Jan. 18th, 2012

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We received another couple of inches last night and this morning, so the accumulation is around 6 inches or so. Its hard to say with the wind blowing it around, which also makes it hard to tell when its snowing and when its just blowing.

The chickens are on strike, likely in support of the SOPA protest, I'm sure. They refused to leave the coop today, so Josh has provided water and feed in there for them inside. For the ducks, we've set up the bucket heater, handy thing that. I've collected a few cookie tins from the holiday season and will have Josh convert them into warmers for the metal waterers, which will be great for the Silkie pens. I do love the poultry folks, when it comes to cheap ingenuity, they are marvelous!

Thistle, aka Pirate Bunny, and the new Silkie cockerel (Lanceloof? Lancepoof?) are on their own in separate hutches without infrared heat, so we're swapping out water bottles roughly every 6-8 hours. At night, we check to make sure the new Silkie is upstairs in the boarded up hutch (yes, Silkies are exactly *that* stupid) to be out of he wind and snow.

I already have a waiting list for breeding pairs of the Lavender Orpington chicks. *cackle with glee* Likely going to swap out solid Silkies for them. Sadly, the smallest one did get trampled last night, its an unfortunate part of brooding that happens even with a good mamma hen.

Had a marvelous transcendent moment very early this morning, before 3am. I'd gone out to swap waterers and the owls were singing to each other. This is a pair that spends a lot of time on our property, so I joined in with a foot hoots and dove murmurs of my own. After some marvelous volleys back and forth in the cold, snowy night, I realized I couldn't feel my feet and poor Doodle was getting concerned (the motion detector light had gone out, stranding him in the darkness), so I reluctantly went back inside.

I never really mind this part of hobby farming. In fact, its probably one of my favorite things - heading into the coops and pens at night to check on the bedded down animals, clucking softly as I run a soothing hand over their backs, feeling their combs to check for frostbite, making sure they have water and once outside, the stillness of the world. Walking along with Gracie at my side, as she bounds through the snow, listening to the deer move along my neighbors' properties, that soft slice of owl wings as they cut through the night air.

I'd rather be out there, under the snow-covered trees, than practically anywhere else on earth.

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