Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Brings New Life

The past few days have been rather mixed, weather-wise. Very little of our mixed weather has been pleasant. But when babies are ready, they come, even if the weather is not great. Some of us believe that babies come especially when the weather isn't great. 

This little guy was born a day before the snow. At least he had a chance to get acclimated to his new surroundings in two steps: 1) Outside world, decent weather. 2) Outside world, snowy weather.

But this little guy--calf #2--was born during the snow that came this past weekend. This picture was taken during a lull. We got more snow after this. His mama had the sense to drop him on a pile of hay, fortunately.

Since then, we've had sheep delivering lambs left and right. Fortunately for them, they are in the barn. This ewe is delivering her first lamb of the year.

And about 30 minutes later, she has finished delivering all three of her lambs.

This is a busy time for The Farmer, but he tends to clear his schedule at this time of the year. It's far too wet to do fieldwork right now, so he has nothing pulling him away from the barn.

Because I suspect there will be some people wondering, I'm going to answer a question before it's asked. Why are the cattle outside and the sheep inside? We have chosen to raise our cattle organically. National standards require that organically-raised animals have access to the outdoors every day. Our cattle are Belted Galloways, a hearty, double-coated breed that tolerates weather well. So they are outdoors all the time. If weather is truly evil, they shelter near trees or a building.

The sheep are not certified organic, though they are raised using mostly organic practices. Since they are not required to have access to the outdoors, we choose to keep them inside most of the winter and early spring. Pastures quickly turn to mud, and it's easier to keep an eye on over 100 ewes when they are in the barn.

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