Tiny Home Living Blog
Fall Preparing For The Winter
By Fall most of the summer crops have been harvested, leaving the few fall crops to yet be harvested. It is always a time of rejoicing when you see the food that has been stored away for the coming winter months. The gardens are cleaned out and the cover crop is planted for the winter. Popcorn is hanging outside to dry, and the firewood is stacked, ready for the winter.
When it comes to preparing your animals for the winter months, most of your larger animals, like cows or horses, tend to do well if they have a shelter to escape the winter elements. You may also want to have a place where feed hay and grain may be stored, in your barn or a run-in shelter. If you feed hay in a feeder outside you will want to rotate it, otherwise, it could become muddy around the feeder. If the option to rotate your feeder is not possible, try feeding your hay inside.
For smaller animals like pigs, sheep, or goats a small shelter like an A-Frame shelter is useful, or you may set up a small pen inside your barn. Most animals still like to get outside for portions of the day, if you are able to provide them with a setup that allows them to move in and out freely, would be beneficial. If you have a portable shelter or deciding on buying one for the winter season, it is good to always place your opening away from the prevailing winds. In most areas, the west wind is always the prevailing wind, making the east a better option to face the opening of your shelter. Allowing your animals to stay out of the wind. You may also want to keep fresh bedding on hand to allow them to have a nice dry bedding area.
If you have a well-built coop your chickens should be fine all winter long in the same coop used in the summer months. Chickens can handle cold weather as long as they are out of the wind, and have food and water. The biggest challenge will be to keep their freshwater from freezing. This can be done by placing a de-icer in the water pan or by replacing the water with warm water if frozen.
Once you have prepared your animals for the winter season and the food has been harvested and stored, take time to relax. Grab a good book, a bowl of popcorn, and a glass of grape juice, and enjoy some restful time by the wood-burning stove or fireplace, while the wind is howling and the snow is blowing outside. Thank God for another successful year of growing and recognize the blessings that come from building a homestead lifestyle. Winter is always a good time to reflect and prepare for the next year. What went well? What do you want to do better? What are some things that you will never try again? This is the time of year you can read and educate yourself in areas that you want to grow while creating plans for the year to come.