Sunday, February 24, 2013


Usually we begin lambing after the 15th of February and hope to be mostly done by March 15th when the sap in the maple trees begins to rise. We check the barn for new lambs every three or four hours day and night, and we really appreciate a warm snuggle when we climb back into bed.  Last fall, when our daughter, Laurel, told us they were expecting a baby around the 4th of March, we decided to postpone lambing until the 1st of April.

Lambing in April should be very different from lambing in February and March – less snow and more temperate weather. I’m really looking forward to not losing lambs to the cold. The ewes should need less food because their lambs will only be growing and not trying to keep their body temperature 100 degrees above ambient. Finally, we’ll save electricity because we won’t be using heat lamps in every pen for the first 24 hours after each lamb is born.

Of course we’ll still check the lambs every three to four hours night and day. We’ll probably still have a bottle lamb or two and we may have ewes with lambing problems. But in April, we won’t be dealing with those things in below zero weather.

Instead, we’re spending late February and early March caring for Simon, our new human baby, and his big brother Kieran. Dave and I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night. We work in 68 degree temperatures. We change diapers instead of shoveling manure. We play with toy cars, we make muffins, we read books, and best of all, we snuggle. If we snuggled lambs like we do our grandchildren, we’d never be able to let them go.

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