If you follow me on social media, you saw the madness. I was posting all sorts of stuff to keep my brain entertained. Mostly making lists. It was fun, but man, am I feeling the drag of only a few hours of sleep. Tonight will be tougher. lows below zero, four ewes to go, and a house to keep the pipes thawed, fire roaring, hawk safe, and dogs comfy. I managed to get a lot of work done yesterday, art commissions mailed out, logo clients caught up. Today my to-do list is lighter. I am going to try and get a nap where I can so I am ready for the ring tonight. It's Jenna vs Lambing2017.
Why the all-nighters? Because I don't have a lambing barn. I have two sheds. One is large and holds the whole flock (or a bossy horse), and the other is what you see above. A small shed with a heat lamb and hay and when the next new mama is with lamb she'll go in here with a gate. It's a comfy lambing jug for the new ladies or wee lambs. Could I shove all the females in the large shed and lock it with a gate and heat lamp. Sure. But the point of a smaller lambing shed (jug) is to keep the mom and offspring close and alone together - so no other ewe can try and "adopt" the lamb who isn't producing milk yet and the likelihood of the new mothers abandoning the newborn is less. So having them all in the same bulk container doesn't solve the problem of necessary attachment going askew. And if I filled the larger shed with jugs it would mean no shelter for the other sheep who might need a respite from wind, rain, and cold.
So this is what I do. I check every few hours for the duration of lambing season. It's once a year. It's tough but this is the life I chose. I don't have to worry about raising kids or a spouse or getting to the office on Monday AM. I am here. The mandatory presence is okay.
I hope you are all staying warm and have good support around your lambing/kidding/whatever you raise. I joked on Facebook with a local farmer that we need to start a Farm-Midwifery-Potluck-and-towel wagon. When one farmer is done with their babies coming into spring they volunteer laundry and meals for another farmer in the fray. I think it is a fine idea. Though to be honest, if you showed up with food here I'd say thank you, put it in the fridge, and be happy that was 30 minutes of napping I gained not cooking. then take that nap and forget to eat anyway. Farming!