Before the Snow

Before the snow arrived we took the last of the leaves and placed them as bedding for the rams in their shelter. I hope it provides them with a little insulation.

To try and slow down the water freezing process I took an old tire and stiffed it with leaves. It works OK, but the bucket still ices over.

Frozen water buckets are the biggest problem we have right now and I have no answers. Ideas??? (no electricity)

The house chicken is now putting light pressure on her leg. I have decided to change her dressing every other day. Her favorite thing is to look at herself in the mirror! Oh, she has a name now, the Commander caught me calling her “Honey”. She better live!


10 comments on “Before the Snow

  1. NancyDe says:

    Bucket heaters? I have seen those in some horse catalogs….

  2. Chai Chai says:

    Nancy – Unfortunately no electricity.

  3. Grandpa says:

    Chai Chai, you've got some problems there… how about placing ping pong balls or something similar into the bucket so when the goat touches the ball it will break the upper layer of the ice which enables it to drink. Though this doesn't fully prevent it from freezing it does slow down the process depending how much and how often your goat drinks.(This is not by me but by my son, who happens to see me scratching my head over this!)

  4. Faith says:

    We have the same problem here. Without extra money to spend on heaters and such, we usually end up hauling water out to the animals twice a day when the cold does not break.There is something that I wanted to build for the horses however. I wish I knew where the plans were. But basically you build an insulated box over the water trough, which is sunk into the ground. The ground should stay relatively warm compared to outside air, and the insulated box hugs the top. The lid is pushed down by noses going after water.I did a quick search to get your creative carpentry juices flowing.

  5. NancyDe says:

    That would be a problem!

  6. Chai Chai says:

    GrandPa, That is an interesting idea I think I will try it.Faith, I will take a look at that link – it sounds like an interesting project. Our barns are elevated on wood so I can't bury the trough except for the rams.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Hay bales are excellent insulators, but I don't think the leaves would work nearly as well. There are dog shelters made entirely of hay bales and I've seen recommendations to stack them around the outside of an animal's house. About the water buckets, with no electricity the recommendations I've seen are to have two buckets. One is kept inside and cleaned, filled with warm water before taken out. And then the other bucket brought in for the same process. Good luck with your critters!

  8. Chai Chai says:

    Suzanne, Thank you for stopping by to comment. We were going to build the ram shelter out of straw bales but we couldn't find any that was reasonably priced. We are currently pursuing the strategy you suggest, swapping out warm water buckets every morning and topping off the buckets with hot water at night.

  9. Faith says:

    We've tried the ball method. It didn't work for us, though I'd heard other people talk about it. Maybe you can get it to work and let us know how? Yes, it would be really hard to keep them insulated without using the warmth from the earth… I'll keep thinking.~Faith

  10. Chai Chai says:

    Faith, The only thing that seems to work is hot/warm water buckets in the morning and at night. Lots of hauling but the animals need it.

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