Sure enough–as soon as we finished shearing and started lambing, a cold, windy, snowy storm moved in. While we are happy to see the much-needed moisture, we have scrambled to try to save lambs. We estimate we lost about 150 lambs due to the severe weather. Our lambing grounds on Loco got a foot of fresh snow and we couldn’t get in there for several days. The herders were well-provisioned but couldn’t do much except get the ewes into sheltered areas.
This is the first year we have lambed ewes through our new shed on the private land on Cottonwood. We had preg tested the mothers of the replacement ewe lambs in March, and we sorted the mothers of twins into a bunch to be shed lambed. Our crew piled the straw bales to create wind breaks at each end of the shed, and were able to save most of the new lambs in the shed. We lamb later than most of our neighbors, and it is always a gamble.
Lambing shed with straw windbreak
Ewes pregnant with twin lambs sheltering in the shed
Ewes huddled behind tarp windbreaks
Horses at the lambing shed, with Muddy Mountain
Siobhan and Tiarnan in the mud