With this recent blast of bitter cold weather we decided to move the ewes into the new barn. The barn was built this summer and it was sitting empty, awaiting the finishing construction of offices and freezer/ storage areas.
CNN reported yesterday " on Monday, January 6th Nashville was 40 degrees colder than Albany, NY and Memphis, TN was 20 degrees colder than Anchorage, AK ".
This combination of high winds and below freezing temperatures can be extremely dangerous for livestock. South Dakota, October 2013 showed just what these unexpected storms can do. Cattle deaths were estimated between 75,000- 100,000. The sudden change in temperature and lack of shelter has been attributed to those losses. Jim and I were very concerned for our flock. Normally we would not remove the sheep from pasture, they are hardy creatures, but these circumstances are unusual and have the potential for much harm. We decided to play it safe... into the barn they went!
The ewes enjoy the fresh hay and I left a radio on for them. I'm not sure how they feel about the music. Overall they appear downright content, tucked into their dry bedding and safe from the outside elements. WE are certainly sleeping better knowing they are safe and warm!
The new offices in the barn are scheduled to be finished out this week. I think that it's going to be very interesting to see how construction goes, working around all those curious ladies!