The first snow of the year arrived this week! We woke on Saturday to find everything covered with a blanket of white. When the sun came out in the afternoon, it was a gorgeous scene. The kids were thrilled, the adults were annoyed, and the animals didn’t know what to think.

The chickens refused to leave their coop. They stood piled at the top of the ramp into the run, clucking at the snow and at me when I tried to coax them out. On the advice of another chicken owner, I put their food in the outdoor run to entice them to out. Two of them flew from the doorway to perch on the food dish, but no one would set foot in the yucky white stuff.

I guess chicken hate wet feet as much as the rest of us.

flock of chickens eating in snow

The goats weren’t thrilled, but their stomachs did the talking. They didn’t come out of their hut on their own, but when given the chance to head out into the pasture area, the pull for food was too great to pass up. They quickly realized they could paw green grass out from under the snow and spent the day grazing as usual.

Baby goats in the snow make for adorable insta pics. I mean, look at this cuteness! And that little soybean pod sticking out of her mouth. Ugh. Adorbs.

goat kid in snow

The human kids spent hours moving snow from one part of the yard to another in attempt to build a snow fort. Two inches of snow doesn’t give you much to work with, but they were occupied for 4 hours. I call that a win. Littlest kitten tromped through the snow to supervise them from the top of the sledding hill, so i knew they were in good hands.

After the snow fell, the bitter cold came back, with lows dipping almost to zero overnight. I’m so thankful I invested in heated waterers for the animals. I was heading out with fresh water every few hours, and I still wasn’t sure that was often enough. It seemed that the water froze as soon as it hit the air, and I didn’t have enough buckets to keep swapping them out while the old ones thawed!

Thankfully, modern technology is such that livestock farming can be a totally hands-off endeavor if you want it to be. And, while I love my time with my animals, I don ‘t love schlepping water back and forth from the house 12 times a day. If you have any kind of animal that spends time outdoors, I highly recommend a heated watering dish. It is life-changing!

On that note, my coffee is cold and the sun is up. Feeding time for all the little mouths who depend on me is at hand. Have a great day!

For all the latest farm news, follow VanHoveln Farm on Facebook or Insta, or if you’re in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor area, stop on in. Just leave the snow at home.


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