Thursday, January 9, 2014

#10 Enduring the Arctic Vortex

Things have been busy around the Zen House homestead.  Mom (me), was busy worrying about the babies.  The "Arctic Vortex" was at its worst here on Monday, January 6.  The low was -13 and we reached a high of -1.  I have read so many other blogs and posts of places with -22 and -40 degree air temperature.  Whew!  I honestly cannot even imagine.

Sunday night we brought our big space heater out for the dog kennels.  We swept away all hay and dust and set it on the rubber flooring of the aisle way and cranked it up on high.  That night got down to -4.

The next day, poor Buster, the dog, was just not happy.  He was sitting in his kennel shivering and looking very sad.  The barn is just too open for the space heater to be effective enough to generate that much heat.  So, I ended up bringing him into the house.  Now, that probably doesn't sound like a really big deal. But!  Let me tell you.  This dog has the most amazing ability to mark everything in sight within seconds.  He has to be in a kennel in the house or he will literally mark furniture, walls, toys, or anything else within a minute even while being held on a leash.  So, he took over Suzy's kennel.  Suzy didn't mind until bedtime and that stinky boy dog was still in her kennel.  She had to take one for the team that night.

Buster in Suzy's kennel.

As for the chickens, well, they did quite well. The Zen House girls had their heater on high and made out just fine.  Rachel, still in the barn, got a double heat lamp treatment.  I put a thermometer in her kennel and it said about 18 degrees.  She just snuggled underneath the lights and was great.  Max, the other barn dog, got his own heat lamp.  He appreciated it and was able to lay underneath it and keep warm.  The horses are fuzzy enough to stay warm on their own.  The cats were the last concern and they managed to share a bed and stay warm. I was probably most at risk for frost bite.  I was pretty sure my eyeballs were going to freeze just walking from the chicken coop to the house.  The wind was blowing pretty hard and, wow! was that cold.  Also, changing Rachel's water out is a no glove task.  I wear medical grade gloves which keeps my hands dry, but not particularly warm.  Taking the water bowl outside to dump and clean was so much fun!  The water from my hands would instantly freeze on the door handle.  She is a lucky little chicken to have a mommy that loves her so much.

Rachel with her 2 heat lamps staying toasty.

Max with the heat lamp above him and him under it.  Ahh, that's better.

3 of the barn cats in the bed.

Molly being tough and helping me in the barn.  Okay, she does have a little more insulation than everyone else.

It felt like a very long cold spell even though it really wasn't.  I am glad for that and that everyone made it through without any frost bite to combs, wattles, toes or ears.  It's still just the beginning of winter, but I really hope we don't have too many more Arctic Vortexes come our way!

Namaste and Aho!

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