23 December 2022
Nothing would start this morning. I thought for sure with these tropical temperatures we have this morning everything would start right up
The wind isn’t blowing! That makes everything seem so much nicer. I made the children come out to feed with us, with it being so nice out. They complained but then made a beeline for the big drifts and were off playing. So nice after days inside.
After getting the payloader started yesterday afternoon my husband put LOTS of hay out for the cows. They had plenty of hay left over this morning so feeding them more isn’t an emergency.
With the payloader started yesterday my husband also dug a path to the barn! It was tough digging. The wind was at it’s worst. I had brought the kids along, but up to that point being along with us had meant sitting in the suburban while we watched the gate while cows got fed and driving back and forth.
Now they were both given shovels and told where to dig. The wind whipped the powdery snow around behind the relative shelter of the barn. Their faces were quickly coated in ice. I sent them back to the house. With some worry they wouldn’t be able to find their way in the white out conditions.
They did find their way. I watched to make sure, then went back to digging.
With a path cleared I went for Popcorn. She lead easily from the shelter of the windbreak where they were standing. The wind was whipping around it too, coating them in powder. I had been going to go back for the others after I had her in, but they all followed happily. Even the extra calf we have acquired through this storm. One of my father in law’s who went wandering early in the blizzard. He hasn’t asked once to go back to his mom. Life must be pretty good with the milk cows.
With them all tucked into one side of the barn, so the body heat would be condensed, I went for the horses.
Walking out to the gate I called. Maybe going with the wind my voice would be able to be heard out there? No heads popped up so apparently not. Walking farther out into their pen I called again. This time ears appeared. I called again and Rusty started to come. I turned back towards the barn.
The horses came thundering up behind me and followed through the gate. Then Rusty passed me and went for the barn on his own. All the horses went in. The usual separations wouldn’t work, having to share it with the cows. Maybe if I tied Rusty the other two would be alright in there together. But Lady was scared to come in. She wanted to stay in the door. Helly was feeling spooky and hot, so was Rusty. They bounced around. Skittered across the cement floor. Chased each other and spooked. They were feeling good, and energetic. I got the call, my husband needed help. They were not going to be ok in the barn. I took off the halter I had briefly gotten on Rusty and they were gone, out the door.
I left the gate open so they could eat the cows alfalfa bale.
This morning when I let the cows out of the barn they looked warm, happy, and rested. The horses were reluctant to leave the alfalfa, but they are fat and were plenty warm. Back out to their grass bale they needed to go!
The big herd of cows was spread out in the warm weather and sunshine. Resting and melting. The steam was rising from their backs, black hide soaking up what warmth it could. Icicles dripped down their sides from where the bunch had been pressed close together and the combined body heat melted the snow. The two old girls I would have bet on losing through that were up and looking good.
The snow cover on their backs must itch. Ghost and Dandelion both begged for more and more scratches as I gave them brisk rub downs removing what I could.
The black kitty, Bones, and the big grey and white one have been enjoying being fed in the straw bales. Bones was sitting outside the barn door yowling for her breakfast. Grey and white kitty didn’t leave even as I came close enough to put feed in their hiding spot.
Most things seem to have come through nicely. We should hopefully be on the other side of this storm and things getting better!