Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So Hot

Echo Officially Protests the Heat Wave

This past week has been horrible. The heat and humidity combined to make temperatures in the triple digits. After a few days of that, and everything was dragging. I feared for all my senior citizen critters, and tried my best to keep everyone alive. Fans, and extra water, and ice in water bowls, when I was home on the weekends. Boone got his smaller plastic pool moved into his daytime pen, so he could wade around if it got too bad. I cleaned out his big shed of all the straw and bedding, so he would have a cooler spot to lay inside. A few weeks ago, I added another 10 foot or so to his pen, so he could have more shade options.Heat Shimmers Across the Sheep Pasture

Eddie and Sue the two 'handicapped' yard chickens were heavy on my mind, but they made it through in pretty good shape. The other chickens free range during the day, so have allot of shade options. However, their house at night was beastly hot. I ended up losing one of my old Ameracuanas despite all my efforts. She looked liked she had just climbed off the nest box when she collapsed. All of my chickens are six years old or older, so it gets hard on them when the heat gets turned up. The sheep took the heat hard as well, and I worried I might lose some of them as well. So far they are hanging in there though. I have some girls that are very overweight (my big Dorset/Merino crosses, who never say no to food, and get fat on grass) as well as some that are getting older. The sheep stayed in the deep shade as much as possible, at times with mouths agape, panting hard. I waited until late in the evening to turn them on fresh grass, and even then almost had a few that had trouble processing all that gassy green grass in the intense heat. Old Dominque Hen

I rarely turn my air conditioner on, as I prefer keeping my windows open and enjoying the fresh air when I'm home. My air conditioner is very, very old and huge and noisy. Extremely noisy. However I was more than ready to kick it on, when this heat wave descended and decided to stick around. Unfortunately it wasn't cooling, so it was a pretty rough weekend. Then at some prodding from my Mom, I rechecked it all over and discovered that somehow the button for 'fan' had gotten pushed, and so once the proper buttons were reset, it has worked like a charm. Funny how that works. When it's this hot, I turn it on when I get home and shut off the back of the house, so it will cool down. Then when I put Boone out around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., I turn it off. Usually this will make it very comfortable to sleep. However during the worst of the heat wave, I would have to get up and plug it in around 3 or 4 a.m. and let it run until time to get up at 5:00 a.m., since it would get so oppressive inside, even with the fans turned on high.Half Ameracuana/Half Black Sex Link Hen
She is one of the 'young ones' at 5 years old

Cooler (high 80s) weather is suppose to be with us now for a few days, and I am hopeful that this intense heat will go away. Back in 1980 we had a terrible heat wave all summer---started in June, I think and lasted all the way into October. There was no breeze, no relief, and temperatures were over 100 every day. I was still living at my parents, and we didn't have air conditioning. I slept on the couch downstairs all summer instead of in my upstairs room. My grandmother was having health difficulties and my Mom tried to find an air conditioner for her. There were none to be found anywhere. Finally she tracked one down in a neighboring town, and my Uncle made a flying (knowing him, this isn't an exaggeration..ha) trip over there and got it for Grandma. Ever since that miserable year, I am always filled with dread when a heat wave sets in.

So the summer goes, it is August after all, but I still don't have to like it!


Anonymous said...

I am glad it hasn't been too hot here today!

Tammy said...

It's much better here too, Amy! Glad you guys are doing okay.