Lambs are to be born into sunshine and the promise of green grass, not freezing winds and snow.
But this has not been a normal winter.
With lambing season days away and a weather forecast calling for high winds and below freezing temperatures, I find myself in the barn, figuring out how to find space for 10 pregnant ewes.
The sheep and horses spend most of their time in the pastures or under lean-tos that provide protection from rain and west winds. They seem happier having space to move around--and I am not spending hours mucking manure from stalls.
In normal springs, I don't worry about ewes delivering lambs outside. Only once have I had a lamb chill in the spring winds--and a hair dryer dried it and warmed it.
Freezing winds will chill a lamb quickly. So, I've tucked the ewes in groups of three and four in horse stalls for a few days, just in case lambs don't want to wait for sunshine.