Winter Update – Freezing Water

Sorry for the lack of posting…I am hoping to remedy that starting now.  It has been a full and busy time in our lives lately.  But I am back, with plenty of ideas on what to post.  So here is a quick update to get us started.

Winter on the farm has been … cold.  Bitterly cold.  We have spent several mornings milking in -18F degree weather.  Inside the barn has been about -10F on those mornings.  Brrrr!  And we’ve had several days where our high temp was -5F.  The colder weather at the farm means water freezing and more work keeping animals fed, watered, and warm.

The cow water is fine as it has a tank heater in it.  However, on the really cold days we aren’t leaving the stall door open for the cow to go in and out because we are trying to keep the inside of the barn warmer for all the critters in there.  Well, the cow water trough is outside.  So on the cold days we go and let her out to drink three times a day and then close her back in.

Rabbit water bottles have been freezing a bunch.  There isn’t much that can be done to prevent it and we fully expected it.  Luckily, we have extras, so we bring out full ones and bring in frozen to thaw 2-3 times a day.

The barn dog and cat waterer is a 5 gallon gravity type.  It has frozen as well and so we haul out dishes of water for them.

Despite the fact that the chicken coop is insulated and has a heat lamp inside it we have been surprised to find their 3 gallon waterer frozen several mornings as well.  This is a mystery.  The only thing I can come up with is that maybe it is because the floor isn’t insulated and it is raised up off the ground.  So we bring the frozen waterer in, run it under hot water in the tub till it’s thawed, then refill and take back out.

So a lot of water chores!

However, we have been warmer the last few days, only getting into the 20s at nighttime.  So we have had a nice break from the extra chores.

My hens have stopped laying completely except the one that was born last summer.  She gives us an egg a day, and though they are still small it is nice to have something coming out of the coop.

The calf is growing and thriving.  I will post more about him soon, including pics.  And we have a new adventure here on the farm that I will post about soon with pics as well.

3 thoughts on “Winter Update – Freezing Water

  1. I’m impressed and terrified in equal measure. Who knew keeping animals in water would be so difficult? I don’t know you at all but I’m enjoying picturing you, your husband and 4 kids all with different water containers running in and out all day with your barnyard fellows giggling at your efforts. At least you’ll stay warm with all that exercise!

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  2. WOW! And I thought we were cold here in New England. I have an 8 inch cement block in my coop with an electric light bulb in it. There is a cap on the cement block that fits into the bottom of my waterer. A 40 watt bulb keeps the water from freezing, I’m running a 100 watt bulb in it now during this cold spell to add a little heat. There are pictures on my web site.
    Again, WOW! That is cold.
    Ed

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    • We have considered doing something very similar to that. We just figured the heat lamp would be enough. But now that it isn’t, we are looking at all the different options, including that one, and trying to decide. Thanks for the suggestion!

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