Brrrrrr…. Last night it got down to 3 degrees. Fahrenheit. With  a windchill of -11 degrees. That’s cold. So cold in fact, that it pushed us to the limit of our USDA Hardiness Zone. This kind of weather adds a few more things to the ordinary lists of winter homestead chores.

For instance, we took extra precautions with our remaining yaupon holly bush because its already on the hardiness border for our zone. We covered it with a layer of clear plastic, and a double layer of bed sheets just to be safe.

Emma thought up a few ways to protect the chickens from the icy wind and seal off drafts in their mobile coop.  That seemed to work well, and the chickens seemed extra joyous about both their new plot of pasture, and the warming rays of the sun. So far the chickens seem more than capable of handling the cold in their solid, yet uninsulated mobile coop.

Frozen chicken waterer and cold chickens

Ice Cold Water

Yet it only got up to 23 F today, so I did have to break the ice a few times on top of our new chicken waterer today to let them to drink. No frozen eggs to report of yet ;)

We also covered our well pump with a couple of sheets, just to be safe. That’s not a problem I feel like dealing with any time soon, and thoughts of building a more substantial well house came to my mind again last night.

Our faucet protectors did their job, and the pipes in the basement didn’t even flinch in the face of the cold, more than I can say for myself last night on our 1 am dog walk. The front treated me to a great swallow of arctic air that widened my eyes and stole my breath for a moment.  Did I mention the windchill? -11 F?

All in all, we weathered the cold just fine.  The house, furnace, chickens, and even Bridey. One thing to thank the cold front for was the sky last night. One of the clearest nights we’ve had yet, and worth bearing every extra second of the cold that set its stage.