As I stood in the warm farm store thawing my fingers my mind tried to focus on the next feeding chore. It had taken over an hour to feed and water the pigs on this 9th day of frigid weather. We still have to haul water in a barrel in the Bobcat and manually fill the pig's water but the Bobcat had stalled twice already tonight. Bruce put some magic fluid he calls Diesel 911 in the fuel line to get the monster running again. We were able to get a bale of hay to the pregnant cows and thankfully we had already fed out two bales to the yearlings.
When the weather is this cold the cattle need hay, lots of it to stay warm. They also need to get out of the wind. Each pasture has wind protection; either a building or a wooded area sheltered from the wind. Tonight the yearlings seemed content hunkered down in the holding pen, out of the wind with full bellies from the hay they've been eating all day. The younger pigs were settled in their pig house with a propane heater chugging away to help keep them warm. The older pigs, three sows and a boar (each over 600 pounds), take shelter in a converted horse trailer just large enough for them all to snuggle together. The trailer opening faces south so in the day they get lots of sun and at night they, too, are protected from the wind. Wind rarely comes from the South so we try to plan all of our shelters with openings facing South.
Everyone is fed, watered and protected from the wind so now Bruce and I are thawing out and making plans to feed and water ourselves. I heard a rumor that we have a heat wave coming. It's supposed to be 50 degrees next Friday. Can't wait. I may even be able to shed a layer of clothing. Can't wait.