Never have I ever …
… seen so much snow fall in one day! This is the view from the jenny’s barn door after I waded in. The snow started last night. I was up twice to look out the window to see how deep it was on the roof. The last time I checked was about four o’clock … and I was relieved to see it wasn’t all that deep.
Turns out the biggest drop came after that… We heard today that Ottawa recorded 12 cm between 8 and 9 – and then another 7 cm the next hour. That’s awfully close to 20 cm in just two hours. That is about what fell after I checked.
I’m glad I ‘buried’ the duck house door with their rubber water tubs and a window bungee corded to hold it all in place. See that snow drift? Up to my waist! I think it will be a little while before I get that shovelled away … Wonder what the ducks will think about the snow? I will have to dig them a pathway to at least the wind shelter.
We’ve had some pretty terrific snowfalls in the past. But this beats them all! It took me two hours to work my way from shelter to shelter. I delivered water and a morning treat. All except the Palace – high on its gravel pad – needed to be shovelled out. Mostly shovelled down until I could get to the bottom of their doors or gates.
I start with the ducks. They always have either totally emptied their water bowls or mucked them up so much they need fresh water. This is the view from their room looking out to the paddock. Can you see how much I had to dig down to get into there? I leave the barn doors braced slightly open against those black gates. That lets fresh air circulate and mostly kept the blowing snow out. There is a second ‘wall’ that is framed in wire with vapour barrier or plexiglass that gives the ducks shelter from the open doors.
This little flock has been faring very well. They have lots of room. When I deliver a new layer of straw they gad about quacking and chittering and cooing … dabbling deep down to pick up any attached seed heads. Once the new straw is down I then clean out their bowls and add fresh water. Ducks LOVE water – to drink, to play in, to bathe in, to splash each other with … JUST ADD WATER should be a label attached to every duck. 😉
My second stop is the jennies. They are always calling for some fresh hay – and today had quite a bit to tell me about the snow that dropped over night. When I tucked them in last evening this area was cleaned down to the ground and their outdoor mats. They were enjoying eating their dinner from their outdoor feeders under a starry sky. All of this snow … arrived between bedtime and breakfast!
While Rosie voiced her concerns over the snowfall Bella just chowed down on breakfast! THIS was exactly the kind of day I was planning for when I moved the goats to their own barn. The jennies have this room and the attached one the same size. Hay feeders, straw bedding over stall mats in this room – deep wood chips in the other. All the doors are now closed except for the one we just looked out of (above). It is tarped and shielded by the Chicken Palace from the wind. When the snow piles up against the north and west doors it insulates it so well that it felt warm and cozy in there today. Even with this only being my second stop I was starting to feel very relieved. While Rosie and Bella were munching away on their hay – and the wind was whistling around the roof – their barn was dry and cozy.
Across the paddock these two were also warm, cozy and content to be out of the storm. When I opened their door this evening to bring in food and water they thought for just one second they would go out … that sure was a quick turn around! 😉 I sat with them for a while. MayMay was asking for a long back rub. Drives Dottie crazy when I do that … She starts to natter at us – pops down and moves MayMay – gives up and tries to move me. I think she may get jealous?
Now to get to the chicken coops. I’m not worried about them at times like these. They have water – they have lots of feed – and their coops and runs are well sheltered. If they HAD to they could do without me for a day … or even two. Although … they are laying again … and might discover just how tasty those eggs are if I left them too long.
Well … four hours later I had that conquered. And … that … was … all! It took me two hours to get as far as the house. I’d manage a short stretch – maybe six or eight feet? – and the snow bank I would be pushing would stop me in my tracks. So I’d maneuver myself where I could dump the load … and then try again. Another two hours to get from the house to the road cleared. A neighbour came by just as I was attempting to clear to the paddock gate. He had a big snowblower on the back of his tractor. He took one look at the big hills of snow I’d had to build to get out and suggested he’d like to try to take a run at them with his blades and blower. Hurray! By then it was time that I revisited the critters to tuck them in.
I think we’ll be digging out for quite a few days! Wowser! Hope you are safe – and warm – and dry where ever you happen to be tonight.