It’s going to snow at least 4 inches today. Maybe 8. There will be high winds. Then we’ll get sleet on top of it. The goats, despite their furry coats, do not like it. Pip looks out, but you can tell by the expression on his face that he is not pleased.
The chickens stay indoors.
But, wait, who is this going outside?
Yes, it’s Candy. She like to warm up in the company of the chickens. She drinks from the heated waterer. But she also likes snow. She likes to hop in it, build tunnels, and sit on mounds of it, surveying her domain. It’s nice to have an animal who likes this weather. That’s one of the benefits of keeping animals – going into the moment with them. I once had a dog who loved to leap up and snap at snow as I shoveled it. We had fun. Shoveling is more of a burden now that she’s gone.
Although Candy has a thick layer of fur (and a roll of fat under that!) there are still chores that are specific to winter rabbit care. Because she is a lop-eared rabbit, her ears drag in the snow. She can’t pin them against her fur to keep them warm. Like caring for a rooster’s comb, when the temperature drops, I smear them with vaseline. Also, like chickens, she needs to be out of biting wind and driving ice. If I know a storm is coming I’ll cover the hutch with a plastic tarp to keep the snow from blowing in. Candy can also take shelter in her wooden house that’s in the hutch. In the winter, I give her extra hay to burrow in. Her water dispenser freezes solid, quickly, in the cold. I’ll bring out fresh water a couple of times a day. But, Candy always has access to water, since she shares the heated waterer with the hens. Lastly, I make sure that she has plenty of rabbit food, and supplement that with greens and carrots. All of this care seems to be working. Candy is healthy, active and loving this weather. Thanks for that perspective, Candy!