I let the goats out of the barn for some play time while I worked outside today. They've been in the barn for a few days, and they'll be in there for at least the weekend, so I knew they'd enjoy running around. They were very happy!
I didn't intentionally buy goat coats, but I bought a dog coat for Elmer that was too big, and I figured I'd try it on the goat. That's the orange coat. It fit perfectly, and the goats have done some shivering on these cold days. It has been so mild they haven't really grown a good winter coat. Since the orange one fit Ida so well, I went ahead and ordered the purple one for June.
They seem like they'll be great coats for the price (less than $20 each from Jeffers), but I did see Ida turn her head around and yank down the velcro strap closest to her head. I guess I should have expected that from goats.
Here's a little video clip I took earlier, when the goats were playing.
The sheep love this weather, and don't seem phased at all by the snow.
They just get extra straw in their shelter and lots of hay, along with their grain.
I don't put much straw at the entrance to their shelter, because they just drag it out. This shelter has held up SO well. One side is wood, but the other is made of pallets over t-posts, with a cattle panel roof covered with a tarp. We put this up quickly last year, because they needed more shelter space. It has held up beautifully, and I really love it.
The chickens got extra shavings in their coop, but other than that there's not a lot to do for the chickens.
The rabbits got fresh straw bedding. The adults have their own nesting boxes they can snuggle in, and the babies (well, they're "tweens" now) all snuggle together.
The hay is sort of exposed to wind and blowing snow, since the sides are all open. I hung a tarp on each of the two exposed sides to help keep the snow out of the hay, and also to keep the wind from blowing all the hay around. It's not totally enclosed, but it's better than it was, for sure.
The goats are warm and cozy in the barn, along with Kiki the barn cat. She has a heat lamp and loves to sleep under it. If it gets too cold, I can bring her inside (although she prefers being outside).
The dogs also got new coats, and they had a lot of fun playing outside today while I was working.
Their coats are the Ripstop Dog Blanket, from Jeffers. Buford has the 22", and Elmer has the 24". Oh, the goats have the 28".
Now the dogs are passed out on the couch as I type this. I need to go get my oil lamps and candles and put them on the kitchen counter. I've filled lots of jugs with water, and will fill a tub too, in case we lose power. We have a well, and will have no water, but I can still flush the toilet with water from the tub if needed. I also went to the library and got a new audio book and several books in case I feel like reading this weekend. I've got a lot to choose from....reading, watching movies, knitting, spinning, practicing on my ukelele. Yes, I have a ukelele. I got it for Christmas, but will write about that another day!