Thursday, February 19, 2015

C'mon, Lambs!

No lambs yet, but we're getting closer every day.  Well, we can't be getting farther, amirite?  Darla and Dixie had been outside in the "hog pen" separated from the other ewes because they needed extra grain.  We just got about 4" of snow the other night, but worse than that, temps have been extremely low for this area.  It's been hovering around zero, with windchills below zero over night.  I don't want to chance them lambing outside, so I brought them in the barn temporarily.

If you remember, last year I built 2 nice jugs that would be perfect for them, except for one thing....well, 3 things.

They're already occupied!  The goats have not been handling these frigid temps very well, and even though they've got a cozy shelter and plenty of hay, I saw them shivering a few times.  I figured since I had space indoors, they could come in the barn until the really cold spell passes.

So, where are the sheep?

They're just kinda hanging out.  There's not a whole lot they can get into, and I had been telling my sister they were so much better behaved than the goats, because the goats look for everything possible to get into.  The sheep were fine!

Until this afternoon, I got home and saw Darla had been playing with the tub of cracked corn. I use plastic storage totes to hold grain in the barn...each holds a 50 lb bag of feed really well.  There wasn't much corn left, and Darla had been rolling it around trying to get it open. It'd spill a few kernels here and there, and she'd root them out.  She reminded me of a dog playing with those treat-dispensing toys.  So I put the bins of feed up high, out of her reach.

Since the cats are in the barn, with the heat lamp, I sectioned off a small area to keep the ewes out of the way of the lamp.  The cats can sneak behind it and the sheep don't bother it.  (that's a stuffed toy tiger in the background, by the way).  The bunny in the picture, Rocky, is in temporarily as well. He's got a big hutch outside, but I was worried about it being too cold for him.

And the does are in for the winter, since they didn't have adequate wind breaks outside.

Back to the sheep.  They're starting to look rotund.  (Darla, below)

Dixie isn't as big, but it's only her second time lambing, so I think probably her ab muscles are more toned than Darla's.  I still hope she has twins in there.

Wide load, Darla.

Udder pic! Darla is pretty bagged up. I've set up the video baby monitor so I can keep an eye on them at night.  When I leave for work, I can aim my laptop's camera at the baby monitor and have an adequate view of them while I'm at work (streaming from Ustream).  The channel is called Ewe Tube.      Darla is on the right, Dixie on the left.

Kiki has to sneak around, because Dixie does not like her and will try to give her a butt.

Temps are falling again tomorrow night. I do believe the last forecast said the windchill overnight will be around -25*F.  Yikes.  I have to admit though, I kinda like it. I never want to rush summer, because I really don't like the heat.  So, I try to enjoy these frigid temps while they last, because I know soon enough I'll be sweating at 6 AM wishing it wasn't so darned hot outside.


Becky said...

I cracked up at the mental image of Darla knocking the corn tub around like a dog with a treat toy! So funny! Smart Darla! :) And I just have to say, Kiki's face is the sweetest thing! I'm not a cat lover but that is one face I'd have a hard time not loving. :)
Your animals are so lucky you take the time to make them so comfortable in these frigid temps! I'm crossing my fingers for babies soon!! :)

Momma/Deb said...

It looks like everyone is cozy and warm! I know you are excited to start having babies this year. I hope it's a wonderfully feminine outcome!! You've had enough years of 'useless' boys... he he he Kiki sure has grown! From that lost little hungry girl who knew what house to take up residence at to a lovely kitty! Love you hon, Momma

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