Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet ewe #330 had a set of twin ewe lambs early this afternoon. Yay! It was a nice sunny day, perfect for lambing. Here they are in the barn ..... to me, the newborns always look so small, even when they're a good size. They are born with virtually no fat on them, but the lambs fill out nicely in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, in the back 40, the other pregnant ewes do what sheep always do .... walk back & forth from grazing to the water tank to the mineral feeder, etc! No one is looking like they're going to deliver this evening ......
Wild Rose Farm cross-bred ewe #37 delivered a big set of twin ewe lambs today in the pasture field. She was standing off by herself at our 5:00AM check this morning, so we expected something to happen. Last year she had twin ram lambs. She is in excellent condition and we'd love to pass on these Rambouillet x-bred genetics to someone looking for good ewe lambs. Here they are relaxing in the barn.
And so it begins ..... we went out this morning at 5am and found our first lambs of the season ..... a nice set of ewe lambs! Since it was raining, we brought them up into the barn and the ewe followed along nicely. This evening we had another ewe lamb, also born in the pasture, to one of our first time lambers, Dorset ewe #116. Here she is in the barn with her sleeping lamb.
Something moved and caught my attention in the morning sun. As soon as this wild hen turkey saw me move, she flapped and took off over the fence ...... amazing how far they can glide once they're airborn!
Well, the shearing is done for another year at Wild Rose Farm. YEA! We should start lambing in another week and I like to have the ewes sheared so that we can see what's going on. You may not think of this, but the ewes take up much less space in the pen without 3-4 inches of wool on each side! Here's a picture of the Rambouillet ram being sheared. Rams take 1 or 2 other people besides the shearer to hold them down and help manipulate them around. What a nice looking fleece coming off of him ..... we got a sample to send off to Yocum-McColl for micron testing.
The last sheep to be sheared was "U". Black sheep are always sheared last. This is done to keep the black
fiber from contaminating the white wool. "U" was sick this summer and her fleece had a "wool break", so it is no good for our purposes. When sheep are sick or stressed, their wool can develop a weak spot. The fiber breaks when it is combed or processed causing neps or pills in the yarn.
The ewes are being moved into the barn tonight. Here they are now that the fence around the wintering area has been taken down. We pick a patch of pasture that we want to rejuvenate and then we winter the sheep there. We'll be picking up some pasture grass seed tomorrow at Ann's Feed in Washington, PA to overseed this area. Wild Rose Farm crossbred #50 is eyeing up the disk. This piece of equipment was a "freebie". It was pulled out of the woods where it had been abandoned and has been "reconditioned"! Hey --- it serves the purpose!
We are expecting rain on Friday and the sheep have to be dry for shearing on Saturday. Normally they are moved into the barn the night before shearing so that they don't have any dew or wet spots on them. We also take away their hay & water so that they are sheared on an empty stomach. They're not happy in the morning, but it's easier on them to have an empty stomach while they're being rolled around during shearing. I'm predicting that WRF #39 below will have a nice handspinning fleece!
Now where is that sheep shearer? This Dorset ewe seems to be waiting for the shearer to come. Our shearer Don will be here this Saturday. We have a couple of fleeces pre-sold, so let us know if you'd like a fleece!
Otherwise, things seem to be progressing on schedule for lambing season in a couple of weeks ........ sure looks like twins from this view!
It was sunny & overcast on Easter Day. The weather was cooler than it had been on Friday & Saturday. The ewes are in full fleeece right now and there really isn't any shade this early in the spring. We don't like it when it gets up into the 80's at this time of year. Shearing is coming up in the next week or so ..... the ewes are looking a little "ratty" around their belly & neck. They'll be happy to get rid of all of that wool ..... and I know some people who can't wait to get their hands on it too! :)
Now a picture of some of our daffodils .... We have about a dozen varieties of narcissus ..... I love them and we need to get more to do some naturalizing!