Warm coats for cold baby lambs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Warm coats for cold baby lambs

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TUNBRIDGE, Vt. - Continuous below freezing temperatures have taken a toll on many of us, including animals. Gina Bullard found one woman who's had to unexpectedly deal with the cold and she's done it with a Made in Vermont idea.

There are signs of Vermont's deep freeze everywhere. With below zero temperatures only the warmest of coats will cut it -- and not just on people. At Landgos Farm in Tunbridge the sheep are staying warm with their natural coats, and the lambs are also cozy, with a little help from Emily Howe.

Eighteen lambs and counting came early on the farm. Family planning was a little off this year. Normally the family expects newborns towards the end of March. "You separate the ewes and lambs in the fall and we had early frost and didn't think it was going to matter -- but it mattered," Howe said.

On a below freezing evening babies were coming fast and furious. Howe knew she had to keep them warm since their coats aren't fully grown in. "We went out to the barn there was a shivering little baby there," she said. So she headed to her children's closets to grab Vermont flannel pajama pants, then to her sewing machine. "The best way is snip the bottom off a fleece pajama pant, shape the belly and make sure they have room here so they don't choke," she said. "This one is Elsa, because she was almost frozen."

"This one is Elsa, because she was almost frozen," Howe said. Elsa is the only lamb so far that stays inside the house. She had one of the toughest times, and is just like a real baby. "We don't have to burp you at least," Howe said. "She was one of a set of triplets and one was born dead. Her brother was okay but she was almost dead because of hypothermia. We put her in a hot bath of water three times before she came to."

Elsa has already outgrown her first lamb coat and so have her friends in the barn which means Howe is busy creating more, recycling fleece pajamas.  Now she won't loose sleep counting her new born sheep -- keeping warm in their Made in Vermont jackets.

Howe says she will make the lamb coats to order, or she says she's happy to give the pattern to any folks who like to try to make them.

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