While winter isn’t exactly my favorite season, I don’t mind it so much. We have a relatively mild winter around here. Usually a few snowfalls of several inches at a time or so. Winter time is a nice time to take a little break from the work that comes with warmer weather. There is usually extra projects going on outside like building fence, gardening, and whatever else needs to be done while the weather permits. Winter also is a time for the ground to rest and rejuvenate for the next year of gardening.
There are certain preparations that need to be made for the homestead to help through the winter. To prepare for winter we have put the garden to bed. We still need to do a little more out there to finish up. We removed all of the dead plants and have used leaves as a mulch in the beds. I must confess that most of the leaves blew in there on their own. I was ever so grateful that we didn’t have to put in much effort to get the leaves where they need to be.
The critters also need some extra care to make sure they can keep warm, stay out of the elements, and have water, not ice available for them to drink. For our pigs, we have added a nice heap of straw to their pig house. They love to root under it and lay in a pile. It is really funny. I have tried getting a picture of them but every time I sneak down there they hop up and run out. They have a great sense of hearing and think that I must be bringing them something delicious when I come to see them. The chickens also got extra straw in the coop. We also made sure they didn’t have any drafts. While chicken coops need plenty of ventilation they also need to be relatively draft free in the cold winter months. The baby chicks will continue to have heat on them for a month or so. Gertie has shelter from the weather in the barn. We also have plenty of alfalfa hay for her to eat this winter. We haven’t had the animal waterers freeze yet but we do have water heaters/de-icers on standby for when we need them.
It is important to prepare for the colder temperatures and weather even if you don’t live on a homestead. I have collected some great posts from other homesteaders on preparing for winter on the homestead, for livestock, your home, the garden, and life:
The Homesteaders Ultimate Winter Prep Roundup
Preparing for Winter on the Homestead by Montana Homesteader
Prepare the Homestead for Winter from The Homestead Lady
Dealing with the Stress of Winter Preparations from The Farmer’s Lamp
The Importance of Winter Preparedness from Survival at Home
The Homesteader’s Blizzard Checklist by The Prairie Homestead
Are You Ready For Winter? Prepare Now! by One Ash Farm and Dairy Homestead
Prepping for Winter 2014| Free Printable from Finding the Story
Winter Animal Care Preparations from Timber Creek Farm
Pig Husbandry in Extreme Cold Conditions from Spring Mountain Living
Getting Your Chickens Ready for Winter from The Farmer’s Lamp
Tips to Prepare Your Livestock for Winter from Mom Prepares
Winterizing the Barn & Chicken House from The 104 Homestead
How to Keep Chickens Warm During the Winter by The Prairie Homestead
Winter Compost: Managing Your Bins During the Winter Chill from Mom Prepares
Preparing the Garden for Winter from Northern Homestead
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