Behind the Barn

Keeping Warm: Snuggling in for Winter at Renaissance Farms

By / Photography By Sandy Watson | January 01, 2014
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Pigs huddled together for warmth

We could imagine that winter is a restful time on a farm. Think again.

“The days are shorter so we are limited in what we can accomplish during the day,” says Sandy Watson of Renaissance Farms in Saulsbury, Tennessee. Cris and Sandy have 50 Tamworth pigs, 40 Dorper and St. Croix sheep, 200 laying hens, 30 ducks, and 20 cows to care for.

“Our main concern is…making sure any animals that give birth over the winter do so in a warm, dry area,” says Sandy “Hypothermia will kill a newborn lamb or pig faster than anything. You can tell when the animals are within days of giving birth, but you can check them and see nothing, and then an hour later go out and there are two new lambs. It happens fast, and often at night. We check on them right before we go to bed and first thing in the morning...especially on extra cold and wet nights.”  

Throughout the winter, Cris and Sandy work on fencing the perimeter of the farm, keep the animals warm, dry, and healthy, and tackle maintenance on farm equipment. This year building projects include another hen house and a lambing shed.

Keep up with the happenings on their farm by visiting them each Saturday throughout the winter at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers’ Market. Braving the chill to bring you bacon, meat, and poultry is part of their winter plans, too.

Renaissance Farms
731.764.0341 •

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