Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Keeping the Animals Warm When It's Below Zero

Like so many Americans today, we are dealing with bone chilling temps.  It's -14.  And I'm not talking wind chill.  With the wind chill it's -30.  This is the aftermath of the big snow storm that saddled us with 16.5".  My cousins in Buffalo have a "Blizzard Warning" right now with 2-3 feet of the white stuff expected!  They are used to that, though.
These photos were taken on my deck.

My grill is under there somewhere!

With these cold temperatures I was worried about our goats and chickens.  This is how we kept them warm last night.

The chickens in the small coop got a radiant heater which made it  a toasty 20 degrees in there this morning.  They were pretty happy.  I have some tiny bantams in there that have tiny body masses to match.  In the other coop, we hung a brooder light.  It's not the safest method but I hung it high enough to avoid burning wood shavings and wings.  It was 20 degrees in there, too.  All is well.  'Course it would be "well-er" if it was 80 degrees instead of below zero.
But then there's the issue of the goats.  Here's their goat hut.

How much snow is up there, anyway???
The wind was ferociously blowing yesterday and I became increasingly uneasy about their  overnight safety.  I pulled some fleece PJ's and a sweatshirt out of the "for the Salvation Army" bag and was prepared to make them sweaters for the night.  But when I trudged out to give everyone fresh water I changed my mind on what needed to be done.  Luckily, I had  a very large dog crate that temporarily acted as a chick barn last spring.  I pulled that crate into the garage, filled it with straw, put a blanket underneath and over it and and filled it with two dwarf goats.  They are pretty cozy in there and I was at ease with their overnight lodgings.
Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to survive sometimes.  

How do you keep your livestock warm in freezing temps?

No comments:

Post a Comment