Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Surviving the Deep Freeze

The temperature was stuck at -6 degrees and the winds blew at 20 mph, sometimes faster, and the Haflingers didn't care.

The sun was shining; they'd eaten breakfast; it was time for their midday snooze in the sun. Butts facing the wind, and using the pine trees as a windbreak, they stood side-by-side and dozed.

Temperatures in our area plummeted to below zero overnight Sunday, and stayed below zero Monday and Monday night. Today, it's supposed to warm up to 2 degrees. The winds are expected to gust again today, eventually settling down to a more reasonable 10 mph on Wednesday.

Most of the farm's critters didn't get the memo that it's cold outside.

The sheep, closed inside the barn, are quite happy to be eating the third-cutting alfalfa hay rather than the first-cutting alfalfa mix. And the chickens are inside their hen house, eating grain, and a little bored.

The Border collies are running laps around the house, and anxiously awaiting their long daily walk.

The only critters showing the pains of the cold are Mickey, the old Border collie, and Leslie, the older barn cat. Mickey gets cold paws after about 10 minutes outside in subzero weather.

Leslie the Cat lives in the hay and equipment barn, and must make a daily trek to the back porch or livestock barn for food and water. Yesterday, she was more than happy to come into the mudroom to eat, drink and warm up. But this morning, she is already growing restless with being indoors. This afternoon, when it reaches above zero, I'll let her outside again.

As for me, I'm staying warm carrying buckets of warm water from the house to the barn. But I, too, am looking forward to long walks around the fields again.


  1. My barn cats won't leave the barn. My Haflinger mare peaked out the barn door deciding to stay indoors for the day yesterday. I'm guess they'll choose to do more of the same today. Stay warm...

  2. This is the first time I recall hearing the old barn cat's name. My name is Leslie also and I'm an old barn cat myself. She looks pretty content curled up there. Not near as cold here in northern California, thank goodness.