Keeping Cows on Hoth

“Your cow will freeze before you reach the first marker!”

“I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”

I like to make a note of weather extremes. Right now we should be facing our coldest weather of the year and sure enough we have a wind chill of -21 today (-29C for the rest of the world). That’s pretty cold. All schools are cancelled and the cows are in the barn and we aren’t going anywhere. Feel free to make the conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius in the image below.


Click image for source.

Full moon right now. Mornings are clear, bright and cold. Did I mention it’s cold? It’s cold.


The main layer flock are in an unheated hoop house. That’s really not a bad place to spend the day. Usually we see a cat or two hanging in a nest box. The cows are in the barn. There are no pigs on the farm. We have a roaring fire going in the stove. The only things left out in the cold are the few remaining elderly layers. We will give them some extra fluffy bedding for the eggmobile and that’s that. They tend to stay close to the house and out of the wind. They need to go into a nice, warm soup pot.


It’s cold. Cold! The wind pinches your nose like an annoying uncle and won’t let go. I don’t like it. I hope that’s clear. I always wish for winter when I’m putting up hay in August. It seems so much easier to stay warm than to stay cool. But now I’m dreaming of a hot summer. The kind of heat you can’t even escape from in the pond.

The biggest problem we have is keeping water in front of the cows. I broke a hose a couple of nights ago. Since then I actually bought a new short hose! and we are keeping it with us at the house, carrying it back and forth. In our coats. It’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.

Julie cried this morning. She couldn’t get the chicken house door open. She thought she broke the spigot getting water for the chickens (she didn’t). She hurt her back carrying a bale of straw she shouldn’t have been carrying (ongoing injury). We think she’s coming down with something…she has been achy and slugginsh for a day or so. And tired. She cried. I hate it when she cries. I hate it when she cries and I’m late for work. Things are OK now though. Should be above freezing on Sunday bringing 1-3″ of ice pellets. Can’t wait. I hope she spends today on the couch by the wood stove.

Just a quick note, Aunt Marian said if we see -10 after Christmas we won’t have a peach crop. Actually, Aunt Marian said that her mother said…

7 thoughts on “Keeping Cows on Hoth

  1. Hoth seems like an unusual reference for Farm School Marm 🙂

    Brrr….sounds a little chilly in your neck of the woods. The hose doesn’t sound fun at all, nor the uncle pinching your nose.

    There’s a rule about crying, we only do it when it’s not the right time. We hate it too. We don’t want to do it. Sometimes it’s not even when we’re sad or unhappy. Though it sounds like maybe Julie had a crappy start to the day and perhaps could do with staying curled up with a quilt and a cup of soup. And she might just cry at the thought of that because I would if I felt sick and had no option but to keep going. It’ll pass. like the could – just not soon enough for our liking.

    Hope it warms up soon.

  2. Is that you HFS disguising yourself/posting as Farm School Marm today? So the Ice Planet weather I sent you from the NW has finally arrived. That pH paper I threatened to send you isn’t looking so bad now instead of this – eh? Lol Our wind chill today is just about the same as yours at –31C/-23.8F and schools are open and it is business as usual being a bit warmer than the –40C/-40F wind chill we have had for about a wk now (where is the El Nino weather we are supposed to get?) Severe weather warnings do not start here until we reach –40C in actual temp or wind chill. I don’t recall school ever being closed due to cold weather, once in a while due to amount of snow as the school buses cannot get through on the roads. All that said you are not used to this weather and kids might not be properly dressed so school should be closed down there. I openly complain that they do not declare snow days /cold days here – why do people have to go to work/ school when it is –40C? Oh yeah because we get too many of them and nothing would get done if we closed down every time it was that cold – sigh…

    Tips – drive everywhere you can to save your exposure to the elements. Exposed skin in –28C/-18.4F to –39C can freeze in 10- 30 minutes, or –40C/-40F to –54C can freeze in 2-5 minutes = frostbite so saving that 3 minute walk to the barn is worth it. Wear snow pants or Carthartt insulated overalls or coveralls Cover all skin – wear a winter balaclava or toque and scarf covering your whole face. If you need to be out for longer periods use Hothand Hand Warmers in your gloves and boots.

    My favorite is keep a catchy tune in your head that quickens your step rather than dragging along through the drudgery of the penetrating freezing cold. (Don’t sing or whistle as that draws more cold air into your body) A good one for feeding on cold days like today – Disney’s “Be Our Guest” with “Be our guest! Be our guest!, Put our service to the test, Tie a napkin round you neck, cherie, And we’ll provide the rest” and later “No one’s gloomy or complaining, While the flatware’s entertaining, We tell jokes, I do tricks, With my fellow candlesticks” Your trick of the day is to get er done before you freeze – Stay Warm!

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