Well, after a mild and fairly dry winter so far, everything changed yesterday with a dump of hail that froze as it hit the ground. It was still here today and didn't melt as an arctic front moves in. We are promised more snow and cold this week.
The donkeys walked around happily today as there was some low sun to warm their bodies. They gravitate to wherever the brief beams shine and can easily be found, lined up and soaking up rays. I think that's the last of the sun though and the moon is waning, so we are in for some cold dark days and nights for the next while.
I go into winter mode when the temperature is in the minuses overnight. That means the following:
- deep, fluffy bedding in the breezeway
- extra shavings in stalls and a sprinkling on the walkways for traction
- water buckets always topped up to max and an extra bucket filled. When the water line to the barn freezes, I'll resort to the water in closed barrels that I stored in the fall.
- hoof picking every night to remove snow and ice
- extra snacks of either barley straw or low quality hay and plenty overnight in Nibble Nets, troughs and hay bags
- Deenah gets her blanket on during the day if the weather is both wet and windy
and clicker training lessons in the barn if they are snow-bound or kept in because of weather. I intend to start
blogging on ideas to teach in a stall!