Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It's not normal for us to get too cold here in the PNW, so this past week's sub-freezing temps have been a bit of a challenge. I run on the cold side to start with (no lie- my normal temp is between 96.8 and 97.5) so extreme lows like this present a personal challenge when I have to work outside. Chores increase exponentially it seems, both in number and duration, the lower the mercury goes.

Water bottles that usually last the animals 2 days are freezing solid within hours. No more quick top-offs as I dash off to work... these days require bringing everything inside, thawing the tubes and switching out bottles completely. Lucky for me, the caps and tubes fit onto 1 liter soda bottles, so it didn't cost too much to stock up on spares- just one dollar each, compared to at least $8 per bottle if I bought all new ones at the feed store.

Speaking of the feed store... can't forget the food! The rabbits and chickens both need to eat more when it's super cold, just to stay warm. I'm refilling feeders every time I go out, and once a day everyone gets a nice big flake of hay in their pen. Even the chickens; they get the "fines" that shake out into the bottom of my bucket as I feed all of the rabbits. Those little bits of grass and seeds are a boost for them, since they can't get out and forage much this time of year.

I have to say, though, that I am grateful for the dry weather. The low temps mean lots and lots of sunshine, and that's a huge deal for us right about now. It's also too cold for snow, a fact I'm also appreciative of. So, while we're making extra trips out to the woodpile and running around with additional chores, it's not knee-deep in snow or squishing along in the rain. Counting my blessings, indeed.

What weather challenges are you facing this season?

No comments: