Lickin’ Ice

It’s getting to be that time of year, where I trade in my bathrobe for coveralls to do morning chores. Last week we had the first snow that has stayed and everyone’s water froze. First was the goats. I went out to do morning chores and had to break it open with the trusty bat. That night my husband put their tank heater in. It’s worked great ever since. The next morning the cow’s water finally froze. I searched for the tank heater and finally had to give up and go in to make the kids breakfast.

And then there’s the chickens…

With the number of birds we have out there for the winter, they are able to go a day without being fed and a few days for water. Not because I’m starving them, but because their feeders are big enough to hold a few days worth at a time. That being said, the other night neither Mike nor I made it out to the coop. I don’t remember the last time that has happened, if ever. But we didn’t. The next morning I marched out there right away to take care of the birds and collect yesterday’s eggs before taking care of the barn animals.

I turned the knob and pulled. Nothing happened. I tried again and again nothing happened. I turned around to see if anyone was watching. Who I was looking for I don’t know. I’m in the dark, out in the countryside, Mike wasn’t home and quite frankly, if I would have seen someone I may have had a problem. I did have an audience, on the other side of the fence. All lined up, the cows were watching what could be something worth talking about for a long time.  I turned back to the door and tried a third time. This time the top of the door moved a bit.

I dug my heals in, grabbed on with both hands and gave ‘er hell. I put all my weight into it and pulled.


I stood there for a minute contemplating the different ways I could get in there not using the front door. I could pull the screen out of the window in the “Ladies” room and with a running leap, possibly jump high enough to hook my ribs on the sill and wiggle myself in. Most likely landing on feeder. It was way too early in the morning to try something that requires that much effort, but not late enough to think it a bad idea.

If I take off my winter clothes, I can fit through the turkey door into the “Fry’n Pan Special”  room. (I have had to do this in the summer) The problem with that is that there is no feeder in there and the door between the two rooms is smaller than the turkey door and bigger than the chicken door. Too small for me to squeeze through… as far as I know… I’ve never tried. Even if I were to fit, what am I going to do? The feed bin is in the feed room which is accessed through the people doors that are hook and eye latched from the feed room.

I hung the egg basket on the door knob, went to the barn and fed the cows.

Later that morning I called Mike to let him know I couldn’t find the cow’s tank heater and couldn’t get the coop door open. That afternoon, he called me back. The cow’s tank heater was in the tank, it just needed to be plugged in and he was able to take care of the chickens, who’s water is now turned on as well.


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