

2 thoughts on “It’s Cold Out There”

  1. I will absolutely have to follow your blog! I grew up outside of Rochester (NY) and spent almost every weekend in the Ellicottville area where my parents taught us to ski as small children (I’m 54). My folks moved us out of the suburbs in the mid 60’s and we were almost 100% self sustained by everything that we grew and raised on our small farm. (85 acres … small by the surrounding standards!) Today I live in CT on a very small hobby farm. We raise pigs with friends and try to share some of the beef that they raise. I buy or barter for fresh eggs from my herding instructor and I try hard to harvest enough from my small garden for our summer table. There was a time when my garden was HUGE and I froze or canned things for future use, but several spinal surgeries forced me to cut back. I love that you’re doing this and sharing your work with others. Unless you’ve done this sort of thing you just can’t imagine how hard and frustrating it can be at times. Weather is almost always the most challenging denominator, for sure! (I had to dig out our barn today while feeding the horses!)

    I love the bottom picture of the barn … but I admit, I love photos barns in general! (Reminds me of “home”) I hope your little girl is doing better today. Been there, done that too!!!

    1. She is slowly gaining with steady improvements. Cold stress is not only hard on the calf, but the farmer taking care of them. It has been a long, sleepless night.

      As for photos, I actually have a thing about photos of barns and silos. Silos seem to get to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because of the fact that many of them are falling down or unused now in modern agriculture. There are still a few of the old wooden stave silos around here that I have gotten some photos of. I hope that someday, they will serve as reminders to how much agriculture has changed and advanced.

      You are more than welcome to follow! I love meeting new people, even if it is only online. I hope that I can share some insight and maybe a few ideas to help you out during the year! I am all about sustainability and providing what I can for myself. It’s not easy and harder than it sounds as you very well know. But…if you love it, I think that the passion will show through in everything you do.

      Let me know if you need a recipe or whatever if for some reason it isn’t posted…The Lord only knows how much I love food!
      Hope to hear more from you soon!

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