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I'm just curious does everyone put their sheep in the barn during winter? Or is that only if you live up north? I live in Texas and it doesn't stay below freezing very long here. Are they ok outside as long as it's above freezing temps?
 

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I'm just outside Austin, and my sheep lived out last year. They have a 12 x 24 shelter in their pasture. They were fine. May need to supplement their forage depending on your pasture.
 

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Sheep wear their winter housing. I’ve only had a windbreak for my sheep. Actually, a tunnel. After a couple of years they did not all fit in and the lower ranking ones stayed on one side, using it as a windbreak.

A barn set up is nice for sorting them and shearing.
 

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Above freezing? Ruminants are tough. It can hit -30C here and the sheep live outdoors. They have 8' boards for windbreaks in the corrals, and they can go into the barn for shelter whenever they want.
The barn is very ventilated and never heated. Sheep will get sick quickly cooped up with poor air.
Windchill will kill, but cold is mostly harmless. We saw a windchill of -55C last year and you can bet nothing was out in the wind (including myself!)

Of course if your animals are not hardened off they can be killed by a cold snap so if they are not used to sub-zero temperatures and you have freak cold in the US like last year... bring them in and increase grain rations
 

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We have several 16X16 calving sheds that we use.
We built a nice little three and a half sided shelter for them, when we first got them. but then we got Alpacas, and the sheep got shifted to the two calving sheds.
Low roofs, 3 sides enclosed, should be plenty warm for them, with a bit of straw tossed in for good measure.
 

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Our sheep also are outdoor sheep. There is not animal better suited for cold weather. Ours bed down out in the snow and chew their cuds when it is -40. That is after they eat their hay from on top of the fresh snow first. They could go into a lean to for shelter, but never do. We have naturally treed pasture. If it is really storming, or REALLY cold and windy, they sometimes go into the woods.

Sheep simply do not feel the cold.

I would think in Texas you would be ok! lol.
 

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Here's a good example today! We just had a drop in temperature in a single day from 29C to 2C, an inch of rain and fairly high winds. Despite getting out my overalls and rain suit, I still felt it was completely awful outside - I could barely see with the rain blowing into my eyes and it felt as cold as the middle of winter from the rapid drop. Going out to check the sheep I quickly made a round of the pasture and decided to go back inside and drink tea.

However, I was not surprised to find 100% of the ewes and lambs ignoring their windbreak and the treed areas of the pasture, happily out in the open, completely soaked and vigorously chomping down the wet grass as if the sun was shining. In fact the sheep always seem to be happy in the rain, I think it keeps them cool. The midday sun usually brings them running to the corrals to lounge in the shade.

So yeah, sheep were made for bad weather!
 

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Here's a good example today! We just had a drop in temperature in a single day from 29C to 2C, an inch of rain and fairly high winds. Despite getting out my overalls and rain suit, I still felt it was completely awful outside - I could barely see with the rain blowing into my eyes and it felt as cold as the middle of winter from the rapid drop. Going out to check the sheep I quickly made a round of the pasture and decided to go back inside and drink tea.

However, I was not surprised to find 100% of the ewes and lambs ignoring their windbreak and the treed areas of the pasture, happily out in the open, completely soaked and vigorously chomping down the wet grass as if the sun was shining. In fact the sheep always seem to be happy in the rain, I think it keeps them cool. The midday sun usually brings them running to the corrals to lounge in the shade.

So yeah, sheep were made for bad weather!


Thank you for your reply! I always feel so sorry for them in the rain and I worry about them. But I think that's me projecting how I would feel out there. ;)
 
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