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Winter Weather 2018

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farmgal
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Winter Weather 2018

Postby farmgal » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:35 pm

So as we are coming into 2018, the weather is giving us a run for our money across Canada, we have cold weather warnings across Canada, we have record breaking cold temps overnight and we have had snow storm after snow storm and we have tens of thousands on the eastern coast without power and more white stuff then they could want.

Stay warm, stay safe, be careful out there.. keep your car winter kits stocked, keep your backup heat sources at the ready and crack out the preps if you are without power.

If you being hit with the winter weather and want to share how its going.. give a shout out..

We have had a good amount of snow to move around but twice in the past week, the farmer down the road has been kind enough to swing up our way and do our main lane, leaving us with the much smaller amounts to do by hand, we are hauling water by bucket (normal for us in winter) for the critters and we are prepping for the deep cold that is to come in the next few days
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby helicopilot » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:10 am

First winter with chickens. For the last 2 days, I've had to keep a small heater running in the coop to keep things from being ridiculously cold. The heated water dish and heat lamp was just not enough to keep things bearable in the -35C weather. Putting vaseline on combs and wattles is a bit of a fight with the girls. Wondering if Im doing anything wrong... Just want to make sure the hens don't end up with frostbites!
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby farmgal » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:41 am

they are lucky chickens, I keep lots of bedding on floor, at least six inches, run on heat lamp on a timer for light mainly that goes off at night, make sure I have draft free wide roosts for them to snuggle on and increase their fat and protein content in feed.. when very cold, I add Boss (black sunflower seed to their daily same with the rabbits)

as for the frostbite, i breed for smaller comb and i let nature do its thing. normally they will only lose tips, they get frost bite, they get black, they fall off and that's that and i never have a issue with that bird again. i keep my birds for three to eight years and i figure it the tips get took, they were to big for my climate.. interesting my Icelandic landrace chickens all have tiny combs and never have a issue.

I never put heaters in barns or coops, the risk of fire is not worth it to me.. at most a proper livestock heat lamp. now i do run a double door to the outside with flaps an in winter blankets so they have to push the outside, come though wall and come though inside and then i put a small square of straw that they can jump up an over to keep as much draft out of the sleeping area of the coop.
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby helicopilot » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Thanks for the tips farmgal! I was certainly very concerned about the risk of fire and rigged things with fire in mind. I have a mix of chickens and a few seem a lot more cold hardy (small combs and wattles). Mrs HP conceded we would get a few more chickens this springs and I'll get Icelandic or BCMs for that reason. Plus a few more chickens should help with body heat in the coop!

(Didn't mean to hijack the thread btw)

In other news, ensuring the cistern and septic fields don't freeze either!
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby PrepHer » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:59 pm

This cold is brutal. My two outside feral cats are hanging in there. I bought myself (for Christmas) two electric Extreme Weather Heated Pads for their homemade insulated cat shelters (a.k.a. double Rubbermaid buckets). I'm comforted to know that they at least have a chance when the temperature gets down to -38 at night.
I'm burning lots of firewood upstairs in my cookstove and even had to turn on the Pellet stove downstairs first thing in the morning (I usually turn it on around 5 p.m.). But that's okay, I have lots of firewood - even next year's supply and more ordered for the spring.
In limited heated areas (where the furnace only turns on overnight) like my mudroom, I leave two incandensent light bulbs (the old fashion kind) on 24/7 for heat to keep the pipes in there from freezing (fingers crossed).
When I do go out to resupply (milk, bread), I buy enough for at least a week and keep the extra in a cooler in my garage. I also have an old unplugged fridge there for storage of supplies like tea, sugar, salt, pasta, etc. The mice can't penetrate the fridge's steel outer coating.
And I wear longjohns inside the house......
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby Denob » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:03 pm

Breaking news: Hell seems to have frozen over!
So here, we have -25 temps with -mid30 windchill.
Certainly burning our share of wood, but we have lots ready and a few standing deads ready to harvest if need be.
We also have a gang of ferral cats...4 of them who shelter in an abandoned house nearby. We feed once a day and they seem to be doing all right.
I no longer have chickens, but when I did, I never heated the coop. It was small and kept with a deep litter and I never had an issue with cold.
As for us, fleece sheets on the bed. Insulated pants for outdoors. Lots of flannel shirts and wool socks and hot stews and soups.
We of course have the extreme cold weather warning, but I found this quote in it that I found interesting...
"Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle such as extra blankets and jumper cables."
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby RachelM » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:14 pm

Haven't had this much snow this early since I was a kid. Doing OK in Niagara. Our flock of 5 'lawn ducks' seem happy to be loose. I've nicknamed them snow slugs because they leave 'slug trails' in the snow. Finally got snow tires on my car instead of my bald all seasons. Opened some pickles last night and was disappointed to find two jars that were spoiled. I'll have to check the rest. We stocked up on dried pasta this week, as Zehrs had them on for 88 cents a pack. The weather sucks, but at least we haven't been snowed in yet!
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby farmgal » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:54 pm

Nice, today is yet another deep freeze and we plod along getting it done and have a big old pot of soup in the crock pot simmering away, as its officially a holiday, getting the laundry kept up and other baking and canning etc.. lowest power rates at the moment.. I really have learned to hate the three tiers of power costs now in Ontario.

Burning though almost double the amount of hay to keep the critters "engines" at peak in these cold temps.. just grateful that I have the extra hay put up to be able to do so.
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby kootenay kid » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:26 pm

We were snowed in for a couple of days, as the plows were very busy on the main highways. If you don't have a big pick up or the equivelant, you don't get out. For us, we have a little Aveo, with good winters, but couldn't get our driveway plowed as all our regular guys had broken equipment. Our neighbour came over and hand shiveled for us on New Year's Eve. At 63, I can't shovel any more. Just too hard on the old body. Beautiful and sunny today, at -6, I like to go for brisk walks, to see if there are any fresh critter tracks. Saw some Cougar tracks.
Hope the weather moderates for all you folks back east.
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Re: Winter Weather 2018

Postby farmgal » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:20 pm

Nice on the tracking! and glad you got help on the shovel out.. we had still been in the deep freeze but we get a small break tomorrow and then they say back at it for the weekend and then if they are right more normal temps for next week.. this will be a very good thing if true.

Light snow now and for days to come is what they say.. so we will have even more of the white stuff to move. the good thing about the cold is that its going to be hard enough that it will do a fine job at killing off many of my garden bugs that I do not like and this larger then normal already amount of snow means my soil, gardens and general land has a outstanding snow cover. The damage that we could have had to the land (tree's and so forth) if we have this kind of cold without the snow cover.. shudder.. droughts, floods and then the deep cold..

I for one am grateful for the snow pack cover even if I don't much like shoveling it :)
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