I love to have my morning coffee outside. Even when it’s chilly.
This morning was no different…
I let the hennys out, gave them their fermented grains, refreshed their water, topped up their feeders and then went and threw hay down for the horses.
While my (fresh) coffee brewed, I put together the outdoor cats’ morning hot breakfast (which consists of any left overs we might have that I know won’t get eaten, a few scrambled eggs, some ground flax and hot milk) and then braved my chair on the deck to watch everyone enjoy their mornings.
We haven’t had any measurable snow yet…that’s not a bad thing, but I find myself hoping that some will come. We’ve had a good wet fall, which, while bad for hooves (can you say slimy mud? So hard to keep feet clean) is good for spring. That moisture gets trapped into the land when we have a good freeze and releases in time for spring growth. As someone who relies on pasture grass for feeding the horses all summer, this is important.
As is a nice blanket of snow that jump starts the moisture for growth process before the frost comes out of the ground.
It’s really amazing how closely you start to listen to the land when grass is so much more than something to cut to make your lawn look nice. lol Around here, good grass and good growth are precious commodities!
So, while I sat and watched my Girls eat, and my lap warmer snuggled in…oh! Wait, I haven’t told y’all about my latest lap warmer!!
(Picture is from last winter)
Ghost has come around big time this summer, and has decided when it’s just he and I, lap sitting is a good thing. He snuggles and purrs and just enjoys pets. Pretty good for my scary feral tom cat. 😉
Hubby says “Oh big surprise, an animal has decided they love the Food Lady!”
Yeah, they all come around, sooner or later…and he really is the sweetest boy ever. ❤
Anyways, coffee, Girls eating, lap sitting Ghost…
And I start thinking about how I’m going to keep my Old Ladies healthy this winter.
See, my herd is split down the middle…The Walking Stomachs (Ruby and Astrid…can’t find ribs on ’em to save your life!!) and my Old Ladies (Sable and Cookie…who are doing pretty good so far, but are a little harder to keep weight on this year.)
I tell ya, since Cookie had that big colic incident this past summer, she hasn’t been the same. And, in all honesty, it’s scares the crap out of me. She’s only 11…that’s young for a horse. She should have another good 15 years (or more) to her life…but the Girl has been far more sensitive to feed, temperature, change, you name it, since the colic.
And winter is *always* hard on Sable…
So, I’m monitoring my Old Ladies closely…
What worries me is the Walking Stomachs have been forcing the Old Ladies out of hay piles.
Normally, I have 2 feeders. That has worked well, because Paints went to one, Sable and Astrid went to the other one, and everyone did just fine. This year, I’m seeing Ruby forcing Cookie out of the one they would share, and Astrid forcing Sable out…and then, the two don’t let them into *either* pile.
So a 3rd pile it is, and then everyone seems to be getting.
So far, so good.
I hope it lasts.
All this leads me down the thought path of what a huge responsibility we’ve taken on here…so many lives on the Farm depend on us to make sure they’re healthy and can weather the coming winter.
7 outdoor cats
4 indoor cats
That’s a lot of animals that rely on us humans to not fuck it up.
But, no pressure, right?
The impending cold also leads to dream of the garden next year…how to get it ready, so that I don’t have a repeat of this year is the big thing. We have a lovely hill of composted horse poo that is slowly working its way over to the garden area. It’s so nicely cooked, you’d never know it came out of a horse’s bum. Haha!
And then, what to grow!
I have a list of squashes and pumpkins, beans and tomatoes, corn, lettuces, spinach, onions, garlic, peppers, carrots…so much to grow and hopefully fill the shelves with for next year’s cold season.
Ah well, whatever happens will happen…and we’ll take it as it comes. As always.