If you think its all green grass and flowers here, you maybe didn’t realize we live in MINNESOTA!
While living in Minnesota has it’s perks, like lack of hurricanes, and no heat waves that last for months, we do have other perks like frozen waterers, toes, and noses from time to time. When I think back to September and October last year, I couldn’t wait for the MUD to be GONE! I have no idea how the southern folks deal with that mess year-round! So I pull up my big girl panties, and put on a couple pairs of under armor, and out the door I go!
It does take a little extra fuel to warm up the skid loader, because if the hydraulics aren’t properly warmed up, a blown hydraulic line will put a real kink in your day real quick! I do my best to make sure it is well cared for, and ready for those little inconveniences that I’d rather avoid.
Then there’s the frozen water. All the animals have free choice access to watering stations that are from our private well, and pumped to each fountain where water is kept ready for any cow, calf or pig that wishes for a drink 24 hours a day. Well, the water has to come to the surface, and the ground freezes around the pipe. The animals rely on the fountain, and I rely on the insulation around the up pipe and a small heat tape that keeps the float and valve from freezing.
Like humans, they drink more the colder it gets. The animals exhale water which dehydrates them just like on a hot day. (did you know that if you are going outside, a good timer for saft time to be out is to drink a big glass of water? Your body absorbs the water, and while it circulates to your extremities, it helps pull the heat from your core, to keep the fingers and toes warm. Further, you will eventually get a call of nature that will tell you it’s time to warm up again)
The animals need extra care when it’s very cold, keeping better hay out so they get enough calories to maintain themselves. We don’t expect much weight gain in the extreme cold, but we do want them to maintain.
The birds need their eggs picked every couple hours or less. From about 8 am to 5:30 pm. Which keeps them from freezing or cooling too much if the hens are sitting on the nest. Some eggs freeze in minutes, and then split open from the expansion inside. Only frozen eggs split from end to end when they break. Frozen eggs will have a stiff yolk that will not scramble, it will stay in a hard lump. They are safe to eat, but we discard all cracked eggs, they can’t be used for human consumption. (Dogs love them)
I hope you are staying warm! We will be out more than in, being certain our animals are well cared for thru the cold. And Don’t worry, we are used to it. It’s part of the profession!