The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Cold Weather Complications

February 12th, 2018 · 1 Comment · Posted in Blog

I’m sure it’s karma. We gloated when we installed a new, top-of-the-line water hydrant next to the livestock paddock. No longer would we have worry about the water freezing in the middle of winter. And we were rewarded for digging up the old hydrant–until a few weeks ago. For no apparent reason, the new hydrant froze solid and we ate crow. We’re back to hauling water in five-gallon buckets from the kitchen sink. Many times a day do we haul.

That’s not our only winter woe. January thaws followed by arctic blasts left a skating rink where we normally water the animals. The water troughs were surrounded by ice, and I realized the sheep and cows weren’t drinking because they were afraid of falling. We keep the water liquid with electric heating elements that sit at the bottom of the troughs. Fortunately, there was just enough play in one extension cord to move one of the troughs to a safe spot. Of course the rest of the cord was frozen in a coil under the ice.

I had also prided myself two years ago on a decision to install an electric heater on my diesel tractor engine so I could get it started in the coldest temperatures. er Diesel engines don’t like cold. I think I had used this new piece of equipment twice before it, too, gave up the ghost a few weeks ago. The tractor is so handy at moving snow. Now I’m back to shoveling by hand.

All of which goes to say that this winter is a bit harder than we’d like because our gadgets have failed. The body aches. I often wonder how farmers coped before all these modern conveniences. Now I know: with difficulty.


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