If you have taken time to read any of these sporadic posts of mine (If you have ... I thank you :-)) you know that I am very much into working in the weather. Outside is where I long to be, more often than not.
I wonder about that desire on days like this. Man, it is cold. When you live on a farm you are in touch (hopefully) with everyone's welfare on a daily basis. Most days that means food, water, some observation and "attending to things". The rest of the day can be spend knowing that things are in order and your charges are healthy and cared for. When mother nature asserts herself it can mean that you do little else in a day beyond caring for the needs of animals and family. Cold like this can bring issues to the surface that you did not know were there.
We have a sheep today that can not get up. We separated her yesterday when we noticed how weak she was, it was clear this morning that she had a rough night. Without energy she can not fight off the cold, no vigor. It may have been a mistake to separate her, with the group she could bundle with others on the deep bedding pack to stay warm. Giving her her own space could have been a detriment. We'll see. Our thinking was that we did not want her to have to compete for feed, we wanted to keep an eye on her and be able to give her special food and attention.
I bought her last year, for nothing. I knew she was old, I knew she looked poor. We kept and eye on her and she seemed to settle in. She gave us a ewe and a ram lamb last spring. She seemed to get her condition back on the grass this season but as this year's lamb(s) grow in her you can tell it is taking a toll. I have been giving her special servings of grain (high energy protein as opposed to the lower energy but more affordable and consistent hay) for the past week or so. Until yesterday she was seeming to hold her own. I fear that initial interventions that would normally be just the ticket may have backfired in light of the frigid temps. Time will tell, she is acting normally in everyway... except she does not have the energy to stand.
Almost time to go back out and check on things. I need to collect eggs, if the hens get off an egg today it freezes pretty quick. I'll collect eggs probably 6 times today, precious little things. 77 yesterday... no reason not to come by and pick up some eggs now, they're back!
I'll post an update about the ewe, we're certainly doing what we can... might need to consider bringing her in tonight... it would be a first.