Winter Around the Homestead

It’s been a while since we last had an “around the homestead” update. Freezing temperatures and snow is here to stay. The piles of winter coats, boots and drying mittens are growing. As is my collection of empty milk jugs to tote water out to the animals.

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The goats never seem to enjoy the snow. Already their tracks are mainly confined to a path between their shelter and the waterer. Manson has been taking his job very seriously so we should be expecting a new kid or two in the coming months. Nonetheless he still chases all the does around- just to be sure.

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Now that the snow is sticking the chickens are glad to stay in their camper. A week or two ago I gave the camper one last good mucking out and a deep bed of new shavings. As long as the cold temps are here the deep bedding shouldn’t get too gross and it acts as a layer of insulation. I stir it around every few days and add additional shavings when needed. The camper has a handy hatch in the back that makes mucking out the old shaving that much easier.

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Sad news- my bees have already succumbed to the harshness of winter. I checked on them a while back while I was prepping the hive for winter and they had already devoured their store of honey. I didn’t have my camera with me but they were positioned headfirst in their comb, in what my resources say is a classic starvation position. They had plenty of natural food around them and I had been supplementally feeding them. I didn’t take any honey nor is there another hive nearby (that I know of anyways) that could have robbed them. My thought is that perhaps our warm season is too short for a package of bees to really have time to get established and really produce enough for our long cold winters. If I can convince struggling_along I think our best bet would be to purchase a nuc, or two. Of course with bees there are no guarantees.

On a happier note: PUPPIES!

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They are all doing well and growing plump. They’re quite fun to have around but… 9 dogs! The very thought makes me glad the puppies are being spoken for left and right. Still for now we can take advantage of all the puppy snuggle time we can get, right?!

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2 thoughts on “Winter Around the Homestead

  1. I didn’t know you had so many animals! Are they dwarf goats? Do you use them for milk? You just missed the goat’s milk soap give-a-way contest I did on my blog! My husband kept bees for several years and even down here in PA where it isn’t so frigid, ours wouldn’t always make it. Surprising that yours are dead already though.

    • The goats are Oberhasli. The small one is only about 6 months old so she is still pretty little. I do milk them- for our own use. Too bad I missed the give-a-way. I just tried my hand at making goat milk soap, but I need to wait a couple more weeks till I can find out how it came out. It would have been interesting to compare the two.
      We always have snow in October and it lasts till about the beginning of May! Pretty much 6 months of Winter! At least I don’t have to keep wondering and worrying for another 4 months….

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