Farming is 24/7 & 365
Yeah it's hardwork but I think it's righted a lot of my wrongs. Good Rhythm in chores.
Every morn just before sunrise, jackets & muck boots go on. We step out into the frosty morn, (2) - gallon jugs of fresh water, (2) 3-gal waterers in each hand. From warm bed to cold air, before breakfast, before coffee the chores begin. The geese have an old black plastic wheelbarrow I converted into a raised swimming hole (fiberglassed the holes shut), holds up to sun and ice far better than any $10 kiddie pool. If the overnight temps dip low, we chuck the day-old waters and refill them in the morn. The garden hose is disconnected to vent. The waterers are brought inside.
The chickens get a 3-gal waterer as well but they are dainty with water consumption. You do all this because you care about your animals. I value their companionship even though we bought the loudest fucking Geese on this planet. Shrill is the word I use. Some folks have security systems, some folks guard dogs- we have dogs & Guard Geese and they bite- holy shit. Killer Milton (gander) hates hoses, loud trucks, most people, hates when you touch his waterer, stare at him wrong, likes fresh water in his pool and protects Molly (female goose). He struts, screams and bites. And gets loose. Pretty much daily one of us is herding him back into the electric fence paddock.
Maintenance of the geese is best accompanied with a bamboo cane for yer own safety.
At dusk, all you really have to do is dump the water in the pool and bring in the waterer if the temps are low. The chickens go to roost, retrieve the waterer and shut the coop door.
So really between filling their feeders with feed and fresh water- the daily maintenance is low. Freezing temps just adds more layers to the chores... so for efficiency we put our heads together and hope we've come up with a better solution.. enter permaculture solutions:
Thermal Mass Outdoor Waterer
Utilizing Compost to thermally warm water
Half day project
3-sided wood pallet structure (screwed together)
rain barrel with ball valve spigot
small skid and or pavers n' bricks
scrap wood, chicken wire, hay
Basically you are mounding compost up around a rain barrel to utilize the decomposition of organic matter which outputs heat to thermally warm & insulate the water from freezing
moving the waterers inside every dusk gets old, refilling them inside is slow
Keep the water outside, capture rain water, reuse it for the flock, insulate and warm water from freezing utilizing organic composting methods
2-function Permaculture method
you get dirt and capture heat through fermentation
store outdoor water
What is safe to Compost?
3:1 Browns to greens
Twigs, chipped tree branches/bark
Straw or hay
Sawdust (leave out cherry & walnut as it's toxic)
Paper (newspaper, writing/printing paper, paper plates and napkins, coffee filters)
Corrugated cardboard (without any waxy/slick paper coatings)
Coffee grounds/tea bags
Vegetable and fruit scraps
Trimmings from perennial and annual plants
Annual weeds that haven't set seed
Animal manures (cow, horse, sheep, chicken, rabbit, etc. No dog or cat manure)