I’m almost through my winter preparations list. Sure am glad Mother Nature is holding back on dropping the first real snowfall on us. Last year at this time I was scrambling to rebuild the Chicken Clubhouse. The older version got taken out by a windstorm. We had the new one up – roofed – and insulated with winter windows the DAY the snow came.
The ducks will tell you that someone played a great joke on them this week. This is their first winter. They were totally flummoxed to wake up to find their pools were solid! After checking – double checking – and loudly complaining they all paraded back to their duck house – had a good conflab – and then tried again … It was comical … for a while. I took pity on them and broke through the ice to give them a chance to swim a while.
They’ve figured out where the morning sun shines through to their ponds.
Penny parked herself in the sunny spot and fell asleep. As you can imagine I’m constantly thinking about ways to extend their pool season. Ducks can get frostbitten feet if they stay wet when the temperatures are staying below zero. So heating their ponds is not a good idea.
But on days when the temperature stays above zero for a while I could bring them fresh water to enjoy.
I came up with this solution. Hoses would not work with our layout. Bringing the ducks into the main paddock – closer to our basement door – and the end of my indoor hose – presented too many complications. However … when my gaze wandered past our gas tanks a light came on in my noggin! I could fill gas tanks at the basement door. They could be lined up in the bucket of the tractor. Then I could drive them to where they would be needed.
I have strategically placed upended livestock tanks that can now serve as ‘tables’ beside the tubs needing the most water. One tank fills each of these large bowls. Three tanks fills the small duck pond. Two tanks will do all of the water bowls in the chicken runs and the jenny and goat barns. I’ve marked them all with a big ‘W’ so they won’t be used for diesel.
We also benefited from a gift from our neighbour, Charles. He does roofing and carpentry. He had some clear roofing panels. Now the Chicken Clubhouse has a roof over its run. The Orpingtons voted ‘YES!’ for this change.
They sure do love to get into ‘under’ spaces. Especially if the furniture involves fresh straw bales.
A lot of winter’s work is ‘water work’. I’m happy with this plan. It seems to fit into our guiding question, “Can I do this when I’m eighty?”
Dottie figures by that time it’ll just be she and I holding down the Meadow fort! 😉