Fall is my favorite season. But with fall comes cold temperatures, windy days, less daylight and MUD everywhere. The chickens stop laying eggs consistently, the goats only roam out of their house for short periods and will spend time in their outdoor hut which offers protection from the wind and a full view of the house and yard, and the horses spend many days in their stalls and walkout areas as wet mud is not good for their feet and legs all day.
I like to keep things as natural as possible for our animals. The goats have a hill and rocks to climb in their pen. They have grass and trees as well. The horses have 12×12 stalls and outside the stalls are walkout areas made of stone and rubber matting so they can walk and stretch their legs all day and night. The chickens free range so get to be in their natural habitat all day. Some farmers keep a light on in their coops to “trick” their chickens into thinking it’s daylight longer and they will produce more eggs. I prefer to only use a red heat lamp and let their bodies act naturally during the winter months.
Some days I will let the horses out when the ground is slightly frozen in the morning. However as the day progresses and the ground warms up, this is what you get:
And this week I am dog and chicken sitting for a neighbor. Her chickens are full of personality.
They are spoiled like our chickens and enjoy hot oatmeal, fresh salad, tomatoes and some nice yogurt during the cold days. These are all young hens born in the spring and they are still laying eggs. The perk of this job is the eggs I get to bring home every day!
And while it’s much more work it’s also great to spend some “me” time on a nice ride through the bare trails on my oldest horse Bailey.
And about now I am ready for the change of season with its snow and frozen ground!!