Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thinking Warm Thoughts

On the farm we have about 8 inches of snow on the ground. There is a storm rolling in today with another 6 inches expected on top of what we already have and high wind tonight (40 mph 64 kmph) to blow it around and add drifting to our current weather challenges. This is not unusual, the real problem has been the frigid weather that won't let up. It has been about 20 degrees below normal. Our nightly lows have been around -2 to -10 F (-18 to -23 C) or more for the last week. Our highs have rarely broken 10 F (-12 C). Friday will have a high of -2 F and a low of -12F (-18 to -24 C). We have had to fire-up the space heater that is stowed in our craw space, and open the wall behind the bath tub to keep pipes from freezing. I kid that our heater takes little 5 minute cat naps through out the day. We are having our walls injected with foam insulation in the spring (can't do it sooner as the foam is water soluble) so I hope we do not have to live through another winter with a very cold house.

This weather is especially hard on our livestock. My primary concern is the cattle since they live outside. I re-bedded their potable huts with straw so they can try to warm up out of the snow. I also unloaded a large stack of small square bales next to the cattle pen to make my life easier in the coming days.

The sheep are still inside adding heat to a frigid building that the poultry live in. The lambs are doing fine and looking great. We loose a few eggs every day to having them freeze solid and split in half, but not so many eggs that we are hurting.

Yesterday, I bought and unloaded 48 small-square bales of hay in the building and formed the aforementioned stack next to the cattle pen. I just barely made it to Janice's ultrasound in the afternoon. I got the truck stuck and had to break out the tire chains my mother got me for Christmas to liberate my self. I know the likely sex of our child, but we are holding that information close to our breast until the baby shower in mid-February when Janice will have a big reveal.

Out the window, I see the the snow has just started. The Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference is at the end of the week and I am looking forward to catching up with a few frinds and colleges.

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