Monday, November 28, 2011

I sure wish it would freeze

We're out of the growing season now; any greenery that we have on the farm is what we'll have until next spring.  This is the time of year that we start breaking out the hay, and putting the animals into sacrifice areas or barns for the winter; to prevent the sod from being cut up by hooves. 
When it freezes life on the farm actually gets easier for me.  Yes, there's the chore of breaking the ice off the trough and getting water to various animals, but it makes the ground solid and the tractor doesn't sink in or make ruts.   We are very close to the sea, so we get a marine climate.  A hard freeze is usually a day or two, and then back to the refrigerator zone -- about 40 degrees f, the temperature you keep your refrigerator at. 
When it's a hard freeze it means the animals bedding stays dry, in better shape.  I think that they sleep better; the piglets stack themselves and squeal and grumble a little.  If they're chilled they cuddle up to mom; who is 400lbs of sleeping piglet love. 
The main pig herd sleeps together, touching sometimes, but out in the open.  Given the choice between a shelter and the open sky, when its cold, the pigs sleep under the stars.  Even if it's snowing, which surprises me.  You can see the frozen ground in the upper left hand corner of this picture.  It's cold, but this is what the pigs prefer. 
We also get a fair number of sea birds and migratory birds that use our fields for sleeping.   These swimming birds can't really roost, and I think that they come in and sleep on the fields because it's relatively safe from predators.  These seagulls have chosen a field that is entirely surrounded by field fence, and they're a good 100' from anything that could hide a coyote.  About the only thing that could get them are eagles.  These might be migrating, but I don't think so.  I think they're just resident gulls that are taking a break from their usual haunts.  Wish that they'd eat some starlings. 

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