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Lambing can be a tricky business. Nearly 20 percent of lambs die before they are weaned, most within the first ten days. The climate can play a major role in these deaths, and although lambing can take place early in the year, it is more common in the warmer springtime.

So in 1936, shepherds watched the efforts of one farmer near Carrington, Harder Langmaach, with great interest. In attempts to get his lambs on the market early in July, he bred his sheep to give birth early. The first one was born January 27 in -45 degrees, and up to this date, his sheep had given birth to 33 lambs, and he had lost only three.

If nothing else, the lambs added a touch of spring to a North Dakota winter.

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker


The Foster County Independent, Thursday, February 27, 1936