The November 20th Snowstorm

My Dad often says, "If you don't like the weather in Delaware County, wait five minutes."
Often, this is so true. On Novemeber 19th, it was 65 degrees and sunny.

 

 In fact, I took off Friday, Nov 18th, because it was such unseasonably warm weather, and I was in the middle of building a new, bigger coop for the turkeys. That Saturday was no different, and we even worked until 8PM because it was so "pleasantly warm". We even had 30 yards of livestock bedding delivered, which we worked several hours to add to the coops, especially the new turkey coop


But, that quickly changed. I woke up Sunday morning and lay in bed for awhile. Then, I heard Dad knock on my door, and say, "Maria, there's something you need to see. You may not like it, but we need to discuss what to do." I knew they were saying we were supposed to get 1-3 inches of snow, so just thought there was more than they forecast.
Dad led me to the back door when the outside light was on. Sure enough, it wasn't 3 inches of snow, more like 7 or 8 inches. But, it had first rained and coated the aviary netting with a layer of ice, to which the snow stuck. So, instead of the snow falling through the 2" holes in the aviary netting, the snow weighed down the netting.


We then looked out the bathroom window, and I realized in part the big job that lay ahead of us. I could not reach the chicken coops, because the snow on top of the aviary netting blocked my path.
I ate some food, and put on my snow pants, winter coat, boots and gloves. Armed with a small broom, I began hitting the aviary netting, which sent a shower of snow to the ground.

But, it was slow going. Only a few feet of snow fell each time I hit the netting. It felt like the snow weighed 25lbs per square foot. I made my way down the hill towards the Truck Cap Coop.
(Below) - looking above the netting towards the neighbor's orchard.

Then, cleared the snow off the netting above the grass paddocks and 
the path leading to Blue's Coop (below) - the clearance between the ground & the netting.

I reached the front of the Brooder Barn and looked towards the PA/DC area, aka the main chicken yard. My heart sank. This is what I saw:

The 12 foot high area we'd made for the truck and trailer to easily maneuver in when bringing in loads of leaves or wood mulch, was gone. Collapsed under the weight of the snow. 
(Below) what it looked like after removing the snow:
 For scale, that's a big wheelbarrow & the netting was resting on it, rather than way over my head!

My shoulders, neck & arms ached. It was easier to "walk" on my knees in the snow that to bend over in half. Dad joined the effort after making a path from the house down to the chicken yard via the main gate.

I then had to let out everyone, refill waters, etc - do my normal morning chores! The young pullets and cockerels weren't used to so much snow, but with a little hay, they came out!

 

Oh, and let's not forget that I hadn't finished the turkey's new coop, so they were still out in pasture pens! So, Dad again helped me shovel off the roofs of the moveable pens, shovel a spot for them to move to new pasture & then move the pen itself. Definitely a workout!
 But, the snow was gorgeous, even though it did cause damage 
& more work than on a typical Sunday morning!

The "new look" of the chicken yard after the collapse.


More photos of the Nov 20-23rd Snowstorm can be seen
on my Facebook page's Album "November 20-23, 2016 Snowstorm"