There’s an old proverb that says “If ice is forming on the inside of your windows, it’s too cold to get out of bed.”

Or at least there should be an old proverb that says something along those lines.

I had to call in to work today because of the roads. “Don’t worry about it” they said. “Stay warm and hang out with the sheep!” I appreciate the sentiment (and the day off), but staying warm and hanging out with the sheep are mutually exclusive activities today.

I spent a nice frosty morning putting extra tarps on the Girls’ Clubhouse, banking the waste hay and straw bedding against the lower walls and spreading fresh straw on top for the benefit of any wet newborn lambs that might elect to enter the world on this most inhospitable of days. I’m not as worried about the girls themselves being cold. Cold doesn’t bother the girls. Lady chose to sleep against the open wall last night and was completely covered in snow this morning. I was scandalized, but she just cocked her little snow-covered head at me and blinked in surprise, wondering what I was so worried about. She then heaved herself up and toddled her snow-covered self over to the hay feeder, more worried about breakfast than the layer of snow still on her back.

It’s hard not to be envious when I’m out there bundled up to near immobility, tacking tarps to Clubhouse walls with my blue, frozen fingers while the denizens of said Clubhouse stand there chewing hay and watching me, apparently perfectly comfortable.

The boys, of course, are in no danger of feeling the cold. The other day I sank my fingers into Barney’s fleece and it was so thick I couldn’t find his skin. Neo is the least insulated of the four, and he was skipping around the ram pen earlier kicking up his heels without a care in the world so I’m assuming he’s fine.

I left the field gate closed today, so the girls only have access to the Clubhouse, the lambing pen, and the small catch pen. I had a vivid mental image of one of the girls wandering off to the far end of the field to lamb in private, plopping the lamb out into the deep snow and then not being able to find it. It’s certainly too deep for a newborn to be able to stand and walk. A lamb born in the Clubhouse would stand a much better chance of surviving, even if it does make for a rather crowded maternity ward.

A lamb that waited for warmer weather to be born would stand an even better chance. Wait a couple more days, girls!


4 thoughts on “Snowmageddon

  1. Hope they wait for the weather to be warmer… hope, hope! Sounds like you need to knit yourself a pair of mittens today 🙂 Stay warm!

  2. I am amazed that a ewe’s motherly instinct wouldn’t override her desire for a private birth. Do you find this to be true with all ewes? I wonder what happens in flocks that are out on pasture year round and raise their lambs on pasture year round with no man made shelter. Hope your lambing waits until the weather is a bit better!

    • I don’t have much first-hand experience, but the man I bought my Soays from leaves them out year-round and he said his ewes would vanish into the woods for a day or two and come back with their lambs.

      I don’t know if they’d run off into the snow to lamb or not, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. The snow’s too deep now for them to walk off even if they wanted to, so I suppose it’s a moot point.

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