Well, winter has finally arrived on the farm, and when it came, it came with direction and force.. we went from green, record breaking warmth.. to..
Which means that there has been lots of shoveling, and it was time to break out the sled, switching from the wheel barrel to the sleds for moving things around, I highly recommend getting and having at least one extra sled on the farm at all times, its just a great idea.. I mean that wheel barrel is used lots and it can still be used in winter, its perfect for being placed in the walk ways if you are cleaning anything in barns and so forth but for movement outside, be it hay, water, feed or manure, the sled is your friend..
Having said that.. Farmgal tip of the day.. Different sleds for different uses, if you are going to haul five gallon water buckets with lids snapped on (trust me, get the lids, as every now and then, a spill will happen) then it only needs to hold four pails and it can be rounded, short and stout.. water pails do not do never as good with longer sleds.. for hay or feed, the longer sled is perfect, its lighter and can take those corners and turns better.. So having hauled water by hand for ten plus years in winter to the big barn.. heavy duty round and smaller for the water buckets, long and wide for the hay and feed bags..
Our old second hand snow shoes gave up the ghost on their ninth year of working on the farm.. (photo just to show example of them, not my photo)
so one of hubbies xmas presents was snazzy new modern light but tough snow shoes.. I am still on the hunt for some that can take my weight with gear.. I can find them that can take my own weight, if I was just wanting to go for a walk, but add in upwards of 50 more pounds worth of carry, tack and so forth and its getting harder to find.
Hubby did much better, even with us add the extra 50 pounds, we were able to find a great deal for him. I think a good pair of snow shoes on a northern homestead is a must have, we have had in a single night had drifts appear that are hip plus high, and there are times you just need to strap on the snow shoes, sled and walk your way over the drifts to make sure your hunkered down critters are well feed and watered.. while its always a good idea to have hay, and feed in each building, it sounds great but its just not as perfect as it sounds.
Sometimes, you store more of one thing then another in different buildings, so you will find yourself, having lots of hay but perhaps you need to haul straw, any way you cut it, when its that cold, I like to make sure they get warm water and when its bitter cold, warm mash for everyone..
I had a friend tell me all about her hip high struggle in snow while she tried to carry a bucket in each hand to give her the look.. she now has a sled and snow shoes 🙂
What is one of your must haves for winter, for some its the heat lamp, for some its the heated water buckets, your set up and how many critters you are caring for does make a difference to a point.