Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's gettin' hot up in here.

It's been about a month since we've had any measurable rainfall here, and daytime temps have been stuck in the upper 90's for some time, yesterday was 100 degrees. Today we are supposed to hit 101 with a heat index of 120+ and unbearable humidity. It has been a  huge challenge to keep the animals cool. I have several fans in the sheep barn, and we added two more high velocity fans a couple of days ago. The fans help, but they can only do so much when they are just moving hot, soupy air around. The sheep keep their noses plastered to the fans all day and then go out to graze at night after the sun goes down.

I also have sprinklers running all day over the barns to cool them down.

The chickens are having a very difficult time as well. I lost my big Blue Cochin rooster and one of my Easter Egger hens in spite of my efforts to keep everyone comfortable : (. 
The chickens are all walking around with their wings up, trying to cool themselves.

I have a sprinkler going into the chicken run, and over their barn to cool it too. The chickens find some escape from the oppressive heat by picking around in the puddles.

Even my little Barn Swallow baby is lifting himself up out of the nest to stay cool. He is an only child so he is doing pretty siblings to heat the place up.

Rooster Cogburn and Swagger seek shade under the apple trees....and beneath the weeds in my overgrown garden during the heat of the day. That's why I left all those weeds in there....yeah...that's it.

The horses are a little tougher to keep cool. I have fans in their barn as well, but the fans don't offer much relief in this weather. I hose the horses down with cool water a couple of times a day. Jasmine feels the need to taste the water as it comes out of the hose, making it kind of difficult to spray the rest of her body down.

Then, of course, after she is all clean and fresh, the obvious thing to do next is to roll around in the dirt and replace all the gunk that just got washed off.

  Dead horse.

Aaaannnd shake it all off.
Ande has his own way of keeping cool. He has his sprinkler...

...and his swimming pool, albeit a little small for him.

Sometimes he likes to combine the two for that true 'water park' experience.

He is, however, not too excited about the prospect of sharing his water park with Emma and Jolly Ball.

We have chances of rain in the next couple of days and temperatures are supposed to be more had better cool off because I promised my critters that if we can just get through today, we will be OK.
I hope it's cooler wherever you are!
Now I have to make jam for Farmers' Market. YAY! Boiling water and hot, molten fruit!


The Little Red Hen said...

Beautiful Pictures! Hope everyone survives the remainder of the heat wave. 1 more day and then it sounds like it should cool off - (if you call 89-92 degrees cooler. Its better then this!!

Kelly said...

I'm having the same problem in Southern WI! Last night we refilled the kiddie pool for the camelids and both Maremmas were splashing around in the small stream that I made when I dumped the hot water out of the pool before refilling. Chickens are good so far. Hot, but since the coop in under a shade tree, it's a bit bearable in there for them. Hate this heat, my pastures are now toast.

Rose H (UK) said...

Sorry that you and your beautiful animals are having to suffer the dreadful heat - though on the upshot, you do have some gorgeous photos;o) Love the sheep in the fan club!

Michelle said...

I contemplated putting on my polarfleece jacket because the breeze coming through the window is a bit cool. I'd duck and run for cover, but I know you all are too hot to chase me down! ;-)

Karen Anne said...

I'm sorry about your rooster and hen.

I can't imagine being a fur being in 100 degree weather.

Wracking my brain to think of ways to keep them cool, but not coming up with much except portable air conditioners or trays of ice cubes in front of the fans.

Kelly said...

Oh, you are a meanie Michelle. lol

Teresa said...

Hope you are all hanging in there. I keep telling my animals to hang in there too. We still don't have electricity back to the barn after our storms last week, so I can't even put fans out there. Lots of fresh water. I wish the llama would let me trim his fur off too. Hopefully, we'll get the cool down they keep talking about. Stay safe.

Sue said...

I think you're doing a pretty terrific job of trying to make the animals more comfortable in this heat. Sorry about the lost chickens-you certainly did all you could.

Judy T said...

So sorry you lost a rooster and hen. It has been so hard to see my young chickens panting and standing there pathetically with their wings outstretched. I out an extra water dish in the coop and put frozen 2 liter bottles of water in it. I noticed the ones standing in the water weren't panting.
Actually, today didn't seem quite so bad as yesterday here. The humidity seemed a bit lower. Of course, it was still 100+. Hang in there, cooler weather is coming.

Totally Timmy said...

My poor bunnies that live in a shed in the back yard are suffering. I have 2 fans going and the shed is under a tree but when it is this hot nothing helps. Love the llama!

Mary Ann said...

We have a plastic swimming pool for our llamas.. the next size up lets our Mama lay down in it daily to fight the 100 + degrees we are having here at present. What a great job you are doing with all your babies, despite your sad loss.

Crosswinds Farm said...

Whoooooosh! WHooooosh! Whoooosh!
That's the sound of me throwing my dried up, under-ripe, green tomatoes at Michelle all the way in Oregon! ;)

Karen Anne said...

This is making me remember the truck that used to deliver ice back in icebox days. How old am I that I remember when we had an icebox :-)

That's what you need, a bunch of these giant blocks of ice. I remember ours as being even bigger than these:

the iceman cometh

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