Warm day

It was warm yesterday, warmer (nearly 100°F) today, and the animals have been feeling the heat. At the moment we have young meat chickens, turkeys, ducks, and a single gosling on pasture. Even though they all have access to shade and to an ample supply of water they all still pant occasionally (which is one of their normal mechanisms for increasing the rate of heat exchange). The sheep are smart about keeping cool. In the mornings they rest in shade near the barn (in the south-east) and as the sun migrates across the sky so to do members of the flock, by mid-afternoon every last animal can be found in shade which now abounds in the far (north-west) pasture. The hogs are uncomfortable as well and are dealing with the heat as hogs will – they spend the day jostling for a spot in the voluminous wallow they have constructed. In addition to topping off their 55 gallon supply of drinking water, on these hot days I also add 20 gallons of cool water to their wallow (and boy … do they like that … if pigs could smile …). Although the river mists did not make it all the way up the hill this morning there was enough moisture in the air and in the soil to create a very localized mist which stayed low to the ground. Moments before the sun rose above treeline, shafts of light penetrated the woodlot and sliced through the nearly stationary mist. This occurrence was fleeting.

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