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Author Topic: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?  (Read 400 times)


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« on: January 05, 2019, 11:16:19 pm »
I know Met forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, but there does seem to be a general feeling that we're in for a harder winter than last year, which was bad enough.
What do you do to prepare for the worst?

I just found myself looking at snow plough blades for our tractor, then coughed and spluttered at the price.  We have had very deep snow here on occasion and it can be hard going but in reality we could use a front loader or back bucket just as easily for zero cost  :thumbsup:

For us the feed store is a 25 mile round trip so not bad, but if the roads are blocked then it's impossible, so we keep a full bin of both sheep feed and poultry food. Our hay shed is stocked up, we have straw.  When it's cold our livestock water comes from the house, so we have to keep the pipes thawed - we're just about to check the rats haven't chewed through the water pipe insulation again.

We also need to stock up on fuel for machinery and generators (we get a lot of power cuts) and make sure the central heating kerosene tank is full.  We have our wood supplies in although they are stored a bit of a trek from the house, so perhaps we should move some down to be more accessible.

Inside the house, I usually have plenty of stores anyway, so I just need UHT milk, bread flour for a couple of weeks (? three weeks?) or I could put a few loaves in the freezer, and make sure there are plenty of gas cyclinders for the camping cooker.  In the last freeze, it was fresh milk we ran out of first, but neighbours had plenty in their freezer, which they shared  :)   Then there's medicines - we both have loads of those so we never let them run too low in winter. Good old NHS.

What does everyone else do to prepare, or are you close enough to shops that you won't run short of anything?  Or do you just ignore the fact that winter is coming?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 11:21:19 pm by Fleecewife »

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  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 11:36:19 pm »
We always have at least a week of ood we might like to eat and at least another 2 weeks of supplies to sustain us and anyway it's only 3 miles to the nearest shop with options of 4x4, quad bike or tractor to get me there.

When things have been inpassable then never more than 3 days before a snow plough came through and I can ask or deliveries to be dropped of at the agri engineer on the main road and go collect if the couriers can't get along the single track roads to us.

Power cuts can be an issue if i haven't got around to sorting the genny out but we keep supplies of drinking water on hand and there's always the stream for bucket-loo flushing and we have a woodburner for heat and plenty fuel about. Nothing is really an issue. While we do keep some hay on hand there's never been a snow year when our pet sheep would demean themselves by actually eating it when offered - they'd rather eat shrubbery or sheep nuts.
If fuel became an issue then the diesel 4x4 could be run illegally on red which i keep plenty of and if we have electricity then the EV can stay charged and is AWD too.

As or the truth o the wether.. well the taboilds claimed a return of the 'beast for the east' to make headlines not supported by the met office forecasts


  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 12:55:21 pm »
We used to have a home made blade for the tractor which was our snow plough for keeping the lane clear for the milk tanker.  It was one of the things that went in the farm sale.  We have not had enough snow since then to have missed it.

There is a goodly supply of feed for all the animals/people in store, my sister is always amazed at the accumulation of tins that I buy all year round just in case.  The petrol cans are kept filled up for the genny and quads and the cars are filled when they get half empty so we do not get caught out with empty tanks.  There are boxes of logs stored in the shed - this reminds me that we have to borrow the log splitter again as we have a couple of potato boxes of stuff that is a bit too large to split by hand.

Our problems are less snow than ice making the roads lethal.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 04:38:59 pm »
At the age we are now,snow clearing is no longer done . 4x4 kept full but only if a need to travel, Couriers know of the safe place,same with postie , who knows if the roads are bad to leave mail at off ice ( see what I did there )
Plenty of food in freezers and veg patch ,flour and dry goods, fuel for generators always kept topped up and treated for long term storage, run once a week this time of year to check them. Log burner for heat and cooking, propane as well.
Always keep 1 month of hard feed rotated and have plenty of hay and straw anyway.
And most importantly the stock of home made wine readily available

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 11:47:19 pm »
No goats  :'(  for me to worry about now, so I just stay indoors and try to keep warm. We're both pretty much housebound when there's snow about. Can't use my chair outside and the thought of trying to walk up the very steep path to our car, with the risk of my legs and sticks going in four different directions is enough to keep me in.

I'd hibernate if I could work out how.


  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Winter blast - what preparations do you make?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 11:11:44 am »
I always have plenty of feed for the winter as we often get blocked in. Council do the main roads but not wee ones like ours. Our freezer is well stock. Lots of candles and gas to use on a wee cooker we have for camping. I always have home made soup in the freezer which makes a good meal and easy to heat up. Clearing our farm road is too hard as snow drifts can be feet high so we no longer bother.


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