It was a cold day on The Freckled Farm yesterday… as it was for most of the country. Monday and Tuesday night we closed the animals up in the barn and coop. Normally we leave the doors open to the pasture and run, but we wanted to prevent any wind from getting to the animals and to allow the deep bedding to do it’s job. The animals faired well through the cold weather, although there were points when I was working in the pasture that I could see the goats shivering. They ended up spending the entire day in the barn, only coming out when I was doing farm chores. We have one chicken though who decided that she wanted to molt late in the season and still hasn’t gotten all of her feathers back. I have worried about her quite a bit, but she seems to be doing fine.
On Tuesday Kevin went out to feed the animals around 5:30am and the temperatures were in the negatives with the wind chill. He closed everyone back up after they were done eating and I went and let everyone out once the sun came up. I had to go out several times during the day to remove the ice from the water buckets. This is my least favorite winter chore. We thought about getting heated buckets, but the breeder of Tina and Hillary told us to avoid them because they lower the goat’s resistance to cold, and if the bucket should break or the electricity go out the cold water could end up hurting the goats. So I trek out the barn and coop every couple of hours to remove the layer of ice that has formed on the water and add warm water. Last year there were only a few days that we really had to fight ice in the water buckets. If we lived in an area that is as cold as what we are dealing with right now all the time I might have consider investing in something else to combat the problem!
In other news, today is our first day at My Courthouse Market in Goochland, VA. This is an INDOOR farmers market located inside the YMCA in Goochland Courthouse. The market runs from 3pm-7pm. Come and visit us!