So first we received a foot of snow, and this morning the temperature dropped to 14 degrees. The robins (above) are unhappy about the lack of ground available to find worms. I went to help Tom with animal chores this morning. When I fed the rams I noticed Shawn:
Normally when the sheep get ice on their fleece tips we call them “dingle berries” (a technical term), but this large we decided to call them dingle bombs. So I called to Tom to help catch Shaun to cut the bombs off with shears. I noticed Ebony our oldest skinniest sheep laying in the snow next to the rams’ fence. Apparently that is where she has been every day Tom has been feeding the animals (during my recuperation). He has had to drag her back to the barn every day to feed her despite the snow and freezing temperatures. So today we drug her back and left her in the feed shed. She is unhappy about her captivity.
So Tom and I caught Shaun and he lifted him up for me to cut the dingle bombs off and here is what I saw:
Not only does he have HUGE dingle bombs, but his legs are bare and raw. We have had more snow and colder temperatures in the past, but I have never seen the Shetlands have any problems with it. The rams have shelter but, of course, they prefer not to use it. So we then (after cutting the d-bombs off) drug Shawn back to the barn, moved penned goats around and put him in the pen. I really hope his legs will be OK. I am really worried they are frostbit, and he may need to be put down. Then we looked at the other rams, and they had the same problem although not to the same degree. We chased then drug them into the same pen.
Have any of you cold-weather Shetland folks (like in the Midwest and East) seen this? Jocko has been through many a snowy cold winter here and never had any trouble. Is it the bad combination of deep snow and the cold at the same time? Anything else I should do? Shetlands are tough but maybe they are not selected for dealing with deep snow? My impression is that deep snow is unusual for them on the Islands.
In other farm news, Zeus and Lil (our prospective pack goats) are out of quarantine. Here they are meeting some of the rest of the herd.
And just a pretty peacock photo.