Sunday, February 22, 2009

Winter = Warm & Wooly!

We had more snow overnight & during the day today at Wild Rose Farm. Here's a look at something that I've been wanting to share about how the sheep handle the winter weather. This picture was taken from a distance early this morning, but look closely, enlarge the picture, and what do you see? Snow on the backs of the sheep! It's even more dramatic when we've had 6 or 8 inches of show. They start to look like mounds of snow in the field. They are so well insulated that the snow doesn't melt as it falls on them. In fact, if you look just above & to the right of the ewe in the foreground, you'll see dark spots where her companions were resting before they got up. If you're out walking in the woods and fields, you'll see similar groups of "deer beds".

Today we put out another fresh round bale of hay and moved the Dorset & x-bred ewes into the the same group with the Rambouillet ewes and ram. Now we just have one group outside to feed. We took the last little group of market lambs to the auction on Monday and got a nice price for them. They were our smallest "tail enders", but at this time of year, there are few market lambs available, so it's been a good time to sell. As we were finishing up in the barn this afternoon, the snow started again. The ewes are enjoying one of their new round bales of hay. We always have 2 or 3 round bale feeders available so that every ewe can get as much hay as she needs in the cold weather.

Notice another interesting thing about animals. I was standing all the way up next to the barn taking the 2nd picture, but notice the one ewe on the left looking directly at the camera. When you're out working around livestock, you don't need to worry about anything sneaking up on you ..... the animals are very alert to any movement.

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