Tanglewood Farm

where alpacas are a passion, not just a business

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Snow and extreme cold

It has been, and continues to be, one of the coldest winters I can recall. I love snow, as do my alpacas, but this extreme in temperatures, has me doing things I have not had to do in a long time. I, unfortunately, left the heated water hose attached to the faucet in the barn, so there was no water to add to the tanks. As a result, I had to schlepp(a German word meaning to carry) water buckets with heated water from my kitchen to the barn, which is not an easy feat. As there was a bit of ice on the ground, I purchased one of those plastic sleds and used it to pull three five gallon buckets to the barn twice a day. Fortunately, my farm sitter had put up the tarps across the open parts of the barn, while I was dealing with a severe cold right before Christmas, so at least the wind was kept out of the barn. She also came one day when it was freezing cold, and discovered a three inch ice cover on the girls' tank, and chopped through it, so there was a little hole for them from which to drink. I realized that the heater had been disconnected from the outlet, and also decided that the heater that was in there, was not able to deal with that much cold, so got a bigger one and it is now working beautifully. I also use my sled, now that we have snow on the ground(Did I tell you that I love snow?) to move the hay bales from the back storage area to the hay bins in the three barn areas.
I learned a number of years ago, that deep bedding is the way to go to keep the barn warmer in cold weather, so that is what I have been doing. I have a thermometer in the back of the barn, and I checked it yesterday, when the outdoor temperature(during bright sunshine) was a "warm" ten degrees, and it read a tad over twenty. My Suris were not shivering, so it must be ok for them in there as well as for the huacayas and my Anatolian. Even my hens like it in there, and prefer it to the small coop I have for them. I just don't know where they are laying their eggs right now. A few days ago, I found a slight mound of hay as I was retrieving some bales to feed the alpacas, and to my surprise, found about 20 eggs neatly laid under that mound. I scooped them up and boiled them, then fed one to each of my eight dogs. They were gobbled up, so I know they were still good, although they were frozen when I found them. Well, that is life on the farm during the winter. I am getting bundled up to check up on everyone, as there is snow coming.