Winter’s Here

Icelandic Sheepies Winter arrived this week. We were about as ready as we ever are.

Thanks to Birch we only have one sheep breeding group. There’s one ram lamb left, but he’d need a ladder as the saying is, which also means he’s not about to tangle with Birch.

We have sheds for everyone except the turkeys, who prefer their pine tree anyway. We have until March to get their wings clipped and them behind a fence.

As always, the problem is water. We have one short and two tall heated troughs. Unfortunately, only Danny can reach the tall troughs. Also unfortunately, the pigs like to stand in their water trough, which is the end of any heater. Anything too tall for Hermione to get into is too tall for the hooligans to drink from.

The current plan is to give the sheep and Danny the heated sheep trough. I’ll put the plastic horse trough in with the waterfowl and build them a ramp. The geese need water that deep to mate in anyway, so I’ll just set it up from the beginning. Unfortunately, that means dumping and refilling the horse trough a couple times a week, which should give us quite the glacier by spring.

That leaves the pigs. (We have heating pads for the chicken’s waterers.) I’d like to try the metal horse trough, but that requires a platform that will hold Albus, and I still have to worry about someone falling in. We’re hauling buckets in the interim.

The grocery stores have gone into their holiday frenzy of over-buying. Last year we tried to freeze veggies to thaw and serve later. We ended up with a lot of compost. This year I’ll freeze bread and dairy and try to feed the veggies before they freeze. Better the sheep than the compost pile.

New Hay I do need to make sure the pigs get enough bread and dairy though. Even in the summer, pigs cannot live on green leafies alone, even hay, which they love. Squash and root crops will do for a week or so, but then they must have grain, meat or dairy or they’ll come looking for it. They are wussy old drama queens, but they are wussy old drama queens that know how to short out an electric fence if they’re hungry enough.

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