Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

The lowest temperature I saw today was 16 degrees, but it sure felt colder. I waited until the afternoon to do critters to give the sun more time to thaw things. My plan did not work. Here’s the ice we have been braking out of one of the tubs all week, and the chickens patiently waiting for the liquid kind of water.

Here’s the goat’s tub of “water”.
Here’s out hose frozen in what used to be mud/
Here’s a bucket of “water” from inside the barn.
Here’s a phoenix rooster that Tom may have saved last night. He said he couldn’t walk and was found laying outside last evening. Tom put him in this kennel with a heating pad, food and water, and he is walking around now. I was fully expecting to find him dead this morning. He’ll stay on the heating pad again tonight.
Here’s the goose/duck “swimming” pool.
Here’s a gate frozen into what was mud last week.
So all of the above has made our lives more difficult. Where it usually takes 1/2 to 1 hour to do animal chores, now it takes 3 hours. And it is exhausting. I did manage to have almost enough hoses unfrozen to give water to everyone- I did have to bucket for the far two fields. Afterward I used gravity to drain the hoses, put them on fence posts and then blew them out. This usually gets the water out so they can stay open for use.
And here’s the sun going down at 3:45 PM. It is going to be a long, cold, dark night.
So I came in after these chores and took a hot shower. The hot water became ice cold by the time it hit my feet. I have never had that happen before. And I think I have early frost bite on my thighs. The skin there is red, swollen and has decreased sensation. I was wearing a thick sweaters, wool socks, thick boots, gloves and a hooded Carhartt coat but only jeans on my thighs. So let this be a lesson to you all- cotton kills- wear your long-johns! I sure will now!

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11 Responses to Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

  1. Michelle says:

    Having experienced a MN winter before moving here, we are more prepared than some for such bitter cold. We have insulated coveralls, winter boots, lots of longjohns, tank heaters, etc. Still takes twice as long to do chores….

  2. Donna says:

    You have a lot more knowledge about dealing with this cold stuff than I do. But we have all the items you mentioned. We just are not using them. I think we are hoping this cold snap will be brief.

  3. Michelle says:

    Life’s too short to be frozen! Put those coveralls on, woman!

  4. Donna says:

    Agreed. Don’t worry. I learned my lesson today!

  5. HisTek says:

    I can relate to all of your pictures! That is our place, minus the hoses. We don’t even bother with those, they are perpetually frozen, and we bucket the water to the animals all winter. It has gotten down to 3 degrees the past few days. Burr. I agree with Michelle, Put those overalls on!

  6. Tina T-P says:

    Several years ago I took half of my christmas bonus and bought an electric heater pan that my chicken water unit sits on – it never freezes (unless the power goes out) Best thing I ever bought because I know that He would not have the patience to fiddle with their water. John exchanges frozen water buckets that thaw in our bathroom tub off the back porch – I sure hope this cold goes away soon. T.

    PS I agree with Michelle & Jackie – get those long johns on!!! 🙂

  7. Donna says:

    Jackie, I should not have even bothered with the hoses- it probably would have been easier just to bucket the water.
    Tina, we have an electric bucket warmer but it makes me a little scared because it can be a hazard if the water runs out. Electricity in the barn makes me scared anyway.
    I promise I will either use insulated coveralls or long johns when it is below freezing.
    I could not get warm last night even after a long hot shower. I wrapped myself in a quilt, sat on our pellet stove and put on a handmade large llama sweater. Finally I made mulled spiced wine. It was described as bone warming. That did the trick. It is at

  8. Kathy says:

    Hey, Donna! Congrats on winning the Chicken Nest Box! WooHoo! Let me know how you like it, would you?

    It was -10 F here this morning. I thank God for heating water dishes in the barn for the sheeple – I can have a cup or two of coffee before heading out in this. Of course they don’t drink out of them unless under duress – no, they’d rather eat the snow. heeheehee

  9. Donna says:

    I will let you know. There won’t be much nesting for a while thought.
    I feel bad complaining about 16 above when you have 10 below too. I have to get there soon and the sun is no where close to up. I might have a third cup this morning!
    We don’t have any snow for them to eat- just ice!

  10. Tammy says:

    The cold moved in here a couple days ago–about 5 degrees at night, high 20s today, but at least the sun is shinning today. I may lose one of my old hens over this. I packed her into a hay filled nest box with another old hen last night, with air activated foot warmers deep under them in the hay. Over that I put a flannel cloth. I was surprised she was still going this morning. None of us were ready for this extreme cold here, I think….
    Congrats on the nest box!!

  11. Donna says:

    I hope your chicken makes it. Our rooster is still alive this morning even though his heating pad went off sometime during the night, and his water was frozen.

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