Friday, 3 December 2010

As the snow reaches Frugaldom, we hope we're fully prepared.

03/12/10 - Snow arrives at Frugaldom

Last night's thermometer reading was -8C and the sky was clear but by morning it was snowing. There was only about 1cm lying but the temperature has now risen to 0C and the snow is still falling. Weather warnings have just been issued for the A75 Newton Stewart to Stranraer, as so little traffic is passing that the snow is lying on the road. It's now 12.30pm and the snow is still falling.

Thankfully, neighbour and I made it into town yesterday, so the cupboards are still full and UHT milk supplies are plentiful. Fresh fruit and vegetables look to be what will be in short supply, as stores struggle to keep shelves filled while deliveries are unable to replenish dwindling stocks: no 'Super Six' offers in our local Aldi - shelves there were completely bare.

The hens and ducks have actually gone in search of shelter, which is quite unusual. We may need to put the tarpaulin back over the top of the 'feeding station' run to ensure they have a dry spot for feeding. Extra feed and water dishes have been placed inside the coops for the less bold, to ensure they have constant access to feed.

The driving time restrictions have been lifted for drivers of feed wagons delivering to poultry farms, so this should help in ensuring that deliveries get through, even if there are hold ups along the way. Frugaldom has been quite lucky in missing the recent heavy snowfall but it doesn't take much to block the mile plus of single track road that joins us to the outside world. I strongly advise all garden poultry keepers to ensure their stocks of feeding and bedding are kept up to avoid any 'running out' emergencies.

In the Frugaldom store cupboard there's always a stock of flours, sugar, yeast, porridge oats, pulses, packets and tins. In the event of power failure, the stove can double up for cooking and heating water (or melting ice & snow) to ensure an uninterupted supply of drinking water for the poultry. How we're going to dig out any more veggies from the garden is a bit of a mystery, though.

Quail seem to be doing OK, all things considered. We even got a couple of eggs from them this morning. Electricity consumption is well up, though, as keeping a tank of hot water for thawing out water dishes is a bit of a down side to running a household on a budget of £4,000 for the entire year.

I hope everyone is keeping warm and well. Please don't venture out onto the dangerous roads unless it is absolutely essential. This is where working from home really comes into play because no work always means no money but the ability to earn despite blocked roads is a definite plus. But it all hangs on the ability to access the Internet and that's dependent on the electricity and telephone cables staying fully functional.

Delivery drivers, take care. We need those main routes kept open for emergencies.

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  1. great advice pleased i stocked up on feed last week,I have a sack each of grain and mash for hens and a sack and a half of chick crumbs and finch seed for the quail. should last a while:)

  2. Don't forget a stock of bedding, too, as it's really important to provide a dry, warm area for the birds at night. It gets cold and damp very quickly, especially when there's a thaw or rain. That's when the sniffles can start. I now have baled shavings and chopped straw in store, plus a spare bottle of cider vinegar.

    Hope your frugal flock thrives through the winter months. You might even get enough eggs to keep the household going, if you count in the quail. :)


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