Temperatures have been in the single digits for a few days now, and everything is frozen solid as a rock. As we haven’t yet figured out a way to rig up heaters for the animals’ water, this means they all tend to get pretty thirsty.
The dairy goats are easiest: we take a couple of gallons of hot water from the kitchen each time we go milk, and pour it into their water bucket. It usually stays fairly liquid until the next milking.
The chickens are also easy: I carry a couple of five gallon buckets about 20 feet from the house, and they drink until it freezes.
The sheep are the hardest, becuase there are so many (ten) of them — and because they are farthest from the house. If I simply set five gallon buckets in the pasture, they’ll squabble and knock them over. What I end up doing is taking a copule of buckets out to the pasture and standing with them as they drink. This morning, they saw me coming and all crowded around the gate as I opened it. Despite some locking of horns, and head-butting, they all managed to get a turn with one of the buckets. They sucked down almost ten gallons in a matter of minutes. I guess I better get out there with water more often.