As you may have noticed winter returned last week. Our lane way got impassable for a while and still is for a few hours when the ground thaws in the sunshine. There is not any frost in the ground though so that is a good thing.
More lambs have been born but a young ewe died in lambing. No lamb either. She had hemorrhaged while beginning the birth but could not finish pushing the lamb out. We very seldom lose a ewe in lambing. It is almost always a lamb that dies shortly after birth and usually because it does not get enough mother’s milk soon enough.
The chickens and ducks were off their lay just a little bit seeming to be reacting to the cold uncomfortable weather though the one lot of hens, the ISA, were laying better during the earlier, much colder, even more uncomfortable weather. Our Leghorn hens were unfazed by the weather though as they laid one egg a day each for 6 days and the 7th day one hen took the day off and we only got 8 eggs. When the weather is nice, either above freezing or no wind or a moderate wind and sunny, then the door is opened and most of the hens spend a good part of their day outside. The ducks will go outside every day no matter what is happening but if it is really bad they too will go back in for most of the time.
Nothing at all done in the way of gardening this past week. We should get more seeds and do more preparation work but it seems that we found too many other pressing things to do and gathering maple and walnut sap and making syrup has taken a lot of time. The sap was not running for most of the week but we managed to catch up on our backlog of stored sap. Boiling down on the top of our woodstove is slower than using the apparatus especially designed for the job. But a sap evaporator costs a bit more money which we don’t yet have. Maybe for next season. It seems that the sap run will go for a while yet according to the weather forecasts. Household repairs were at the forefront this week too and the major project of rebuilding our electric range top has now been finished and is ready for the hot season when we will not be running the wood stove. Repairing the facia at the back of our house and evicting the nesting birds is another high priority thing to get done.