Hooters Hall

Posts Tagged ‘snow’

No lambs, lots of snow

A week of obsessive, compulsive sheep watching and no lambs yet. The two ewes with prominent udders look about ready to pop and have developed a distinctly triangular shape from behind. The other ewes are younger and have longer tails so it’s a bit harder to get close enough to see what’s happening with their udders.

Part of the reason for lambing at the end of March / start of April was that we hoped the weather would be better than in January/ February. Obviously this weekend that turned out not to be the case when we, like most of the rest of the country  were hit with blizzards and icy gales. For most of yesterday the snow was falling horizontally. We woke up to a decent covering of snow but it’s already started to melt so hopefully will be gone by tomorrow. It’s still bitterly cold though especially in the wind.

We decided to keep the sheep out. They don’t seem to bothered by the snow and they are very close to the lean to barn, so if any lambs do arrive mid blizzard we can easily get them inside under the heat lamp if necessary.

All the other animals seem to take the snow in their stride as well. The chickens all move into the large coop when it’s cold, whereas normally they split themselves between the two coops. The pigs aren’t keen on frozen ground but quite happy to root around in snow. The ducks have now got used to the frozen pond and also like wandering around leaving duck trails in the snow. The snow seems to excite the horses they get quite frisky especially if it’s windy as well and Bonnie does like a roll in the snow.

Here’s some pictures of a snowy Hooters Hall this morning.

Pigs in Snow (and chickens and horses)

For once the met office got the forecast right and right on cue at 6pm last night it started snowing. After a few days of seasonally cold weather at Hooters Hall yesterday started off at a toe numbing -8°C. By late afternoon it was a comparatively balmy -2°C and the bright blue winter sky was rapidly obscured by clouds heavy with snow. We spent the day preparing for the snow; getting the poo pick done on the horses field, mucking out the chicken coops, filling up the feeders, topping up the straw in the pig ark  and making sure all the livestock had access to unfrozen water ( an endless job when it’s this cold).

And this is what greeted us this morning.

The chickens seemed a bit suspicious of the snow and one in particular has spent most of the morning perched on top of one of the feeders. The horses and the pigs don’t seem fazed by it at all though. Here’s a video of the pigs getting their feed this morning.

Snow aftermath

The big thaw started this weekend, although the cold snap seems to have returned with a vengeance today. We had quite a lot of snow, considering we’re in London. I’ve planted mainly native plants in the garden so most of them seem to have got through the cold weather without too much damage. Apart from the purple sprouting broccoli which basically keeled over with the weight of the snow and squashed the last of the leeks.

However, all was not lost, it took a lot of bamboo cane and string but I think I’ve rescued the broccoli.

 

The hedgerow border survived without any casualties and the holly is ready for making Christmas wreaths.

The chickens took matters into their own hands when it came to keeping warm. They refused to come out of the coop, and they piled all the wood chip from the floor of the coop into a massive mound in front of the nest boxes, basically sealing themselves into the nest boxes. They had food and water in the coop and overall seem to have survived without any problem. Most of the snow has gone now but they had another day in the coop today because the pop hole was frozen shut all day ! It couldn’t be budged even with a steel pole.

I’ve still got some chinese cabbages, kale, carrots and my cut and come again lettuce in the patio pots and they also seem to have survived a few days under a blanket of snow.