Adjusting For Rain

We are expecting a day of rain and wind to roll in tonight or tomorrow with forecast of up to an inch of rainfall. I wanted to make sure I had the ewes and lambs on a paddock with ample shelter available to them. I didn’t want them arriving to that paddock too soon and then getting restless to go again just when the rain was coming on. So I delayed two previous moves by a day, (thus pushing the grazing on those pieces of grass), so that I could end up with the flock where I wanted them should we get a day or two of rain this weekend. A day of rain on young lambs can be costly.

I opened the gate to the next paddock, moved the water bus and left the ewes with lambs to find the new paddock on their own. The front runners were about five minutes behind the water bus! I didn’t force a move but left the gate open for the remaining ewes to come along as they would. If they didn’t move, the paddock they are on is chalk full of bush for shelter and the open gate gives the ewes who did move up, the option to go back.

The drift flock (group yet to lamb) was on a paddock with little shelter. To continue the forward paddock moves with them would place them on another piece with zero shelter. So I sacrificed my drift lambing and let the front group mix with the ewes and lambs. The one thing in my favour on that decision is the bulk of lambing is over. If I have to finish up lambing with everyone together so be it. I can always start drifting the flock again when we move after the rain.

I am so grateful for this moderately rugged piece of prairie that affords me the natural shelter I need to do this. There are no building shelters out here. The only building is a mile away and would not house all the ewes with their lambs.

Tonight the evening sky was broody and the wind strong. I felt nervous heading out to the flock. I chalked it up to the sky and thoughts of managing with impending rain. The ewes hardly seemed concerned and as it turned out, there was no rain this evening.

I’ve done what I can to provide what they need in case of heavy rain. Here’s hoping these girls will move into the trees when the need arises.