Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Preparing for lambing March 2010

Finally, there are signs of spring around us, some good some not so good. Since we had RECORD setting snow falls this winter, you can imagine our mud situation. I called my brother yesterday to chat and he was in the middle of pulling a cow out of the mud…for the 3rd time. Thankfully, no stuck sheep. Yet. Poor Ollie is miserable though, he is one prissy Pyranees! He literally tiptoes thru wet ground and its hilarious to watch him prepare to jump over the mini ponds all over the place. You can forget mud, I don’t think he’d walk thru it even for a steak. Bella and Willie obviously don’t like it but they will at least walk thru it if necessary. The house dogs (Fynn, Sophie and Nora) of course don’t mind mud in the least. No, of course they don’t mind it. That would be why I’m hauling dogs to the bathtub every evening after they’ve wallowed in it all afternoon. After Nora helped me feed hay and move sheep on Sunday, I think it took 30 minutes of continuous spraying before the water ran (mostly) clear off of her. Amazing how much mud a BC rough coat can hold. Smooth coated BCs from here on out!!

I was actually reading last years blog about this time, just before lambing started and realized it was a great way to look back on what the weather was like and how things were going. That’s what prompted this blog. Its pretty obvious nobody but Bridget and I read it so I can put whatever I feel like in it!

So, 2011 Jennifer, this is what you had to endure in March 2010. IT IS AWFUL. Trust me on this one. There has been snow on the ground since Christmas. Remember Christmas eve when the electricity went out in the middle of the blizzard? The wind was hollowing thru the house and immediately the inside temp dropped to 45 degrees. Thankfully it came back on a few hrs later. Merry Christmas.

I think there might have been a few days where it melted but not long at all. If I remember right, at least 14-16” fell on Christmas, blizzard conditions, horrible drifting and extreme temps. It was pretty and it was nice that I had no where to go (like work). I had to have Tim B deliver round bales for everyone because no way was CC going to make it thru those drifts. He also graciously plowed the drive after I got CC stuck in it.

January brought more snow and continued cold temps. Watering was going ok until the fuel line froze up on CC and the dealer came and hauled him away back to the dealership to thaw (for several hundred dollars of course). He came back in perfect condition ready to rumble and I renewed my daily watering with 2 rubbermaid tubs on the back of the carryall. Since the outside hydrant froze solid, I had to snake the hose thru the bathroom window, hook the hose up to the bathroom sink and get water that way. It was a hassle but better than carrying buckets of water for sure!

Finally the snow melted enough for me to retrieve the buried hoses and thaw them. I was then able to hook them directly to the bathroom sink and run them out to the tanks. Way easier than hauling it on the back of the tractor.

February gave us another 10” of snow and continued below normal temps. We are all pretty cranky by this time as the hay bills are mounting rapidly. The fleeces are showing the effects of all the hay being fed. Not good.

March arrived and temps have started to rise. Snowfall has now turned to thunderstorms. Like we needed more moisture. This is definitely the worst mud season so far. I had to close off the garden area because I was getting stuck in the mud and in danger of being trampled by hungry sheep. I refuse to take Nora thru that mud so I'm having to try to outsmart the sheep to get the feed to the troughs. We stand around looking at each other, me acting like I'm not about to feed them and them not buying it. So I say LOOK! Coyotes!! and then race to where I've stashed the bucket of feed and make a mad dash (sheep in hot pursuit) and throw the feed into the first trough. While they're shoving their faces full, I race over to the other trough and throw it into it. Half the sheep peel off and race to the second trough. It would probably be amusing video.

Lambing is due to start March 28th. I had originally scheduled the shearer for last weekend (March 6th) but because of the extra hay we’ve had to buy, the budget for shearing was nearly depleted. I decided to have a go at hand shearing, at least the bred ewes so that would be done before lambing started. I doubt I’ll get everyone hand sheared but I’d rather wait until it dries up a bit to have someone out to do it anyway.

So that’s about it. We have 13 (I think) ewes bred this year…oh dear, that’s not a good number! Daisy’s not very big so I question her. Pam on the other hand is huge and is NOT supposed to be bred. Maybe she just ate too much hay…yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

Anyway, fingers crossed its an easy lambing season with lots of EWE lambs!!


  1. I hope you are having a good lambing season. I see you are from Missouri too. I may be looking for a new BL ram this year, do you have any rams for sale?

  2. Sarita,

    I do have 4 ram lambs for sale, 3 white, and Sammie, the natural colored one. Just give me a hollar if you're interested!