Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Counting Sheep on a Cold Night

The next 3 nights are going to be bitterly cold, some of the coldest Northeast Ohio has seen in a a good year or so. I just came in from doing my "late"night bedcheck with the animals. The J-Crew & the 2 bucks are good to go in their barn; Johnny is being a punk about the lean-to so TJ and Samuel are sleeping next to each other on the one outside wall. In the big barn the Nigerians are all snug together. Cubbie, my oldest Nigerian wether is sleeping in the little hay wagon; LaManchas are all snug together, Miniature horses are in their stalls and comfortable; and where are all the sheep? The majority of them are outside under the overhang......didn't they hear the radio in the barn tell them that its going to be 5 degrees tonight??

I leave the door under the overhang open just enough so the animals can come and go. I guess I worry that everyone will be fine in the cold weather. I am just curious if anyone who is reading and has sheep, do you close them up in a barn at night? do you let them have free access to come in and out of a barn at night? Guess I am just being a worry wart about the coldest nights of the year coming up.

Harvest Thyme's "Autumn Thyme".....who likes to sleep outside with her mom by the way:)


Rayna said...

5 degrees! That's a picnic! ;-) Supposed to get to -20 here tonight, and last night was -33 w/ a -45 windchill! *shiver* I'll take your 5 above weather :D lol

melanie said...

Mine only have a calf hut to get out of the weather, and wouldn't have it any other way. They fuss and pace if I keep them locked in...

Kara said...

My three little ewe lambs that are in the barn, featured in yesterday's post, as are the dairy girls and chickens. Everyone else have access to their stalls, sheep shed, or the large shed I think it is (14 x 20) or maybe even bigger (16 x 24). Anyways they usually choose to stay out but often pick a spot where one of the buildings offer a wind block. I think that Cornell has 400 sheep out on pasture all winter, with only a wind block for protection. It is not the cold or snow, they are well insulated for that, but the wind that gets to them. I wonder if the people that cover their sheep find that those covers act as good wind breakers? I know it helps the horses.

Claire said...

Our sheep and goats stay in a lean-to and we're having weather like Rayna. The only ones inside the barn are our little rescue angora goats from earlier this year and they are still kind of tiny. Oh, and the pregnant doe too! I'm sure your sheep will all be just fine.

Tammy said...

Hey Kristi,
We are suppose to get down to 1 degree by tonite with the temps falling all day. One of the blessings of sheep is I rarely worry about them and the cold weather. This is their time of the year! I have two sheds, one larger (which I call the 'main barn'..har) and they are both open on the south side. I keep the sheep up in a large paddock behind the house at night, but they aren't locked in the barn. They can go into the sheds if they want or lay around outside. Most nights they lay outside. The only exceptions are if it is extremely windy like Kara mentioned or if it is raining. Sometimes they will lay out while it is snowing. I can pretty well judge the weather by the sheepies. If it is particualary nasty they will all be piled in the barn. The only exceptions regarding shelter/being shut in at night would be the elder, infirm or those that have just lambed (or are about to). Take care and stay warm!

Tracey said...

It's a good thing I don't live in that cold weathewr and that I don't have sheep, 'cause I am thinking my bed would be full of critters! LOL
Stay warm Kristi!
Did you see the Tomato Pie recipe I left on your tomato post?...it's YUMMY!!

Joanna said...

I don't have any experience with sheep.

You're probably like me, I don't want my animals to be in "survival" mode, I want 'em as comfy as we can make 'em.

kristi said...

gee I guess I sound like a wimp at 5 degrees...I'll wait till it gets into the negatives:)

see my sheep will pace too but its good to know that they are just fine being out in the cold

its the windchill that I worry most about, sometimes I want to treat them like my dogs and cats and I know I can't nor should I but I can't help it:)

I like lean-to's but always worry if they are "warm" enough...I am sure I overbaby the animals:)

as always, I enjoy your voice of reason! As I move along with the animals, I just want to make sure I am making good choices in the housing arrangements I have for them but Johnny is with the 2 rams and the 2 rams were sleeping in the lean-to with him and now they won't so then I worry. There is plenty of room for all 3 of them. Why do I do this to myself? LOL

yep, the tomato pie sounds yummy..you know I love fried green tomatoes too:). I am sure this Arctic front is going to get down to you to...maybe:)