The snow finally ended around 5:30 p.m. but the wind picked up and the dry snow is being blown into drifts deeper than knee high. Our total was around 17-18″ (44+ cm), deep enough that a walk uphill to take pictures of the road and the house from the barn was very tiring. One of the deepest areas is a shallow rounded cut between the garage and the chicken coop that is there to drain water from the driveway away from the house and on downhill. I get a bootful every time I go over to make sure the chickens have food and water and to collect eggs, even with my Squall pants Velcroed over the outside of the barn boots which are taller than my snow boots.
Today is clear and bright with a very brisk wind blowing, but the temperature is above freezing.
Several weeks ago, we watched a news item about a snow phenomenon that I had never seen before, or at least not notices. It occurs when the wind blows across the surface of the snow, rolling it like you would a snowman, sometimes creating solid balls, sometimes a donut or pipe shape. Much to my amazement when I went over to do morning chicken chores, much more difficult in deep snow, I spotted them in the yard.
The dogs continue to romp and leap through the snow, rolling and playfully attacking each other until they are exhausted. I haven’t figured out how to get them to “plow” me a path over to the coop yet. After nearly an hour of moving snow, packing snow down and digging out one of the hay bales, I got enough hay on the snow to coax 6 of the fuzzy butts out to eat and drink. While busy adding more hay in the run to give them a bit more space to be outdoors, I heard a racket inside the coop and found two hens trying to occupy one of the six nesting boxes together to lay their morning egg. That was rather amusing but after checking under the one who had claimed it first there was only 1 cold egg, so I guess I interrupted them. The hay is re-covered as we may get up to 3 more inches tonight. That chore will have to be repeated again tomorrow. I don’t want to keep food and water in the coop. All of the cold weather and snow we have had has taken a toll on the coop’s cleanliness and even the deep litter method struggling to keep up.