And Dream of Spring

The bitter cold continues and it shan’t (sorry, love that word) stop until Thursday, when we will get a slight reprieve and the temperature shall rise to a few degrees above ice. Checking waters and breaking ice is an every two hours chore. The ducks manage to break through the ice if it isn’t too bad, drilling with their hardy bills. The turkeys and chickens are less well equipped for such things. There is a lot of water bowl shaped ice sitting around in our yard right now.

One of the more difficult things to deal with right now is frozen bird poop. It is difficult to scrape it out when it sticks to the floor of the coops. It is difficult to scrape the perches off, too. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to smell when it is frozen, but I still don’t like not being able to keep the coops as clean as normal.

Gina and George, our two remaining turkeys, who are usually at opposite ends of the coop are up against each other right now. The chickens have all managed to get onto the top perch, all ten of them, and huddle close. The ducks have extra straw in their coop, but don’t seem to feel the cold. That thick layer of down and the oil that keeps their feathers water resistant helps them on that score.

The rabbits are doing better since I blocked their window with hay, but there is definitely a lot of cuddling up being done. Even between cages, the does are smack up against each other, sharing body heat through the wire. They are getting extra bedding right now and are using it to their advantage, building elaborate nests. Watching a buck with a haystache is very amusing.

As for the humans, we are sleeping in sweats with lots of extra blankets. Even with the heater set to 68 it is cold in the house. There is a lot of hot tea and hot chocolate and soup being consumed and slightly longer than usual hot baths being taken. It is times like this I miss having a wood stove with its roaring heat. A good fire always took the chill off the house. Right now the walls feel cold. I think I can hold out until Thursday, though. Meanwhile, I will plan my garden and dream of spring.


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