I wrote the following post two years ago, but I see a lot of it still applies to our current conditions. We’ve been cycling up and down from above normal to below normal temps, expecting 18 degrees tonight. Apparently, there is snow in the forecast somewhere in the next week. White Christmas anyone?
We’re no longer worried about the goat shelter (it’s had several additions and upgrades in the past two years); I wasn’t able to get the pilot light lit on the gas heater in the piglet shelter. This is our first batch of piglets, and we’ve heard everything from “you’ve got to keep heat on ’em” to “you’re raising sissy pigs”. Sissy pigs it is…unless the heater is busted. The piglets are nearing weaning age, and they do have their mama, Sally, to keep them warm.
Anyway, here is the original post for December 1, 2014:
Well, I sure hope winter is still a far way off here in North Carolina. Seems like it may be a wild ride, though. After several brisk days of below normal temperatures, we had a windy 70 degree day with a potential tornado watch. Tonight, temperatures are expected to plummet to near 20 degrees with a high of not quite 40 tomorrow. Probably the same for the next day, too.
What does that mean for our little farm? For starters, frozen water lines for the rabbits. The last couple of night-time freezes have lasted only a few hours, but we can’t count on that for very long. So, hoping to prevent freezing or at least reduce the amount of time the lines stay frozen, I added copper plumbing insulation and wrapped a tarp around the back of the hutch to provide a wind-break. I’m hoping this strategy will work, however, it’s possible that the tarp will create a wind-tunnel and make the hutch even colder.
High winds this afternoon took off one of the tin roof panels on the goat’s run-in shelter. My fault. I had insisted on the excessive overhang when we put the roof on, because I had wanted the roof to prevent rain from blowing in the gap between the roof line and the wall of the shelter. I hope I don’t wake up to any further damage tomorrow. I moved the water bucket to the back of the shelter in hopes of preventing the freezing that has already occurred a couple of times. So far, so good, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
The goats, rabbits and chickens will stay dry, warm and cozy huddled together in their various shelters. The cows will hunker down together underneath the trees. Mother Nature is amazing: all of the animals have been steadily growing thick, furry coats and all will withstand the cold tonight and the colder temperatures of winter yet to come.
We covered the lettuce and Chinese cabbage with burlap row covers a couple of weeks ago when the first frost was predicted. Greens are still growing strong, even the kale and collards that don’t really need covering. I’m thrilled to report that I make very rare grocery shopping trips….well, it is just the two of us.