It’s the time of year where we hunker down during the season of snow, cold and long nights. Winter starts for us once breeding is done (mid-December). Winter’s end is marked first by shearing of the flock (late February) and then lambing season (mid-March into April.
Of course, the snow and cold continues well into the spring for those of us up north. Spring lambing generally takes the sting out of those additional cold and wet days. Winter is also marked as “falling down season,” where we try our best to not slip on accumulated ice while attending to twice daily chores.
We keep the bred ewes in one paddock and the (hopefully) un-bred yearlings in another paddock to facilitate different nutritional needs. The sheep eat, sleep, butt-heads and anxiously await the shepherd to see if we have any special treats for them. Our biggest trial is re-introducing the rams to each other after 40 days of breeding. It takes some time for the rams to settle down and not try to kill each other or the shepherd.
It’s a quiet time for the flock with brief challenges from snow storms and cold snaps. Soon, it will be spring. Lambing season is always a welcome beginning to a new year at Strawberry Ridge Farm.