In the Game of Thrones series, a recurring theme is that “Winter is coming”, well, here in Kentucky, Winter is here, in spades. With temperatures hovering from six degrees in the morning to about 20 degrees during the ‘heat of the day’, and then dropping into the negatives at night, it is extremely cold. And because I have animals to care for – I’m out in it. Feeding twice a day, breaking ice in the ‘freeze proof’ waterers twice a day, doing whatever it takes to make sure our livestock make it through the freeze with no problems. It’s all in a day’s work. And despite the cold the animals are doing pretty well – especially the Belted Galloway cattle, they seem to love it!
Rosie, Our belted Galloway with frozen whiskers and frost on her fur
One of Our Male Alpacas Protesting the cold
I think this is one of the things that folks living in the city don’t realize about farming. Whether it’s freezing, or burning up, or whatever the weather conditions, you have to take care of the livestock. This is where animal rights activist totally miss it. I’ve known very few (if any) farmers who don’t work harder to take care of their livestock than they do themselves. The animals can handle the weather with their fur coats, but they burn off much more energy and need more feed and more water. The biggest challenge is water – in these temperatures even ‘freeze proof’ waterers will freeze! So twice a day we check the waterers, break ice, and basically find a way to make sure the animals have water.
Frozen “Freeze Proof” Waterer
So enough about the weather, here at Kentucky Meadows we are just grateful for the opportunity to take care of our livestock, regardless of the weather. Of course, it will be even better when it gets up above freezing! Despite the weather, it’s been really great this last week over the holidays. Our company shuts down for Christmas, so I am at home all day, which makes it great for feeding. I can take plenty of time to check out all of the sheep, goats, alpaca, poultry and cattle to make sure they are doing okay. But starting this Wednesday, it was up before dawn to get the feeding done before driving downtown into my ‘office job’. It’s kind of schizophrenic – farmer outside of work hours and weekends, technology entrepreneur during the day. But it keeps things interesting… and varied! I hope that you and your family are doing well and keeping warm during this weather.