Monday, March 11, 2019

Time For Some Shade!

Wild Rose Farm - 25 Degrees in the Shade!
I looked out the window and noticed all of the sheep standing in the SHADE of the Loafing Shed.  I zoomed in on the ewes so that you can see them grouped in the shadow.  Folks, it's 25 degrees out there!  They can be lounging anywhere on the other side of the fence line and they choose to be in the shade where it's cooler.  With their wool fleeces, they are quite comfortable in the cold weather, just like the whitetail deer that you see bedded down in the woods. Just say'in for those that worry about the livestock … they could also be inside the Loafing Shed if they choose to be, but they aren't.
By the way, shearing is scheduled for April 13th this year!

Friday, February 22, 2019

New Puppy at Wild Rose Farm!

New Puppy Jake - First Look at Sheep!
We got a new puppy this winter, right in the middle of the polar vortex … yikes! It's not fun being a puppy and going through housebreaking in such cold weather and snow.  Casey, our 14 year old black standard poodle passed away in November. We weren't really thinking about getting a new pup until the spring. Surprisingly, a bit of searching turned up a nice litter of red standard poodle puppies that would be available in late January. I talked to Jen, the breeder, and we were set to get a new male puppy!
Walking Jake on the Ground Past the Sheep
 These pictures were taken on Valentine's Day & I forgot to download them, lol.  They show a nice healthy curiosity from little Jake towards the ewes after a brief introduction … 
Jake & Ewe Checking Each Other Out! 
We'll have to make a little journey into the barn to see the lambs and llama Snow White one of these days!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Giving "Feeder" A New Meaning!

Boots The Barn Cat Finds A Squirrel!
It looks like the greedy squirrel at the bird feeders has met his match today.  We usually see the cat sitting near the feeders watching the birds, but this was a different scene! Needless to say, the birds had scattered.
Yikes! Now What?!?
Things got pretty dicey out there for the squirrel. They really couldn't see each other much of the time and it seemed like going higher was the first choice for the squirrel, but then …
Where Did That Cat Go?
After about 10 minutes of round & round, up & down by both, it basically came down to a standoff. The squirrel wouldn't move and the cat got bored. The squirrel lives to raid the feeders another day …

Friday, December 21, 2018

Off To A New Home!

Dorset Ram - You Say New Ewes Are Waiting For Me? 
Three sheep left this week for a new home. Our Dorset ram is off to new pastures where he'll be turned in with a new flock of ewes. We trimmed his hooves and put fresh raddle paint on his chest as an added bonus, lol.
Wild Rose Farm - Dorset Ewe Lamb
Two Dorset ewe lambs were selected and went along too. They are twin siblings born on May 11th out of our ewe Wild Rose Farm #117. We're keeping one Dorset ewe lamb & seven Rambouillet ewe lamb replacements for ourselves this year. Now all of the breeding ewes are in one group again with the Rambouillet ram. He'll stay out with them until some time in March. He's happier outside in a group and we don't have to take hay and water buckets to him every day in the barn pen.
Wild Rose Farm - Twin Ewe Lambs Loaded Up & Ready To Roll!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pasture Scene ...

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ram & Ewes In Light Snow
There's really not much going on at all around the farm at this time of year. We had light snow early last week and now we've transitioned back to rain (again!). All of the ewes have been marked by the rams, so now we just leave them out there to clean up in case a breeding didn't "catch" … The Rambouillet ram above is enjoying his time with his band of 9 Rambouillet ewes. It goes without saying that you must exercise extra caution working around the sheep when a breeding ram is in the mix.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Rams Are Busy Now!

Wild Rose Farm - Breeding Season Supplies ...
The sheep breeding season started the day after Thanksgiving here at Wild Rose Farm.  It was a little muddy around the barn with all of the rain we've had, but it was a relatively pleasant day.  The raddle powder is mixed with mineral oil and rubbed on the chest of the rams. The ewes are then marked on their rumps when they've been bred. That gives us a date to track so the we know when to expect the ewe to deliver her lambs in the spring. We also use the special spray paint to put each ewe's ear tag number on her hip. It's much easier to read the painted number than an ear tag from a distance! The paints weather or wash off over the winter. The little color remaining at shearing time is able to be scoured off of the wool. We also use the craft shears to trim up the back end of the ewes if needed, but everyone was pretty clean this fall.
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewes & Ram - Just Mixed Together
 This year we have our Rambouillet ram in with Rambouillet ewes & our Dorset ram in with the Dorset & crossbred ewes.  The 2 breeding groups are separated into different pastures. We also move the llama out of the pasture groups and into the barn with the ewe lambs.
Rambouillet Ram Panting After An Hour With The Ewes!
The first few hours in with the ewes are pretty exciting (and tiring!) for the rams.  The ram above immediately started following everyone and narrowed it down pretty quickly to one receptive ewe.
As of today, just under half of the ewes are marked and it's time to freshen the raddle paint over the weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Indie Knit & Spin - A Fun Show!

Pittsburgh Indie Knit & Spin - View From The Wild Rose Farm Booth
We had a great time at the Indie Knit & Spin show at the Ace Hotel in Pittsburgh!  Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed shopping yesterday. The cold weather and dusting of snow on Saturday seemed to put people in the pre-holiday spirit. The room where the show is held is the old gymnasium of this converted YMCA building. It's used as an event center for receptions & parties and even comes complete with a disco ball(!).
Wild Rose Farm Naturally Dyed Yarn Before The Doors Opened!
 After setting up for the show, I took a few minutes to look around the hotel.  Such amazing old architectural details … heavy floor tiles, thick oaken handrails, and iron gracing the stairwell.
Pittsburgh Ace Hotel Handrails
Pittsburgh Ace Hotel Stairwell