Pete's random thoughts

Monday, December 07, 2009

...and so begins the bucket shuffle

Yup, winter is here.

We had our first real snow fall that stuck a few days ago. Yeah, it is pretty, but it means that life changes for the next four to five months.

The biggest problem is the transfer of water. In the warmer weather, we use hoses, watering troughs and various other critter watering conveyances and sort of take them for granted. Once the temperature gets below freezing and stays there, however, I do a little dance routine I call the bucket shuffle.

Since there is only one classification of chickens that we keep over the winter (the egg birds and "pet" chickens...since the meat birds live in the freezer now), I have two water fonts to rotate. One thaws in the shop while the other goes out to the birds.

For the ducks, I do something similar with small plastic water troughs.

For the rabbits, I've got two sets of water bottles using the same system.

The goats, however, I haul 5-gallon buckets of water and fill up their trough until it gets totally frozen up. Then I'll hook up a 5-gallon heated electric bucket that keeps the water from freezing.

The good news for this winter is that I saw this coming and disconnected the hoses, then coiled them up for the winter, so hopefully I won't lose any to the snowblower.