Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winter Prep

Before I left for Portland last week, I had to take care of some winter preparation for the birds - Snow was coming!

My neighbor had agreed to pick up eggs and make sure the turkeys didn't run out of food, so that wasn't an issue. The problem was the mid-20's temps that were predicted. I have 2 heated bases for waterers, but you can't use plastic water fonts on them. I had acquired a couple of 3 gal. metal fonts at a feed store closing, but the turkeys were going through 7 gal. of water in about 2 days - I was to be gone for 5.

I have two 8 gal. metal fonts, and the two 3 gal. and assorted plastic fonts. I have 4 pens and 2 heated bases... How was I going to make this work?

The ducks got their 50 gallon stock tank cleaned out, the waterer removed from their pen (one of the 8 gallon ones), and a ramp up to the stock tank. I wasn't sure they were actually getting in there, and since this would be their water source, I decided to make sure they could. The duck is much smaller than the drake, and I wasn't sure she could get up to it, even standing on her tippy-toes!

The peafowl got a heated base and a 3 gal. metal font. They are very, very thrifty birds. They go through about 3 gallons in a week and I fill their feeder even less than that!

The chickens got one of the 8 gallon metal fonts on a heated base, along with their 7 gal. plastic one set out where the sun could hit it and perhaps melt any ice that developed. They also got one of the 3 gallon metal fonts as a back up.

The turkeys got a new heated base, one of the 8 gallon metal fonts, and 4 other fonts, a mixture of plastic and metal - 21 gallons available, all told.

The reason this is such a pain is that there is only one faucet for outside water, and it's in the pumphouse. With the weather freezing, there would be filling of waterers and then draining of hoses to be done. I didn't want my neighbor to have to deal with all the walking up and down the hill (she's in very good shape, but it's just a bother).

After returning home early because of a 2nd snow storm predicted to hit on Monday (which it did), I'm now, a week later, finally having to fill waterers again. Since the turkeys' date with destiny is Tuesday, I'll take all the extra ones out of their pen, and go back down to the single, heated one. Everyone else will continue with what they have.

Some gratuitous turkey pictures:

Mr. Big

Mr. Almost Big

some of the flock


Ruth Dixon said...

Frozen water is one thing I don't have to worry about here on the Oregon coast. I don't envy you there. But your turkeys are beautiful, and I bet they'll taste darn good too.

Theresa said...

Water is one of the additional struggles here too, but it's worse back east where temps drop well below freezing and stay there, for like months...
Here, over night, a few days of true bone chilling cold and then mostly the water tanks free up during the day at least. Those heated water buckets are life savers though and stand duty from October until late April. They are a drain on the electric bill.