This winter has been long and wet. The temperatures have only been in the extremes for us a few weeks this season which is normal, but what is not normal is the large amount of rain we’ve had. It really turns the whole farm into a muddy mess making projects nearly impossible to complete and regular maintenance almost pointless. Not to mention ugly. The farm right now is just that….ugly.
The chickens seem to get the worse deal of it. Despite having a fully enclosed coup to protect them from the elements the excessive wet conditions have turned their outside run as well as their indoor coup into a muddy mess. Normally we clean out the coup and rebed it once a month with the laying beds being cleaned out once a week. There was so much mud and water seeping up from the ground this winter that it was impossible to rack anything off the ground and adding more bedding was like throwing good money in the mud. The poor girls had to make due with their laying boxes and the roosting bars as the only dry places to be found.
BUT….this weekend we finally got a break. The weather was dry, warm, and sunny. Both Neal and I jumped on the opportunity to complete jobs that had long been neglected. The chicken coup finally got rebedded. The cow shed got scrapped. The dog kennels which have gone largely unused in the wet weather got put back together after being disassembled by a number of ice and wind storms. Neal even got a chance to work on our newly acquired grain wagon which was in need of some work.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying this peek into the coming spring weather. The cows lounged, lazily in the sunshine. The horses rolled repeatedly trying to help their winter coats shed out. The daffodils are showing off the first of spring’s colors and the tulips are starting to poke their heads out of the ground as well.
I know winter hasn’t completely left us. There is still a thin layer of ice on the water troughs in the morning and a few cool days in the forecast, but we hope that the extremes of winter are behind us. These kinds of days give us something to look forward to and remind us to prepare for the coming growing season. It and it’s busyness will be upon us in no time!
Happy Homesteading and God Bless!