Life On and Off an Acreage

In-sights into moving from an Acreage back to Town, plus a few things I find of interest.

Two things that horses are scared about:

1. Things that move
2. Things that don't move

December 17, 2009

What a Week!

It all started the day before my paper delivery route through northen Alberta was due to go. Five hours out in -40C weather with a heavy duty mechanic trying to get the 5 ton cube van started. 175,000 btu Herman- Nelson heater for two hours, a very large generator applyingpower to the engine block heater and 60 amps to the batteries. We ended up replacing the batteries as they froze and would not charge. We finally got it running and left it running until 2:00am when I was due to start the route. By then it had warmed up to -38C. The normal run of 7 hours took 13.

On the home front, (when I got back) I found the horse trough (200 gallons) frozen solid. My first thought was " Why me?" My second was "but that is a brand new floating tank heater". Out came the multimeter to find out where the problem was. No blown circuits, No broken wires. 125 volts going into the extention cord and only 83 coming out! A new cord (100 feet) solved the problem and the water started to unthaw after 3 hours. Today the water is half thawed and the forcast is back to -1 to -4 C for the next few days.

The chickens found it tough going with a coop temperature of -10C. They still kept laying, but at half speed. Roo had his comb slightly blackened, but seems ok. No frozen feet. A space heater, plus insulated coop, plus infra-red heat lamp couldn't keep up.

The only things that seemed comfortable were the horses. They used the shelter, ate lots and didn't move around much! Their coats are now so thick, I hardly recognize my own horses!

Anyone in the deep south want to do a six month acreage swap? Startin in November of next year? Just kidding. I would miss this! Just kidding again, no I wouldn't.

On the positive side, cleaning up the horse droppings is pretty easy at this temperature as they freeze up and collect real well.

Only 5 1/2 more months of winter!


Melodie said...

Hmmm...ask about that swap this summer when our heat index is 115 with 90% humidity,I might take you up on it!!!!Just kidding,I have no idea how to live in that kind of cold!

Libylibbylibby said...

LibbyLibbyLibbyLibbyLibby said...
I've read and heard of such case scenarios such as combs freezing and such... I'm in TX so that just doesn't happen...I grumble if the water freezes over one time and you'd think my world was crashing. :)
BTW, we have had free ranging chickens for 11 years and suddenly our Doberman decided it was fun to kill them for sport... she is 6 and never did this before but it became apparent she wasn't going to stop so we caged the poor things in to protect them... once in a while we would have a hawk or a bobcat come take one but mostly our dogs kept them away so, they really enjoyed lots of land and freedom and now they are in a small outside area and have an inside coop to go into...anyhooooooos, they just stopped laying. Because of our Dobie we are down to 7 hens, only 4 are laying age as the others are old... and we keep them and don't eat them... because I can't... anyhooos, so, my 4 remaining just won't lay. They are all young and its been about 6 months since they have been cooped up.... I figured they'd adjust and I let them out probably 4x a week. I lock up our dobie and let them free range until night when they put themselves up...Just don't get it. So we get maybe one egg every few days from our faithful white hen... I should probably just google this but, I see yours are laying in the freezing weather.... I'm very impressed with that... even half... atleast they are laying. Mine are in rebellion or something.

December 18, 2009 5:35 AM