Saturday, 9 January 2010
Yet another day when the temperature failed to get above freezing. Today was spent, yet again, trying to keep all drinkers ice free. We have a system now, every morning the buckets which have frozen solid overnight are removed from the livestock areas, tipped upside down, in the hope that they will defrost enough to shake the ice out during the day and replaced with fresh buckets filled from the water tanks. During the day these have the ice broken on them every time anyone passes. Other than struggling to keep the hole, we have broken, in the water tanks open long enough to fill all the buckets in the morning the system is working the best we can hope for. We did manage to free one of the ponds of ice and fill with fresh water for the geese, the other I'm afraid will have to wait, the plastic is far too brittle to chance moving it.
For the rest of the day we have been preparing for the heavy snow forecast for the next few days.
The shed is full of hay and straw. I always feel more relaxed when I know we have plenty in store. We have bedded down the stable and filled the hay rack to provide extra shelter and food for the sheep, hopefully the water bucket in there may stay ice free for a little longer than the rest.
I am quite concerned about Annie. She is looking too thin and I can't help thinking back to Whitestripes last year. This year the sheep were kept off the wet land and were treated for fluke so maybe I'm just worrying a little too much. Her weight loss could possibly be due to the fact that she isn't interested in hay, in the same way as the others. Although she wasn't last year and didn't loose weight. The other more worrying possibility is that her liver was damaged with the fluke last year and she is struggling to maintain condition. We have started her on extra rations. Although she is well in herself my heart sinks whenever I look at her.
We have also been cutting as much firewood as possible to keep us warm over the next week or so.
There isn't much more we can do other than wait and see if the snow does arrive and keep the animals as warm, well fed and watered as we can.