We had a pretty big weather event on Saturday through Sunday here in western Massachusetts. It snowed and snowed and we got 12" of powdery fluff here at our farm. We are used to snow in the winter - in fact, it isn't winter without it. But then the temperature dipped very, very cold to 10 below zero for a couple days. That is no fun and it is tough for the little lambs although they do keep themselves huddled together in the hay. Only one had to spend a couple days in the bathroom! That is good compared to some years. He is back in the barn now that it has warmed up. He was a bottle lamb so the stint in the bathroom didn't pull him away from his mama - thank goodness.
Here is a good article by Kim Goodling about how sheep stay warm in the cold. She lives with her flock of Gotlands in northern Vermont.
Today it is weirdly warm and pouring down buckets of rain. There is nowhere for the melting snow to go. I'm thinking it is all going to freeze on up and be a giant mess. Better go pick up some more sand and salt at the Town Garage. Will definitely need it tomorrow.
Here are some photos I took the other day in the middle of the snow storm just after chores. The sheep and lambs are doing great - even with the bad weather. I'm glad I got these shots before it turned into a mudhole. Enjoy everyone.
This is a long view of our 100 foot greenhouse. There is a wooden manger to feed hay down one side.
On the other long side of the barn, we set up temporary pens using hog panels. The newborns, or those that aren't doing fabulously, stay in the pens until they are strong enough to compete out in the open barn. That can be anywhere from one day to a week. The bottle lambs stay in one pen so it easier to feed them.
These are last year's lambs picking through the snow.
Here are some mamas doing their job - feeding their lambs.
During the storm, most of the sheep stayed inside. There are always some though that like to take an adventure.
Here are some super cute lamb photos. These little guys were so new, they didn't have the paint on them yet. The day of the storm there were seven lambs born. Something about snow and labor and the barometric pressure can cause sheep to go into labor.