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Sunday, 7 December 2008

Jack Frost

We had a severe frost last night. Caught me unawares and I didn't leave enough hay out for the posse. So when I turned up this morning I was met with an eager line of four legged, hungry 'penguins'. They were slightly less warm than usual, but after 15 minutes or so of stuffing hay they were back to their usual mobile boiler status.

We have the big bale hay. Each flake weighs about 24 pounds. I left them two flakes this morning, about 16 pounds each and there was still some left when I pitched up this afternoon. I have left them another two flakes for overnight. Plus I have sectioned out a bit more grass which, even though it was still frosted, they found more interesting than the hay.

During the day they have drunk about 5 gallons of water each. Currently I have to cart it about 120ft from the water trough, so I take a keen interest in how much they drink - every gallon burns off a few more calories and builds my biceps.

I would normally scatter the hay around the circuit to encourage more movement, but as the ground is so wet I am leaving it in piles to reduce poaching. So the posse stand and stuff instead of mooching. It takes about 45 minutes for them to reach capacity and then they stand around dozing, looking slightly sick, until they have digested enough to make room for more.

I was meant to exercise them all this afternoon and it was a brilliant, bright winter day, so it would have been ideal. But MOH has helped out a lot in the past week so as a treat we went out for the afternoon to see a castle (his favourite thing) instead.

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Southern England, United Kingdom