I thought surely somebody would be frozen but no. Not even a chicken. The pigs were dancing around snorting and chortling, saying feed me, feed me. Their morning slop had frozen in the pans so snacking through the day was difficult. First thing I do is mix the warm slop and pour it into the piggie pans. Lydia, Luna and her friends line up and wait for their taste of warm slop from the bottom of the pig buckets. A band of ducks is quacking under my feet hoping for some slop to roll out of the pig pen for them to eat. I felt so bad for the ducks as there is no constant supply of water for them, which they love, that I mixed a new bucket of warm slop for them. I made another for the duck pen. Feeding my ducks is a challenge as they are all over the barn and outside too. Ducks are extremely cliqueish and don't like to fraternize with other bands. I was too tired to mix a third pan of warm mash so I told them they would just have to get along and share. The chickens were so huddled up against the door to the barn that stepping into their room is tricky. I knock the ice out of their water pan and fill it up with warm water. I fill their feed pans and look around for any frozen birds. Not a one, incredibly. Bunnies have to be fed and watered along with the hay mow, milk room and barn kitties. Separate feeding stations are required to make sure everyone gets food. I carried out some warm water and corn to the two Swedish Blue ducks who are hunkered down under the front porch. They had wandered into the barn a week or so ago but apparently didn't like the crowd. Extremely shy and standoffish, these two are loners. I hope they make it through the winter. When all this is done I mix the "kitty stew." I fill two buckets with warm water and carry it out into the barn where Thor, Finn and Knut are living. I set out the bowls on a plywood table and pour dry kibble into the hot water. I open big cans of dog food and mix it with the kibble soup. Everybody loves it. The cats drink and drink while I'm working. The dogs get their bowls with an extra can of wet food in it. I climb the hay mow ladder to give the upstairs kitties their stew. They mill around to knock each other out of the way. I get my bag of apples to give Lilly, Luna and the old girls their treat. Lilly has the longest teeth and makes short work of an apple, tearing big chunks out of them. When she's left a little chunk I give it to the girls who can't chew as well. They are so excited about their apples. I love my time in the barn. My chores have a certain rhythm and the routine is regular and comforting. They know I will come out to take care of them and I know they are waiting there for me, happy to see me and grateful for the shelter and comfort I give them. We have a pact.