I don’t know if we are doing this right. I’d love some advice!! By, Sunday afternoon, our snow turned to snow under ice as freezing rain covered the homestead. Literally, everything was / is covered in a sheet of ice.
While the goats don’t seem to mind rain or snow, ice is a different story. Our goats are Spanish Heritage Meat Goats…they are large, about 100 – 120 pounds. Imagine being a goat….walking around in life on high heels….their hooves remind me of heels. What a weird design hooves are….anyway…..here you are, walking around on an icy surface in heels. It would be a bit precarious, at best. Remember, Bambi??
Call it experience, intelligence, or instinct……the goats do not venture out of their barn when they sense the ground is slippery and icy. As the ice became a bit more brittle later in the day, they did eventually venture out. I feel badly for them because they just stood around getting really wet from the rain that pooled on top of the icy covered snow. I have to wonder if we should have done something different for them. Should we have closed them in for the day? Is it okay that they just stand out there and get thoroughly wet?
They do have a thick, winter coat on….it does repel water and snow away from their skin, but will it eventually get saturated?
Will they be chilled throughout the night? Any suggestions or shareable insight out there?? I hope they were comfortable through the night.
The chickens seem to have more sense. On days like yesterday, they stay in their house, or on their covered porch. Ice and snow are not their things, and they know it. Unfortunately, I did not build their chicken cabana, as in winters past this year. I blame it on a certain puppy.
Sometime in the very early hours of Monday morning, snow started to fall again. These were big, chunky, fat flakes….they were the type that would land on the dog….and stay on the dog…haha!
Quickly, our footprints were filled in by the fluff, and quickly the new fallen snow started turning into slush within the well defined grooves of tire tracks…..
As of Monday afternoon, the pond was still frozen, there was copious amounts of snow still to melt, and beautiful pictures yet to be taken. It is so strange to be covered in frozen for this long….imagine doing this for a three, four, or even five month stretch. Guess what?? There is more snow in the forecast tonight, and tomorrow. Am I dreaming of spring….not yet. I think I would like to take in the beauty of it all for just awhile longer.
Thank you for visiting our frozen homestead today. May you have a wonderful, tenth of January.
Your friend from Oregon,
Comments on: "Hooves on Ice" (5)
We keep our oats in when its raining, they seem to prefer it if the door if left open. They seem to deal with the cold ok, but wind will also drive them inside.
They were out today, -10c (14f) but the sun was shining. They liked to find a bit a grass under the snow as well as take the bark off a few trees! 🙂
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I have noticed a lot of that too, Eddy. They have eaten the Douglas Fir tree we cut down (on our property so we knew there was no chemicals sprayed on it) pretty thoroughly at this point. I do not see them looking for grass under the snow though.
We don’t have to imagine what it would be like to be frozen for months…we live it here. 🙂
On bitterly cold days (under 5F) we leave the animals closed in the barn. We don’t really get rain and cold here, it is mostly just snow, so I can’t speak to the closing them in so they don’t get wet. Except that our animals get snowed on and it kind of melts into their fur sometimes and they get wet that way. We haven’t had any problems with it and just let them do their own thing unless it is bitterly cold. Not sure what would be best in such a humid climate though.
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Thank you, Willow Creek!! Amazing…. are schools closed ALL the time?? Schools here close whenever snow starts to accumulate in the smallest amounts. The breeder of our goats advised us not to close them in too often, just let them do their thing and they will be okay, so that is what we generally do. Eleven days of snow for us is a rare event, but I guess they know what they are doing….we dont…hahaha!!
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Our school buses are built for most anything the weather can throw at them. They have automatic chains for the tires even! Plus we have plows that constantly keep the main roads in good condition, and if we get more than about 6-8 inches they plow the side roads too. It takes a LOT of snow, or bitterly cold temps to close the schools here.