Snow is on the way this weekend. Or so they say. I’ll believe it when I see it, but I do know it’s going to be really cold by tomorrow night, so it’s time to get the animals ready. The goats in the barn will do fine. It’s draft free, and they’ll have lots of fresh straw to burrow down in by tomorrow afternoon. I intended to do it today, but alas, the wheel barrow has a flat tire, and I can’t find the air thingy to air it back up. Looks like I’ll have to wait for Paul to get home, which is just as well, because then I can put his muscle to good use and let HIM push it. Darn those flat tires anyway….
Chrysanthemum and Pepper Jack will do fine in their polydome, too. There’s a thick bed of straw in there, and the sun heats it up during the day. At night, the heat is released and keeps them nice and warm. We even added a door to it so we can close it up at night to keep predators out. The black thing on top is an air vent, and when a storm blows through, all we have to do is turn it (based on wind direction), and it keeps the draft from blowing down on them.
I spent an hour or so this morning getting the chickens ready, too. We do deep litter in the winter, and it works well (at least with pine shavings…straw was just gross). I scooped out the top layer under the roosts, then tossed some scratch in there and let the girls stir it around. Once they finished aerating the bedding, I added a clean layer to the top. The bottom layer will continue to compost and keep them warm, while the top layer keeps it smelling fresh. I had my doubts that it would work with 50 chickens in there, but seriously, my coop doesn’t stink at all.
Last, but certainly not least, I got the rabbit cages ready for the storm. We have two nice, large wooden hutches that house four does and two bucks. The cages are larger than they look in pictures…3 feet wide and 4 feet deep….and each hutch has a large door on the bottom that folds up when the weather is bad to block the wind.
Temps are expected to be around 5 degrees by Sunday, so I added straw to the cages, as well as a nest box stuffed with straw for the rabbits to burrow into. The straw on the cage floor gets messy, but I remove it once temps are back above freezing. We’ll close the big doors up once the storm hits, and everyone will stay snug and dry.
I’ve done all I can do out there for now, and Murphy is glad because he got really tired of waiting. Some farm dog he turned out to be. He’d much rather lay on the couch and snooze than stretch out on the straw and watch me work. Gotta love him.