Friday, January 18, 2013

10 Below 0

At 7 am it was a thumb cracking minus 10 degree Fs.

Thankfully, there was no wind or my nose would of fallen off.

Chores take place every single day regardless of weather, flu, other jobs or death.

I take personal satisfaction in a job well done and I also smile to myself knowing that millions of other farmers all over the world are also participating in the same ritual of feeding, watering and checking on their livestock on this very chilly January morning.

The cows were getting some solar warmth when I arrived to fill water tanks and roll out some hay.

 One of the best gifts this week was a new battery for the tractor.  It has been a rough start on mornings, even with it plugged in and heated up. 
This morning it cranked right up and was raring to go!

 I look at these sleeping fields every day and count the minutes until the grass is tall and green.
Last week during our premature "mud season" and 4 days of warm temps, the cows were wanting to trot over the fences and graze the fields.  They stood at the fence line and mooed for me to open the gates.
I had to turn a deaf ear to their requests.
But I long for May 1st to come.  And come soon.

My toes and fingers were frozen by the time I was admiring these fields and dreaming of spring.

 Our own rolled bales are going to run out in 3 weeks and then we will have to order some from a neighboring farmer.

This morning I was one bale closer to that hay order.

 The herd was more interested in the sun than in the new hay.

None of them headed my way as I drove the bale closer to their hay rack and then cut the plastic wrap off the roll.

I dropped the roll in the rack and peeled off the green netting and stepped out of the way.

The girls ambled over. There was no rush. They still had 1/5 th of yesterdays roll remaining in the hay rack that they had been munching on early this am.


 I kept the hose running to fill the tub up and then waited for the cows to come over and drink.  After they drank I again topped off the water and repeated this process several times so everyone got their fill.
There is a nice tank heater in this tub of water so if they don't drink the entire contents the water will still stay warm for the next drinker and NOT freeze.

After the last cow, my favorite cow, came to sip her share, I jumped in my truck and turned the heat on.  That heat on my feet made my toes get more painful. Like needles being stuck in them.
 I headed home to thaw out and have a "defrosting" breakfast of hot gravy and hot biscuits fresh from the oven.

What cold weather chores did you do today and what did you have for breakfast ?


  1. I'm so thankful it hasn't been that cold here! We've actually had our first morning below freezing in quite a while...the ground is finally beginning to firm up a bit, which is a welcome change from all the mud we've had lately! I broke some ice on the calves water buckets and the chicken's water this morning. Breakfast? Some yummy homemade maple granola! :)

  2. Brrrrrrrr!!! I felt a real chill while reading this!! I'm certain your cold was colder than our cold feeding day. It's headed our way again though.. and soon. Your cows are lovely and I think you have a great routine going there. Sometimes our watering hole has issues, so I wonder if one day we'll be filling up with the ol' water hose too. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for sharing!! Good to have a farm friend in VT! -Tammy

  3. Around here it's just layers to tend. We've only gotten down to -8F so far this winter. Usually the heaters/lamps keep the water open in the coop.

    The hardest thing is by not having cows in the barn, the snow doesn't come right off the roof. Because of this the hens have been kept in until it does. They hate that.

    I expect a project for the coming year will be a shelter over the entrance to protect them in future. A talk with our Devon guy last week indicated we won't have cows over the winter again. DH is bummed. :((

    I have a LOT of HEAVY DUTY winter clothes and boots. I can not get cold out there as I can't function. So I look like an abominable snowman with all the stuff on. :))

  4. We had -2F one morning last week. The goat and chickens weren't happy, but perked up at the sight of breakfast. The pig was downright grumpy and REALLY wanted me to bring him breakfast in bed. AND, because we live in Colorado, it was the most gorgeous 64 degree sunny day today, with forecast for the same all next week. We sure could use some rain, though.