Saturday, June 27, 2015

Animals in the Heat Wave (tips)

If you have animals,
be they pets &/or livestock,
they might take some extra consideration during hot spells.
Our forecast is for triple degree weather for the next 10 days.
If you are part of this forecast as well,
here are a few tips to help keep the critters comfy.

Okay, this should be obvious,
but clean fresh water is a must.
One step further:
for livestock troughs, if you have a chest freezer,
put a few inches of water in the bottom of the bucket and freeze it
during the night.  Mid morning 'pop' the ice into the trough
to encourage drinking.
If you don't have a chest freezer,
you can still make reusable ice cubes.
I save vinegar jugs, fill about 2/3 - 3/4 of water and freeze.
You can put the lid on and toss in the trough to cool the water.
(Regular milk jugs will work once, but they split when frozen.)
You can do the same for bunnies, chickens, and other small animals
just on a smaller scale - or just add some ice cubes to their water.

Shade &/or Shelter
Animals with enough room will find the coolest place
to lay down or hide out in the heat of the day.
If you have livestock in a pen,  even a temporary tarp/canopy
propped up will help.
You can sprinkle the area down, that helps too.
Evaporation is a cooling process.
If they are in a shed or barn,
Water down the structure in the heat of the day.
(If allowed and not in drought area.)
Another thing to do is wet burlap sacks and hang over the open windows
or in a tree or anywhere the animals "hang out."
This acts like a swamp cooler.
If you have wire bunny hutches, hang these over one side.
You can also "insulate" a barn or shed
by stacking bales of hay or straw on the hottest side.

Animals will naturally eat less in the heat.
This means what they do eat needs to be of good quality.

try to cool an animal down too fast if they are hot.
I have seen people put a dog into hypothermic shock
by putting it into a bath of ice water because they thought 
the it was too hot.

Again obviously,
if in doubt about the condition of your animal, call a vet.

Animals are stronger and smarter than we often give
them credit for.  If given the opportunity, they will fend for themselves
and do what best suits the circumstance.
It's when we (humans) interfere that they seem to have problems.

One last note:
Do these things for yourself as well!
Stay hydrated, try not to over do it in the heat of the day, 
and skip the ho-ho's and go for the greens.
If you become ill, who will tend the critters?

If you have more tips,
please feel free to share in the comments.
Different areas and topography mean different 'tricks' that work.
We all benefit from sharing.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sometimes You Just Have to Live

We just returned
from an absolutely beautiful weekend.
Over the past few weeks,
we have attended graduations, dance recitals,
had out of state company, worked overtime, and 
still somehow tended elderly, yard/garden and the house.
This weekend, we took Friday off and headed out
in our 'new toy.'
I will share more about her soon.
But what I wanted to share today
is that lately I've noticed that so many people
seem to be concerned with getting it all on camera (or phone.)
It makes me wonder if they are actually enjoying the moment
or just recording the moment others are enjoying.
It kinda gets me turned sideways inside.
I want to live life, not just watch it or record it.
My camera has been pretty idle lately.
It was so beautiful in this area of Hells Canyon
that I did decide to snap a couple shots.
The above picture is the meadow where we were camped.
It was just us and another couple.
The dogs ran like race horses and tumbled like bear cubs.
We watched the dogs, listened to the river and the breeze
in the trees as well as the chipmunks and birds.
There was a bald eagle that was flying around.
The guys didn't catch much in the way of fish.
I don't think they really minded.
Mr. LB said, "I forgot how beautiful it was there."
This was my first time to that part of the river.
Alas, like all good dreams, it had to end.
We came back rested and at peace.
If only we could live in such peace.
I know it's not for everyone; some folks love entertainment
and busy city streets.
Hubby and I both love wilderness and solitude.
It's one of the things we love about each other.

 Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches