Monday, February 17, 2014

one of those mornings

       Yesterday's foray into the barn was not thrilling.  It was chilly.  Not wicked freezing cold, but 10 degrees or so.   I brought the chickens their scraps - they got left overs from last night's dinner - salad and left over spaghetti - their favorites.  As they were busy scrambling for the best bits, I filled the feeder and grabbed the waterer to change out the water.  I dumped the messy water and went to the water spigot to find it was pretty well frozen in place.  After a great deal of grunting and lifting, I managed to break the grip of the cold and lift the handle.  Nothing.  I pushed it up further.  Nothing  still.
       Damn! SOoo, with my father's influence in my heart, and the pocket knife he gave me for my 14th birthday in my pocket, I looked for a quick solution.  I found an empty milk jug on the table, cut off the top to make a scoop, then tried to open the door to the paddock.  The clasp on the chain was frozen solid.  After working on it for a bit, it moved enough to release the chain.  I stood up, and banged my head on the metal wall bracket. Ouch!  I went outside and filled the waterer with snow.  I figured that between the lamp in the coop and the heater that keeps the waterer from freezing in the winter, it would melt.
    I drove back to the house and came back with  a couple of gallons of fresh water and the hairdryer.  The birds were happy for the water, as the snow was not yet melting.  I stood for a while trying to melt the pipe from the ground up towards the handle of the hydrant, but in vain. Today my husband is researching the best way to fix and prevent the problem.
     Some mornings are going to be like this - frozen water, banged up head, and no eggs.   However, last night, under the nearly full moon, we gathered 8 eggs and then stood looking at the moon over the high pasture - it all balances out in the end. 

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