Water Barrels in the Winter

It’s cold outside!
Echo has a big heater inside her called a ‘rumen.’ Cows have 4 stomachs and one of them (the rumen) produces a lot of heat. We make sure Echo has plenty of food and water so she stays warm even when she’s covered with snow.
JJ has a warm fur coat on.
Her coat helps keep her warm in the winter.
She doesn’t mind the snow!
Scout has a warm fur coat, too.
His coat keeps him warm, too.
You can tell that his fur keeps him warm because the snow is on his back.
When you wear a coat the snow stays on the outside of your coat, too.
Midnight usually stays inside the barn when it’s snowing and cold.
She has a warm fur coat, too. She doesn’t like the snow even though she has a nice coat.
She likes to find a dry place in the sun to warm herself.
She’s about 10 years old, that’s very old for a barn cat.

Water is really important for animals. They need to have water to keep healthy. It’s been very cold outside so their water freezes.

We use electric water heaters and electric buckets for the water.

Do you see the round piece of metal at the bottom of the bucket?
That is a heater that keeps the water warm enough that it doesn’t freeze.
The animals are a little sloppy and they’ve dropped hay into their water.

This bucket has an electrical chord that plugs in.
The bucket has a heater inside the bottom, you can’t see it
because it’s enclosed inside the plastic.

This is a special hose.
The hose has a heater in it!
It keeps the water from freezing inside the hose.
That’s important because if there is ice in the hose we can’t use it.
If we can’t use the hose then we have to carry buckets of water to fill all the barrels.
That’s a lot of work! We would have to carry 14 or more buckets of water every day
to fill up all the barrels. 

Water is important for healthy animals. If they have enough clean food and water they can stay warm and healthy during the winter, even when they live in a barn with no heaters.

There is also a heater in the water that the chickens drink, but the chickens don’t mind eating snow if they aren’t in the pen. The cows, sheep, and goats don’t like to eat snow or peck at ice to get their water so we make sure they always have water, not ice, in their barrels and buckets.

Heating water takes a lot of electricity so this year we put solar panels on
the roof of the barn. They help pay for the extra electricity we
need to keep the water from freezing.
We have a great place for the solar panels.
Not everyone has as nice a place for the solar panels as we do!
The little tree by the barn has solar lights, too!
I love turning the Christmas lights on when I do the barn chores at night.
Especially during this holiday season remember that….

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