Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ice, wood, and furnace

My breaking ice for the last two weeks has resulted in piles of "ice pucks" near each coop in the yard.  I'm ready for a few of the piles to melt away in the comparitively sweltering highs in the 50s for the next ten days. I don't know how other people manage water for their chickens in cold weather, but heated waterers aren't feasible, so, depending on the severity of the cold, I haul water four (or more) times a day.

 I am grateful that these chickens seem to suffer less frostbite than our turkens.  I think this improvement is a result of both breed and superior coop construction.  James is definitely stepping up his game with each coop.

In addition to chicken chores, I've been streamlining my wood hauling.  Our wood burning stove insert is in the basement, so our wood piles are under the deck.  The challenge is, however, to sort the wood.  Our upstairs fireplace can fit quite long logs, but the stove is significantly smaller.  While I'm loading my wood cart, I find myself creating a new wood pile of logs that won't fit downstairs.  I'm interested to see how much would was usable, especially since we rarely use the upper fireplace.

Oddly enough, in between the original draft of this post and the finishing of it, our electric heat pump failed.  Funny the things I learned about my AC/furnace when it stopped working.  The wood hauling served me well, as the primary heat to the house for 48 hours has been the stove.  I've done pretty well, if I do say so myself, but the new furnace, to be in place tomorrow, will be welcome for bedroom heat!

Some part of me would love to not have a furnace, but the reality is this: I can't chop wood right now.  When I'm pregnant or caring for a newborn, I can't haul enough wood.  We need the AC in the summer, as our house is not built to circulate air efficiently.  Still, this was a worthwhile experience in knowing that I can heat the house in a "disaster" with very little interruption to our lives.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.


  1. Wow! That's interesting. It's just a shame that your furnace broke down that way. I just hope that you have resolved that problem by the time summer hits, because you'll really need a fully functioning one when the heat hits you. Hahaha! In any way, thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Henrietta Fuller @ Bri-Tech Heating and Cooling

  2. There are times when people think that furnaces aren’t really needed that much, but when they think about the long-term implications, they’ll find it quite useful. Anyway, I hope you haven’t had any problems with the furnace anymore. Thanks for sharing!

    Tommy Hopkins @ Accutemp Cooling and Heating

  3. It’s a good thing that you had a good stock of wood for your heater, since you were having problems with the furnace. Anyway I hope you had your furnace fixed already. Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great day!

    Randall Rogers @ R J Heating and Cooling

  4. Awww! Furnace may not always be a necessity, but it's still really frustrating to have it broken at the time you needed it most. Well, it's good to know that you managed to replace it right away. How does the new one fare? I hope it’s functioning well and will last longer the previous one. Thanks for sharing, Katie. Have a great day!

    Lane Pemberton @ Metcalfe Heating & Air Conditioning