Thursday, February 14, 2019

Surviving Winter on the Farm

The barnyard is not very pretty today.
It looks like a mess!
We've had snow. We have had rain. We have had sunny days. We have had very, very cold weather. We have also had a lot of water because of the rain and snow.

How do farm animals live through the winter? They don't live in a warm house like you do. It isn't that warm in the barn. What do they do to stay warm? Do they mind the cold?

What do you think?

You already know that we use bucket heater to keep the water from freezing. If the animals have enough food and water they can keep themselves warm. I make sure to fill their water buckets every time the water is low.

This is a bucket de-icer to keep the water from freezing outside.

In the wild animals need to find food. On the farm we make sure they have food in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes if they haven't eaten all their dinner from the night before I don't feed them very much breakfast. There is no reason for us or the animals to waste food. They don't mind left overs so it's ok.

Do you remember what the goats, cows, and sheep eat? They have hay, hay pellets, oats, and corn.

Our animals also have shelters so they can stay out of the wind, rain, and snow. That also helps them stay warm and healthy.

This shed in the back of the barn is for Chuck the steer, Side Kick the sheep, and Curly the buck.
Do you remember what it looked like back here last week! It was like a small lake! The big puddle behind the barn is much smaller this morning! I don't really know why. We've had so much rain and snow that I thought it would be much deeper. Some days I think we could float a boat in the puddle! No row boats today !Some days I expect the ducks to be swimming around in it!

Echo loves to stay in her stall during the bad weather. That is great for her, but it means that I have a lot more cleaning to do every day. Cows don't know that they should go to the bathroom outside. They go where ever they are standing. Yuck! I have a big wheel barrow that I fill with manure every morning. Some days it's very hard to move the wheel barrow through the snow to a good dumping spot.

All that manure will make great garden fertilizer next year! Moving all that manure makes me stronger every day! Pushing a heavy wheel barrow on a cold morning is a great way to stay warm because it's hard work.

Animals have thicker coats in the winter to stay warm. All the animals start growing their winter coats in the fall. They don't have to think about growing a winter coat the way you think of putting on a coat and mittens. Their bodies grow thicker coats as soon as we have less sunlight. Dogs and cats grow a thicker coat, too.

Side Kick has a very thick coat this winter. 
Look at all that wool! The wool keeps the sheep warm in the winter. We shear it (cut it off) in the spring. We can use the wool to make sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens, and socks to keep us warm, too. I wear wool socks all winter long so my toes stay toasty warm.

Chuck doesn't look like he has a very thick coat.
His coat is definitely thicker in the winter.  

When you get close to the cows you can see the extra fur they have.
Echo sheds a little every time I pet her.
She will shed a lot more in the spring.

The goats look very fuzzy in the winter, too.
I love fuzzy goats!
Sheep definitely grow the thickest, fluffiest coats on the farm.

Chickens grow extra feathers in the fall to help them stay warm all winter. It's hard to tell that a chicken has warm feathers. They look the same because their outer feathers always look the same.

This chicken decided to drink out of the puddle today.

Sometimes farm animals will eat snow instead of drinking water. We let them decide. We make sure there is plenty of water for them to drink out of buckets and feeders.

Horses' winter coats aren't as thick as a sheep's winter coat. Their owners like to put blankets on them so they stay warm. They also have a barn to use when its windy, snowy, or raining.

Midnight the cat has a cozy spot in the barn.

She is old so I bought her a little house that heats up.
She doesn't use it yet.
I put treats inside it because I want her to get used to it.
She loves going inside for treats! One of these days I'm sure I'll find her
sitting warm and snug inside her new house.

Water is life in the west. This year we are doing very well with all the rain and snow that we've had.
Do you remember when you learned about maps?
Maps can show us 
more than where we want to go.
This map shows us how much water we have had this winter.
You can find the map here.

What did you do for someone else for Valentine's Day? Was it fun to do something for someone else?

low no boat oat row toe we keep over more
find food start warm

Wonders Unit 4 Week 3

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