What I have learned from No Power and Cold Weather....

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by UnttouchableRose, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. UnttouchableRose

    UnttouchableRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Blountville, TN
    One major disadvantadge to the house fire was that we lost power to our barn, since that day we haven't seen a day about 35 for a high on top of that we have had 5 inches of rain, 1 inch of ice and 3-4 inches of snow. So I've learned a few things and thought I would share...

    It's long but what I have learned in 3 weeks time and I hope you find it humourous.

    The horses water buckets- the blue, green, purple ones freeze harder and faster than the red, burgndy and black ones. (I guess this has to do with them being warm colors or attracting what little heat is left on this Earth.)
    Currently the only use I have for a twitch is to bust water buckets, hold the chain really close because it busts the snot out of your knuckles. Also WEAR gloves or your hand freezes to the wood and you have to go sit in the truck to thaw your hand out.
    No matter how much pipe insulation you have around the pipes, then no matter how much filler insulation you stuff around the pipes, then cover them with a big wooden box, then stick a big hefty rug over it, it will still freeze and freeze solid, and these are FREEZELESS spigots! However, if you take a Weatherbeeta turnout and wrap around them, your good.
    I need to buy stock in propane torches, otherwise we would have not had water at the barn the past week.
    Chicken poo FREEZES and is like walking on marbles.
    Chucking cinder blocks into water tubs should be a sport. I'm getting really good at it (the twitch doesn't work for the big tubs)
    Do not wear tennis shoes to the barn. When your busting buckets and you make a big splash your toes become icicles easily or when the water finally does start running out of the spigots and you make a mad dash to cut it off and you flood your feet, it's COLD.
    Horses no matter how much they want to can not ice skate I've tried telling them and they don't get it. Have an emergency plan for when the brother or the ahem... heaviest horse you have goes skating into the pond and falls in. Not just looking for water but just because he can. He walked past his water tub to do it! Thankfully, he didn't go far and we got him out without injury. (For anyone worrying, they do not have access to this generally I was letting them in to go to the barn)
    Generator is a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL thing, but it's LOUD, forget hearing your phone ring, forget carrying on a conversation in the barn and just go ahead and give the horses hay because someone else is going to too.
    Canned dog food for Ben: It freezes solid, like no fork can be stuck in it. The generator exhaust cooks it very nicely in about an hour though, be sure to let it cool or the great big white dog gets mad when he burns his tounge.
    Round Bales- they are frozen solid still not even the horses can get through them. I hate square bales but they are coming in handy these days.
    Wheel Barrow- when it ices it over and the axel freezes don't dare try to push it. Because it breaks the axel and you are stuck trying to find a wheel barrow in January. Anyone know where to get a plastic 6 cu ft. wheel barrow? No lowes, Home Depot, or other hard ware store around here has one! So it's muck buckets for us and it is miserable cleaning 11 stalls with a bucket!
    After you have finished your chores and go to step into the truck, knock the ice off your shoes or you will be catapulted under the truck holding a basket full of eggs which are now broken nicely on your chest. Running boards are SLICK.
    Oh yes cherish your barn gloves because when they are gone you will miss them. Never again will I find a pair that was water proof, freeze proof, easy to get on, able to hold muck fork without it spinning out of your hand from the slickness and the wheel barrow goes sailing away from you.
    Having a tempermental diesel can take up a lot of time, when it's cold, this truck needs to move to Florida. If it's below 25 it must be plugged up and begged to start.
    Plan to do barn time at a good nap time, stick baby in truck, turn on his favorite music back him up to the barn door and get to work you have approximately 1 1/2 hours before he's awake and hungry.
    This is all for now feel free to add if you want because I am SURE I'll be back to add more. It's currently 2 degrees and I haven't even got the truck started.
  2. helmstead

    helmstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    [​IMG] Great mental imagry!

    A couple years ago, in the dead of winter, my neighbors TWH mares got out (weeelll she left their gate open, so I guess she let them out, LOL) on her $3m estate. They proceeded to run with the freedom in their hair for about an hour. Well...my neighbor found one, but just couldn't locate the other. Finally someone noticed a huge lump on the swimming pool. The other mare had attempted to run across the pool's tension cover, and it didn't hold [​IMG]. She fell in the deep end, then made it to the shallow end, where the cover was still attached, and was just standing there. She exited using the steps, haha. The mare was shocky and had some abrasions, but was fine. The POOL...on the other hand, had to be completely refurbished. Apparently high end rock liner and steel horse shoes don't mix.
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

    Oct 16, 2008
    sounds like a typical day up here.[​IMG]

    "house fire" ??? sorry to hear that..

    the rest was funny,, can relate.[​IMG]

  4. spookyevilone

    spookyevilone Crazy Quail Lady

    Oct 5, 2008
    Grip tape is the best invention ever for slippery running boards. My brothers are completely wound in it, ever since he slipped off a running board and broke his tailbone.

    Sorry about your luck! The post is funny cuz most of us can commisserate with part of it! [​IMG]

  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    First let me say..HOUSE FIRE!? I hope everyone is ok..and it was not a BIG fire! Im sorry....but I have to laugh at your story. Im sure you were and are not laughing, because you are living it. Hang in there....spring is on the way!!
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Your posts is very funny. I am also very sad to read of what has befallen you. [​IMG] Someone out here cares and prays for you and yours.
  7. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Sorry for your misfortune!

    But saw wheel barrow at Sears Hardware this past weekend.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry you're having such a sucky week!

    If the sun ever comes out, turn your frozen water buckets upside-down in a sunny (preferably wind-protected) area. If possible, you can also put a sheet of clear plastic over them, weighted down. This may not melt the ice *out* of them (although sometimes it will), but at least it loosens the ice enough that it bangs out MUCH more easily, as long as you do it before the sun goes down.

    If the house has heat, you can also bring buckets in there to thaw the most seriously frozen ones.

    If your frost-free faucet has iced up, it is because the bottom is not draining properly. They are normally good down to at least -20 or so, assuming you do not use a hose. Nothing much you can do about it right now, but woudl be a useful project to fix it next summer. (Me too, btw -- I have made a little styrofoam cover for mine that bungees on, and cover it with a feedbag as well in extra-cold weather)

    Best ice-breaking tool I know of is a piece of rebar. Use it to punch a bunch of perforations in a circle (ish), then stomp with your foot (if you don't mind getting splashed) or whack it iwth a piece of scrap iron or wood. Piling snow or stall-cleanings up around outdoor watering tubs will help decrease how badly they freeze; also if you leave a plastic milk- or water jug floating in the water tub, it will be easier to break the ice. The milk/water jug will get somewhat scrunched up and have to be replaced periodically but it makes breaking thick ice much easier IME.

    Good luck, hang in there!,

  9. UnttouchableRose

    UnttouchableRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Blountville, TN
    I need to do some catch up on here. First off I haven't been able to log on from my old computer so hadn't been on since November. January 1st at 12:15 am my house burnt to the ground. Gone poof kapoot, nothing left but a floor and a few walls. My water to the barn ran through my kitchen, that's where it keeps freezing and it's been so cold the spigots have frozen too.

    My spigots are not draining because my whole barn has flooded from a near by pond. It's ran straight up the waterline into the barn. I could go on and on about everything I have had go wrong but no since in complaining.

    Not to mention my insurance is not going to cover a vast majority (long story, but our insurance can't find our policy we had and has cheated us out of 75,000) and we can't tear the house down to actually fix the water until my insurance finalizes.

    I don't have time to drag buckets out and let them thaw, I do that on the weekends but can't during the week.

    I've used everything to break ice but my favorite seems to be the twitch and cinderblock. The twitch actually works better than anything else I have tried.

    Life will get better come spring but until then I'm just going to have to tough it!
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007

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