Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Back Beauty

Below average cold and snow have befallen South Pork Ranch and yet our animals are unfazed. They have shelter. Usually three sided barns, hutches and run-ins. Each and every animal on our farm be it chickens, ducks, horses, donkey, cow or pig can be "indoors" whenever they like.

But usually what they like is outside. Case in point; Ennis the horse. She has the not one but TWO shelters she can lounge within. One is three side with the south side open to the best sun shine. The other smaller stall is right next to that one and has 4 sides with a small open doorway for coming and going.

It is rare for me to find either her or her annoying little pasture mate Doolin the donkey, in either of these abodes. Like last night, with the snow coming down so wonderfully, I had to call them in from the furthest part of their pasture, to eat dinner.

You can see by her back that Ennis has been outside for some time. I was always told that houses which have unmelted snow on the roof are those that are best insulated. If so it is apparent that Ennis must not be losing much heat and is probably warm and comfy inside. Her hair coat is thick this year, a sign of tons of snow?

Nosey Equine
I love watching her lately. Using any excuse to run it seems. She loves this cool (cool?!?!) weather of about 10 degrees and kicks up her heels at the dog, the donkey, the snowflakes. Oh how joyful a creature she is, how delighted she is in just being alive, having lots of run to run and the occasionally pile of dead grass to eat.

If only I could be so easily satisfied.


  1. Our mule & mini-horse are without shelter this winter (besides the grove of cedar trees, that is). Last winter we emptied out the hay in a section of the barn & put up panels so they could go in & out as they pleased. They didn't go in there unless I came and called them for a treat, and I know because I would sweep the limestone floor & wouldn't see a single hoof print in it. So this year hay went back in there. I *might* feel sorry for them if the temps get REALLY cold this year and put the panels back up, but until then, they seem perfectly fine outside. Once we get them down by the house to the "real" pasture, we'll have shelters built for them, but I tend to think they'll use the shelters more in the summer than the winter. Silly equines.

  2. Yes, I never understand why animals would want to lie on concrete, fur coat or not - but they do, and often!

    1. I'm not sure they WANT to as much as they are forced to at least in our country there are so many confinement farms here where concrete floors are the norm. In our early pig farming days before all our critters were born here and we bought from some of the confinement farms about 1/2 of our baby pigs would die...unable to cope with being outdoors at all

  3. i heard we are in for a big winter! for the first time in her 8 years, teddy is loving the snow and the cold. go figure!

  4. I've always thought that the horses out front (who have no shelter) look as miserable as sin in this weather; but maybe they are just pretending. There are 3 in the field, one of which escapes EVERY NIGHT. The rebel!

  5. You are talking 10 degrees Fahrenheit, aren't you?! And here am I thinking 5 degrees Centigrade is cold! Whatever the weather, I hope it's just the way you like it! The pictures you took are quite haunting and eerily Christmas-like...

  6. Our high on Thursday is supposed to be 20°F/~-7°C. I always wonder about the animals i see outside. The flock of turkeys that regularly visit the backyard, just scratch through the snow and eat.

    My up-the-street neighbor has an elderly horse who loves to be out in the snow. Bobbie's in her 30's now, but you wouldn't know it when she prances around, especially during the first snow. It's as if she's welcoming it back every year.