Breaking Ice and Other Winter Farm Chores

I thought you might want to come with me to do some morning chores.  This is Kentucky.  It’s January.  It’s 7:45am.  It’s really cold.  -2 degrees to be exact (that’s without wind-chill).  It’s also snowing a little.

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Hi!

Appropriate dress is everything.  If you have Carhartt anything, you’ll want to be wearing it.  Coats, snow pants, bibs, cover-alls, hats, gloves, face masks, scarves, hoods, warm boots, anything you have that’s warm, put it on.  You can always shed clothing if you get hot.  If you’re cold, you’re miserable.

We make sure all our children have warm, winter, outdoor-gear.  This of course includes warm cover-alls, a good pair of boots and gloves.  I think it can be pleasant to be outdoors even when it’s really cold;  as long as you have on the correct gear.  If you’re outside in the cold in the wrong clothes, it’s miserable, and you could really hurt yourself.  Proper clothing is mandatory.

I don’t wear a hat.  I have 10 pounds of hair, so I don’t need one.  For more on that go here.

First stop is the barn.  We get the hay and grain for the cows.  Then we head off to give Faith her breakfast.  Faith is in field #1.  Field #1 is close to the barn.  It is close to water.  It is close to electricity.

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Faith has this fancy-schmancy de-icer in her water-tank so it won’t freeze.

Do you see the adorable cow shadow on the water!  I love my cow!

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Crumple, on the other hand, is in field #2.  Field #2 is not close to anything.  There is no water.  There is no electricity.  Since there is no electricity out here in this field, there is no way for us to plug in a de-icer for the water tank.  This means there will be a thick layer of ice on his water.

Please hand over the sledge-hammer. We have to break the ice so the baby cow can get a drink.  And, in 6 hours we will need to break the ice again.  And, in 6 more hours we will need to break the ice again.   Poor baby cow.  Poor us!

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After obliterating the layer of ice with the sledge-hammer, we scoop out the chunks of ice with a shovel.

Do you see the little snow-flakes falling?  Beautiful.

Once the ice ice is smashed & the chunks are removed – he has water.  Now Crumple can get a drink.

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We give the little guy some fresh hay.

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And some grain.  This is a mixture of bean, corn, and wheat made fresh at the feed-mill down the road from our house.  The cows love it.

Let’s go find the baby cow!

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There he is.  In his run-in.  All cozy and happy.

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This is a picture of Crumple, and my back-end.

Last on the chores this morning is to stuff some hay around the bottom of the run-in to keep out the wind.  The run-in is sitting on concrete pavers.  The pavers elevate the entire structure about 2 inches.  This keeps the wood frame from rotting.  It also allows for air-flow during hot months.  In winter, we don’t need the air flowing, so we are cramming hay in the gaps to keep the baby cow snug.  

Crumple thinks I brought him breakfast in bed.  Stop eating the insulation, Crumple.

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Here’s a blurry picture of me.  Have I mentioned that I have short photographers?  Who take blurry, off-center pictures?  Any how…..

Today I am grateful for the animals.  I got to enjoy the snow.  I got to spend time with my kids.  I got to see the cows.  I got to breathe the fresh air.  I got some exercise.  All before 8:00am.

And, I didn’t get cold.

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