It’s Been Cold…

We made it out of last week’s blizzard and the temperatures dropped well below normal. And stayed there.
According to the weather folks, we’re going to get a break next week. For now, our world is 2 hour checks on everyone outside…because -28*c before the windchill, -39*c with, and sometimes colder.
I’ve pulled out Sable’s blanket, and she wore it last night…today I was able to take it off her, because she was sweating underneath.
So, now it’s hung over a kitchen chair, stinking of wet horse, and drying. If it’s not dry by supper time, into the dryer it will go, just in case she needs it again tonight.
They’ve got double hay rations, plus whatever I add throughout the night…and grain. Oats for the quick burst of heat, and then, some crushed barley/wheat mixed into their beet pulp…and alfalfa cubes.
*sigh*
Of course, I have to be super careful with Ms Cookie and grain…
She’s cost us a lot of $$$ lately, with vet visits to get her shit figured out. I know her back and pelvis are bothering her. She’s showing signs of arthritis…grain exacerbates things…but it’s so damn cold, and she won’t wear a blanket.
Guess what we’re working on next summer?
Yup, my old lady is going to learn about blankets.
Now is the time she needs it, but not the time to fight with her about it. So, she gets barely a handful of grain, just a lick really, extra alfalfa cubes, and loose salt.
Dehydration in this weather can kill a horse fast…every one is getting a measure of loose salt in their beet pulp…plus they have the block to lick and chew. And they do! 😉
Of course, to go with that salt, they have fresh water.
No fun skimming out the hay bits from the waterer…someone always has to make tea…but it has to stay clean. They drink deeper when it’s clean, and water is so, so important.

Cats are sharing the warmth of deep straw bedding in the horse shelter…and the heat of 4 bodies in there. What’s a few cats riding horses? What’s some shared body heat between friends?
They come up to the house every day for food…a warm high energy meal morning and night…shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been taking a few handfuls of kibble out to them in the shelter too…have to watch that Ruby mare though. She likes to eat kitty kibble herself. Brat.

Hennys are snug as bugs in rugs…or pugs in Uggs…or pugs with bugs wearing Uggs in rugs…
They are benefiting from the talents of Farm Friend Paul, who found and rewired several heat lamps for us.
One in the coop keeps hennys warm and happy, and still laying eggs.
We’ve 2 eggs freeze, out of dozens, and I think that’s because several hens insist on laying on the floor, instead of in the nesting baskets. Deep litter can only do so much…

No new pictures, I’m afraid. Too busy and tired to grab a camera and shoot anything…but, I have this one of my pretty Girl from before the blizzard…

cookie-11-30-16-wm❤ Cookie ❤

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3 thoughts on “It’s Been Cold…

  1. paws2smile says:

    At what temperature do horses get cold? Are they able to stand lower temps due to their massive size?

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    • WolfSong says:

      Short answer…it depends on the horse. 🙂
      Longer answer…
      Most horses, if they get a chance to grow a good winter coat-which my Girls do, being outside 24/7-can with stand a dry cold to -30*c fairly easily…as long as they have good hay to munch on, and a place to get out of the wind.
      It’s kinda like feeding a wood fire. Steady fuel will keep the house warm, but intermittent fuel makes keeping the space warm much harder. Same with horses…hay feeds the wood stove, so to speak. A steady supply of hay will keep them warmer better than a blanket.
      But sometimes, our Sable needs a little help from her blankie. Not sure why, but her internal regulator doesn’t always use the fuel efficiently. After having her vet checked, to make sure it wasn’t a health issue, we just figure she needs that little help every now and then.

      Now, all that said, if it’s a wet cold, things change. Just like we get cold faster when we’re wet, so do they. That’s where dryer warmed towels come in…when it’s a cold wet, and I see anyone shivering, I add extra hay, a little bit of oats, and work on rubbing everyone as dry as possible with hot towels.
      Once they’re closer to dry, the hay works better to keep the body warm.

      Personally, I think their size makes it harder for them to handle colder temperatures. That big body can be awful hard to keep warm if there isn’t enough fuel, or if they have a hard time processing it.

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  2. Toosh says:

    Bundle up. Then bundle some more. Yikes.

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