Sunday, January 25, 2009

Camo can't fool the sheep!

The sheep don't miss a trick. Here they are watching hopefully for some feed. All they need to see is a scoop or a bucket! Look at the expressions on their faces. Too bad it's just sunflower seeds for the birds.

Yesterday the Dorset ram went to his new home with a small flock. He was supposed to go last weekend, but the weather was just too cold to fool around with hauling sheep. A phone call from the new owner confirmed that he got right down to business when he was unloaded.
While we were loading the ram, Claire was very vocal and very happy to have so much attention. She was admired by everyone and got her head scratched for almost 20 minutes. Here's a picture of her making noise again today when she came up to the barn.
After the ram headed down the road, I made a trip to Covered Bridge Needle Arts in Bridgewater, PA. I wanted some tools for needle felting and was able to get them in this great little shop. If you're in the area, it's worth the trip to check it out. It's hard to leave empty-handed ......



Monday, January 19, 2009

Still cold!

Over the weekend the cold weather continued. Another inch or two of snow fell here at Wild Rose Farm. The snow is definitely preferable to rain and mud, so I'm not complaining. All the better for the fleeces, my dear! Current temperature as this is being posted is 15 degrees F. The ewe lambs are looking pretty good now. We still have a few to sell --- twin Dorset x Rambouillet crossbreds.

For anyone looking at equipment, you'll notice the horizontal bars on the round bale feeder. We ended up with one of these because the lambs always go through the feeders with the vertical bars. This is actually sold as a goat feeder. If you know lambs(or goats for that matter), you know that they climb to the highest point and then you have "droppings" on top of the hay. Not very tasty and it's a waste of good hay!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Cold Out Here Now!

Sheep are perfectly suited to the great outdoors. We'll be having highs in the low single digits here at Wild Rose Farm for the rest of the week. All three groups of sheep got fresh round bales of hay yesterday. When the temperature drops, they really put the munch on the feed. The sheep generally don't come up to the barn, even though they have access. They prefer to stay outside, but will go under trees or over a hillside if it's windy. After all, since the barn isn't heated, it's really just a windbreak. Following a heavy snow fall, the wooly well insulated sheep stand up and shake off like a dog.

Breeding season is over now and we will be selling our Dorset ram this weekend. We've had him for 3 years, but we need to breed his daughters to another ram. The Rambouillet ram will be separated out and moved to the ram pen. We can then get all of the ewes together in one spot so that they're easier to take case of for the rest of the winter.

Another comment about the weather and our lambing schedule here. Despite the frigid temperatures, there are plenty of folks lambing at this time of year. This involves round-the-clock checks on ewes in lambing pens and quick action to dry lambs and get them up and nursing. This is required if you want to hit the Easter market for lambs or if you are raising 4-H club lambs and show sheep. We aren't targeting those markets, so we lamb in late April/early May. On a day like today, that makes us particularly happy ........ :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's the Chance ?

I've been wanting to get some pictures of the sheep in the snow. First I went to a window and took some overview shots on Saturday afternoon. What's the chance that a cardinal would be so perfectly framed for the season? This is a great additon to the year round collection of shots framing the Wild Rose Farm sign. We get a lot of questions about why the sign isn't out along the road anymore, but it was too tempting a target for the "drive-bys". Anyway, it looks great on the barn and visitors like to take pictures under it.
The picture of Claire & the Rambouillet ewes above was taken from the same window. Note that despite having a round bale of hay and a water tank available, they all still paw around & graze. The sheep also get the majority of their water needs in the cold weather from the fresh snow. The woods look deceptively close in this picture. The blaze of white going from the upper right to the lower left in the back of the woods is actually the clearing for the back fenceline. Believe me, it was a treat clearing that hillside and then hand seeding and mulching it after the fence was installed .........

Just for fun, here's another artsy shot of the official Wild Rose Farm Rooster Mascot in the snow!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shout out to my peeps

OK --- so I've been called out by certain interested parties for my lack of posting ...... where did the time go?!?

We'll let this home grown tree suffice until I can get some current pics of sheep & snow. It is the truly blue spruce that we were cutting in the last post. Hey ...... yesterday WAS Orthodox Christmas, so it's still appropriate. True to form, they always have snow on Serbian Christmas. The blue star on the barn stays on through the 7th every year.

Also a bit of news on the coonhounds. We've added an English Coonhound to the Redbone family at Wild Rose Farm over the holidays. What's an English Coonhound? Well, coincidentially, here's a picture of a Lowell Davis limited edition Christmas figurine entitled "Visions of Sugarplums". That's an English Coonhound waiting for Santa!