Oh good! East wind and more snow

After the big snow fall a couple of weeks ago we thought we’d probably had the last of it. However as is often the case, there is generally a late burst here which catches people out. Even though the current snow isn’t as bad this time around, it would certainly qualify as a significant amount for any other winter that we’ve had here!

Our neighbours here in the North Pennines haven’t started lambing yet but it’s not far off so I’m sure they’re hoping that this is last of winter for this year. In our case, the Dexter cattle calve in late Spring/early Summer and the pigs usually farrow in a shed so there’s less worry with the weather.

Just as the snow started on Saturday, I decided that it was better to bring Sissy indoors a little early rather than wait then find it was too difficult due to drifting snow. There’s one good decision that I can be happy with at least.

Sissy is more than happy to get inside

Sissy is more than happy to get inside

This morning the feed rounds included a short burst of snow clearing as well just to get to the various sheds in our courtyard. Thankfully the snow is dry and powdery at the moment so any drifts are easy enough to clear with the snow shovel.

The problem is that the strong gusty winds just start to drift the snow again so that within 10-15 minutes any tracks I’ve made are already starting to disappear. This means there’s little point with making any major efforts to clear the snow until the wind dies down later today.

Digging my way to the farrowing shed

Digging my way to the farrowing shed

The prevailing wind here is generally from the west so this recent bad weather which features strong winds from the east is proving to be very challenging. Unusually for us, the east facing outbuildings have been getting snow blowing round the doors and drifting inside.

When feeding Esther with her 2 remaining piglets in the woods, it was clear that the drifting snow was causing problems. Their pig ark is carefully positioned to protect them from the prevailing winds but that means it faces east and the current snow can blow in.

New bedding needed to beat the blowing snow

New bedding needed to beat the blowing snow

The addition of another half bale of straw makes all the difference both for their comfort and apparently for entertainment value too.

The benefits of keeping native British breeds is never more clear than at times like these. They really don’t seem to mind the snow and cold wind just as long as we give them decent shelter with water and food at regular intervals

Thanks for the food and straw

Thanks for the food and straw

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