tIt finally got too cold to have the stock tanks outside and unheated. So I had to figure out how to get electricity down to the new part of the barn, as the power was cut to the tractor bay when the roof was first worked on. Unfortunately the stock tank heater I wanted to use required a gfci outlet....but to my amazement I found a portable gfci I can plug into my existing outlets in the barn!
I set up the 100 gallon and 50 gallon stock tanks , filled them and realized the 50 gal was too high for the shorter sheep to get a drink, but if I put it lower, everyone will foul it with their manure. So I set up the 20 gal rubber tank on the floor near by. The other difficulty is that when the heated tanks were in the other barn I set them up on pallets and the sheep could put their front hooves up on the pallets to get a drink. They got use to that, so next year I will change it, can't do it now as all the pallets are frozen outside under the outside stock tanks.
I may need to put 3 big buckets out instead of the 20 gal tank so more sheep can drink at a time. Plus once there are more lambs they need to have access to water.
With that last cold snap after the snow/rain storm I didn't have a chance to get my driveway plowed, so it is impassable! It will be a pain to bring things up the hill in a sled for the market, but at least I can load the heaviest stuff on Friday and bring it over to the school and drop it off. Plus with it being so cold I can put the meat in the cooler and leave it in the car overnight and not have to deal with it in the morning.
If it ever gets warm enough again, I need to get the driveway plowed....ah winter in New England!
January has arrived and the cold weather and wind are back. Along with the wind the farm has a new years lamb. The ewe lamb was not born on New Years but in the new year. Her mother is named Tussle and last year she had a still born lamb and was very distressed and kept running back to the place where the lamb had been. But this year she had a healthy ewe lamb and her name is Tangled! Tussle is a very good mother and I will be releasing mother and lamb on Wednesday as it isn't supposed to be as bitter cold. Tuesday we are due to have temperatures well below zero with the wind chill. The new mothers tend to keep their lambs well away from the rest of the flock especially if the area where they eat is too congested. So waiting an extra day to release the ewe and her lamb is a good idea.
The farmers market at the Maple Street school in Contoocook is going every Saturday from 9-12 noon (Masks are required). I have more eggs to sell now that the sexy girls are laying . So come on down to the market and see what your local farmers and artisans have to offer!
Mary Will Sussman