Friday, February 10, 2012

Surviving the Cold

When we hear that an arctic front is moving south, we prepare for extreme cold.  We bank as much snow as possible against the house and barn walls to keep the cold out.  We also made sure the downstairs wood stove was ready to go, with a good supply of wood nearby.  Lighting the stove in the basement keeps the floor warm, which makes an incredible difference to the comfort level on the main floor, and it also keeps stuff from freezing in the cold room.

The horses were both born and bred in the Cariboo and don't seem to mind the cold.  We have horse blankets and space in the barn, but most winters, we don't use either of these things.  We just make sure the horses have warmed water to drink and give them extra hay.  When the temperature dropped to near -40 recently, I let them out into the area where we store the round bales of hay and they were able to free-feed all night long.  Now that it has warmed up and they're back in their paddock, Monty is protesting.

(photo by Laura Kelsey)


  1. I have no idea how you handle that kind of cold. My goats are due today and Tuesday. It's barely -7 Celcius and I'm panicking. When the mercury dips to -15 (which is about once a season) I threaten hubby that I'm going to bring all 4 goats, 5 cats, dog and 30+ chickens in the basement!

    -40!!!Put me on Valium.

  2. You get used to the cold, if you don't fight it. However, I too want to bring everyone into the house. How about the old European custom of living over the barn?