Our Cold Dark 'White' Winter
2017-18 will undoubtedly go down as the coldest winter, maybe ever! It's 'ever' in my lifetime. Frozen eggs is one potential problem in these cold days. We try to gather eggs oftener and store them in a refrigerator box with a heat pad turned on. Our nearby cat, Sophia, inside her afghan-heated box looks on as customers come and go. Frozen eggs are still good to eat, but we the owners take them to our house for consumption. When frozen, eggs crack and seal back shut when they thaw. But we won't sell them.
Beef cattle thrive in their climate, but they do huddle inside their three-sided shed oftener with their warm hay and shelter from any cold wind that drives the chill factor lower than the temperature. They moo oftener for hay, using that energy food to keep up their warmth.
Ghenghis Khan, our guardian dog, relishes the cold and ice and show. He leaps and jumps and romps in the snow. He gobbles down a chunk of snow for his water intake. His two-layer coats of fur and hair keep him warm and toasty and he often sleeps outside rather than inside the large pen we built him. We even added hay to the inside of the pen; he might go inside at night, but he lays outside during daytime. Except when he's chasing red-tail hawks away or that Blue Heron that flew into the area the other day. As the Heron swooped down, Ghenghis raced toward him as he flew upward. Ghenghis kept chasing after him until he was out of the chicken's area. He's worth his eggs in gold! So the Blue Heron decided to fish in our creek instead of catching chickens.
We've had a few thaw days! The chickens relish their outdoor life during these warmer days when they can drink the slush and wander farther outdoors. Yet every morning when they see a white ground, they hesitate to step out the door. Don't we all!