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Water Struggles...FROZEN!




Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 16 January 2024…

Hey Y’all!

Good afternoon and happy frigid Tuesday from Free Missouri! Or should I say Frozen Missouri? It’s been below freezing now for days with the lows reaching below zero with windchills near -20. The sun is shining today, which is helping but the temps are still around 10 degrees. So, although it may be a “bright, bright sunshiny day,” you’ll still freeze your keister! The animals are doing well in the arctic conditions…the humans…well…. The top pic is Shelley and I yesterday morning about to feed the hogs. The next pics are the hogs enjoying their breakfast. You can see their hut in the background. It has straw in it and all 8 of them pile inside. When we drive up, they lazily emerge, steaming warm, to do their duty of eating their breakfast. The next pic is just a shot of the gate/path to give you a ‘feel’ for the temps. The next pic is the cows taking advantage of the trees to block a bit of the wind. The water troughs we set out for the sheep froze overnight so we busted holes in them. The ice on top helps insulate it to keep the water thawed. That said, with it staying below freezing and the temps dipping as low as they have, the water underneath still froze. The following pics are the beef cows with snow on their backs. When you see livestock with snow and/or ice on their backs, that is a really good sign that their hides are working as they should. The snow means their bodies are totally insulated such that their body heat doesn’t even melt the snow on their backs! The birds are good, egg production is low/none, but that is expected. The dogs are LOVING the cold. Lucy was looking for water to get into this morning so she could cool off.


We are struggling with the water situation for the animals. On the good side, we still have water in the house. On the not so good side, we’re hauling water around the farm in 20 gallon buckets. Our frost-free cattle waterers are, well, frost-free to a point. We’ve reached that point. The hose attachments we use to distribute water are frozen. I broke one valve trying to open it. In a few days, when it thaws, we’ll replace it. The waterers themselves are sort-of working. The one with the dairy cows is still flowing from the valve but the floating balls are constantly freezing so that unless we break them lose the cows can’t drink. The one with the beef cows froze overnight, completely. We made a couple of trips this morning hauling water to them. When we brought them water this afternoon, we found the valve was thawed (thank you sunshine!), so we just needed to break the balls free. Some of the sheep even figured out how to get a drink out of the waterer. I think the biggest issue for us is that we believed we were ready for the cold. This bout is just a bit more severe and longer than what we were prepared to handle. We’ve been thinking about what we can do differently in the future so that we aren’t dealing with these water issues. So far, we’ve come up with dumping water troughs in the evenings so there is at least room for water in the mornings. We discussed moving the cows and sheep closer to the house so we could plug in a tank heater and drop it into a trough but the freeze-proof spigots on the outside of the house are both frozen, so we wouldn’t be able to fill the trough. Thankfully, it will be near 40 degrees tomorrow and Thursday so things will begin to thaw before it drops back to single digits Friday night. There are so many farmers who are having way worse temps than we are, so certainly not whining, just sharing the struggles. I hope you are staying warm and your animals have water!


Yesterday’s episode of the Dust’er Mud Podcast was a Q&A session where we discussed the difference between the keto diet and the drug Ozempic. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIIc1AApRKs&t=1s


Cheers!

Psycho & Shelley

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Guest
Feb 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hey guys. During this cold weather spell, we had issues with our pressure tank and we were without water for 4 days. We live in Gainesville. We only have horses and a few chickens, but still quite the pain. Had to "borrow" water from our neighbor. You might want to check this out, https://www.freezemiser.com/

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Thanks for the recommendation!! I just checked it out and it looks like a great solution! Thanks again.

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rcgable
rcgable
Jan 17

Y’alls temps are way worse than ours no doubt about that! And like you I thought I was ready for the cold that was coming to west Alabama! I bought water heating pads for the chicken waterers, a heat element for the cattle trough and 200’ of extension cord to get the power to the waterers. The chicken waterer still froze and the hose to the trough froze. The heat element in the cattle trough worked pretty good only about 15% of the top was frozen.


My boss and I were talking about the weather this morning when I was telling him how cold it was here (he lives in Tampa). He told me we all get to choose our…


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