It's winter here at the farm, and we're once again grumbling as we get back into the swing of raising cattle in the winter. Things we promised ourselves in early 2011 we'd get done by winter - like running water to the paddock and pasture and installing frost-free yard hydrants - didn't get done due to our Summer/Fall of Mourning. And now we're paying the price.
The weather has been dry but cold here the last couple of weeks, with several overnight temperatures dropping well below freezing (say, 21 degrees). Given our method of watering the cattle involves the outside hose bib and a 150' garden hose, let's just say it's been tough to keep the water trough filled for Sheila, Roxanne and Eiger. Last night the hose was frozen through the middle section, so Paul hauled 50 gallons of water by the 5-gallon bucket-full to get the trough reasonably full. See, cattle tend to drink more when it's cold, and we've been feeding the first haylage bale of the season, which also tends to make them want more water.
Thankfully, the hose was a little less frozen today. I had a tough time getting the water to flow, but finally realized that I could take the copper fitting off the end and whoosh, out came about a quart of cylindrical ice pieces! I filled the trough in no time and added the trough deicer for good measure. Those overnight temps are supposed to warm up a little bit through the next week (still in the high-20s to low 30s), but I suspect the deicer will be out for the long haul...and so will those darned buckets.
I told Paul that next year, I don't care *what* we have going on, we have GOT to get water lines installed! We are making this so hard on ourselves...and I shudder to think what it's going to be like next month when we bring Xoe home and have to manage two troughs as we separate her and Eiger from the rest of the herd. Oy.
Hose ice. Hoser ice? Would you like some ice with that, hoser?