Winter Update

Hi Internets! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

Sorry I’ve been so slack in keeping up here. The last year and a half has been a whirlwind. After losing George’s father suddenly in August of 2012, we’ve been pretty overwhelmed with a lot of things, not the least of which has been the settling of his estate – but thankfully, we are, as of the last couple of weeks, now in the final stages of completion with that.

I’ve been battling bronchitis since Thanksgiving, and being severely asthmatic already, it has made for a not-so-delightful experience this winter thus far. When the temperatures go below about 35 F, it triggers my asthma very badly on a normal basis. With the bronchitis, it has been an absolute nightmare. I am so thankful we decided not to milk year-round this year. My health simply would not allow it. As it stands, I ended up in urgent care right before Christmas, with pneumonia concerns. I am grateful that I didn’t have that, but this bronchitis has been relentless, and on the coldest days, George has had to do the chores solo, getting up very early before work to do the morning chores on those days. He is wonderful for many reasons, and his willingness to help out during these times is just one of those.

Even if my health were in a better place, this wickedly cold weather we’ve had would have made milking difficult. Starting in late November through our dryoff at the end of last month, the pulsator on our milk machine kept freezing up before I could complete all of the goats. I was also getting first degree frostbite (frostnip) in my fingers and hands while milking. It was taking a couple of hours on some of those days to get all of the feeling back to my fingers once back indoors. We also had to worry about the danger of frostbite on our girls udders. So while we are looking forward to having our fresh milk supply return in April, we feel confident that we made the right decision by opting not to milk this winter.

So far, the cold has taken two casualties in our herd. Unfortunately, we did lose two girls – but they both had weak immune systems already before the cold set in. We hope to not suffer any further losses. It was heartbreaking to lose Lily and Willow. 🙁 I can’t even begin to explain how much it hurts.

We got hit hard by both the ice storm last month and the polar vortex storm last week. Snow was up to our thighs by the chicken and duck coops and only slightly less deep over by the barn. I took some photos after the ice storm that you can see in the gallery below.

It’s kind of pathetic to me that the 42 F temperature today actually feels balmy, relative to the temperatures we’ve been enduring of late!

How has the winter been treating you in your area?

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