If you live anywhere in the Midwest, no doubt you have been preparing in some way for the winter storm headed our way... TODAY!
Before we lived on a farm, winter prep consisted primarily of getting out the sleds and finding all of our bibs and sledding clothes. But on a farm, preparation for winter weather, (particularly the unusually low temperatures, strong winds and snow that we are getting), brings a whole new meaning to the word "prep"!
While some animals can weather nearly any storm, goats and chickens have a difficult time if temperatures change too rapidly. And with the real possibility of frost bite, and pneumonia, we have spent the last couple of days preparing for the big storm that is predicted.
We have learned over the years the best way to prep and now we wait and hope it is enough! Here is what things looked like on the farm this morning...
Lots of water had to be brought in from the pumps as they will surely freeze overnight and we will not be able to haul water to the animals without this extra supply.
Many loads of mulch must be hauled to the greenhouse where it will stay dry. Once it is snowing the mulch will freeze, making it impossible to provide fresh daily bedding for the laying hens.
The barn is prepared by a good cleaning of stalls, as the goats will need to be indoors for at least 2 and possibly 3 days because of wind chill and snow cover.
The barn is all snug with safety heat lamps and deep bedding for the goats to prepare for temps that start at 40 and drop to -7 within a 12-hour period.
The greenhouse now serves as a snug shelter for our laying hens, along with a divided section for the younger hens, to all ride out the extreme weather. Below, the weather is starting to change, snow coming and the temperature just went from 38 degrees this morning when we started chores to now only 18 degrees and is dropping fast! Wind chill is now already at a somewhat dangerous level.
A peek inside the greenhouse, the chickens' winter home. Safety heat lamps are now also installed to bring a little warmth when the temps drop below zero. The deep mulch also acts as a compost that generates some natural warmth. Wood nest boxes are along walls with deep bedding. (But not in photo below)
Hope you all stay safe and warm in your homes during these extreme weather conditions. We are sure thankful for our home and the heat and warmth it provides!
And we are now prepared, for the land to be washed white with snow! (Below, a river near our property)