Posts Tagged With: Texas Winter

The Next Morning

Despite the little sleep I got last night, it seems everyone else on this little farm did well. We still live in our little bubble that seems that most weather goes north or south of us. Thankfully, the worse of this did the same. During the night it was mostly north and this morning mostly south. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t get anything. We did get some icy rain, high winds, and cold. But when compared to the prediction, not bad at all.

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The horses chowing down

We have three horses right now. Candy is actually ours in the far right stall, and who you can’t hardly see. In the middle is Poppy’s Red. We are fostering her and she is quite the old lady. Well into her 20s. After fostering a couple of horses that moved on quickly, Candy was not a happy girl, so we are fostering Poppy as a long term friend for Candy as few people want to adopt 20+ year old horses that can’t be ridden. Then Mark received Brooklyn, on the left, as a foster as she is just a sweet girl and can be ridden. We did get all their coats on before this began. Candy is not a coat liking girl but was actually easy last night. Must have known she would need it. They did get extra this morning as I don’t know how much grazing they will get out of this day. This part of the barn is well protected from about all weather we get so they will probably hang out here the whole day.

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Sheep and their ice shield

The sheep started the night out, laying out in the pasture near the gate where they like to sleep. I was hoping, as I heard the storm, that they had all moved in to the sheep shed quickly. This morning they were all there and dry. The tarp on the corral panel is a sheet of ice. It is permanently in that position till it thaws out. After being out there, I learned that it did its job well. It was dry and much warmer inside behind it than on the outside. I think the babies must have appreciated it. Ruth, our spunky girl who had a bout of being sick and blew off her whole fleece as a result, is even doing well. We wonder if she didn’t get her growth stunted as a result of being sick or if it is because she just doesn’t have the wool that the others have, she looks so much smaller. She has gotten used to her dog coat and mom constantly pushing it back up where it belongs. Her fleece is growing back in but mom still worries over her being warm in this weather so she keeps on her coat.

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A cold dreary morning

I think the above picture best shows what the morning looked like out there. These four did not head out with the others to graze. James often hollers at me. I really think he’d prefer being a house sheep, if I would give him the option. So anyway, I often end up going out and leading him out to where the other sheep are grazing and leaving him with them. This time I lead the four out and everyone thought they needed to follow me back out. Couldn’t sneak away when every step you take crunches under you feet. So they all ended back up at the shed but are out grazing once again at this time.

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So what about the chickens?

If ever there was an animal that points to a Creator, it is the chicken. A most marvelous creature that beggars belief that anyone would believe they came about just by chance. These girls were all ready for the chilly outdoors this morning. When I opened the coop, I put in their food and thought only a wise bird would stay in where it was warm rather than head out. But these girls are tough. God gave them down and feathers that when they puff them up they can keep cozy when out and about. And for them foraging is so much more fun than eating out of a dish. So off they went hunting for bugs. I’m sure they are spending time back under their favorite bushes as well. They have their spots out there to get out of the weather.

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Pullets didn’t take long to learn where to hang out

And the young pullets? Nope. Not staying in the coop. But they didn’t take long at all, when they were allowed to roam free, to figure out the best place to hang out whether it is cold or hot. Yep, the patio. So back in the protected corner with food mom brought for them, they hung out at first. Though they have also learned that if you really like to eat living bugs, the other side of the patio is the wood pile and if you just stand and peck all day you will get a belly full.

So I’m thanking the Lord we are all well and this weather hasn’t taken anyone down yet. The wind has picked up again and looking out the window I can see the sheep have come back to their shed. Glad that it is a shelter for them. Reminds one of the hymn A Shelter in a Time of Storm by Vernon Charlesworth.

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,

A shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide,

A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat,

A shelter in the time of storm;

We’ll never leave our safe retreat,

A shelter in the time of storm.

chorus:

O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A weary land, a weary land;

O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A shelter in the time of storm.

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Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Day Before the Storm

I know when I read this years hence, I will wonder that nothing has happened in so much time. Stuff has happened but nothing that I’ve recorded here. But this morning I decided to take some pictures.

I married a Texan. I learned later that Texas is a Siren that calls all her boys that wander away, to come home at some point and then they will never wander again. So yes, I live in Texas and after 14 and half years here, we are actually having close to a real winter. We’ve had snow, high winds, and cold weather. Of course, this is the winter that I have animals to worry about as well.

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Working on the coop

We have a big, wet storm coming in late tonight. It is headed our way from the Hill Country of Texas. It is to get down in the 20s (which has happened already this winter), but it is also to have sleet and rain with it. Not fun for those of us safe in houses, let alone the animals. So I have been busy making their homes a bit warmer. Here is the first load of hay coming to the chicken coop. Needless to say, the girls were quite interested in what mom was up too, and what they could find in that hay. They were all over it and checking out the work being done.

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Thesis II checking out what mom’s done with the new decorating

Yesterday afternoon,while it was somewhat warm (relative to other temperatures of late), I redid the sheep shed. I worried about the sheep and the sleet. During an earlier storm that came in with such high cold winds right out of the north, I had fixed a barrier in the shed for them. We had set up some corral panels which enable us to close off an area if needed to keep some in or some out. I had covered the outside of the panel for them but being sheep they really didn’t like going in there through a small opening. They like a bit more open area and easier escape if the need were to arise. So this time, I cleaned and sorted and worked my tail off for my babies.

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New look to the sheep shed

Well, we shifted lots of hay, cleaned out poop, and moved the panels to the other end, and tied on the tarp again. Would they be happier with a more open feel and mom happier that they could still get inside and relatively out of the sleety rain that is coming? Actually, it seems that it did win last night. This morning, they were all inside and seem to have slept inside the shed all night. Something they don’t do often. I think it was a win for a cold night as I did have quite a bit of manure to get out this morning so it doesn’t pile up too quickly. I’m hoping to have it fairly in good shape so if it is downright nasty out, I can do a quick check on them, give them some feed, and head back into my warm house. Lots of hay in there. I think it will work. Of course, being sheep and a landrace breed, they probably won’t care or need half of what I did but they won’t be left out under the trees, finding which side of the land to lay down. On the high wind day, they spent a good bit of their time on the low side of the tank where it was sheltered some. Hopefully they will like their home better for not getting all wet and cold. This storm is coming in from the right side of the shed so it shouldn’t come in the front like the high wind did.

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Early morning the day before

So this morning was a foggy wintery morning. If it wasn’t that the sun rose and her light could penetrate it easily, it would have been quite dreary. But what will we wake up to tomorrow? What will a picture from in front of the sheep shed look like then? We will know soon enough. Oh, and I know it barely shows but the bridge was a project this vacation that was completed. The rails were treated and painted black and new boards put down to walk across. Interestingly, the sheep will step up on it but won’t walk out farther than there is land underneath it. I’m happy as I worried they would walk out on it and fall in the tank. But it seems they’re smart enough to not do that.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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