Crazy farmer theories and our sheep “radiant heat system”

one of our moms and twins. You can always tell the babies are getting the milk, when you see those little tails wiggle!

One of our mother ewes with her twins. You can  tell the lambs are getting the milk when you see those little tails wiggle!

When you work on a farm for so many years, you get a little crazy…

For instance, a tiny bit of me truly believes that the act of opening and shaking out a fresh bale of straw onto a musty old pen,  unleashes sunshine left over from the summer day that the straw was baled…It sounds ridiculous, but I swear to you there’s nothing like it. When the straw is spread out, no matter how cold and snowy it is outside, the sun shines from the barn floor up.

This morning,  Will busted open a fresh bale onto the sheep pen. Even though I neglected to tell him my deep-seated farm theories, I think deep down, he and most farmers feel that same sunshine glow.  How can you not? Just look at the photo below; can’t you just see it shining?DSCN1256As much as adding the straw gives a little “Feng Shui” to the barn, its purpose is a deliberate part of a sustainable farming technique called “The Deep Litter Method.”

How it Works: When winter begins, our farm stops cleaning the pens altogether. Instead, we add straw to the top layer to ensure the animals are dry and comfortable. By leaving these bottom layers of manure and bedding to compost all winter long, heat is produced without any electricity at all. You could say that our sheep have their own radiant heat system!

Even the straw is meant for bedding and not food, this little one couldn't resist munching on it.

This little one couldn’t resist munching on his new bedding.

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