Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wool Winners!

Here are the Wild Rose Farm fleece placings from the Hookstown Fair.  Fleeces are judged on Friday afternoon, so we wait 'til near the end of the fair to get our results.  This year, one of our 2 year old Rambouillet ewes out of the Colorado Schaffer ram had the Reserve Grand Champion Fleece in the wool show.  Her fleece is what we're looking for ..... fine with a longer staple length!  Her fleece tested at 20.2 microns.  This fleece is available for sale.  Let us know if you want more details or a sample. 
Our Dorset x Rambouillet crossbred fleeces (aka the "Commercial Class) won the 1st & 2nd place ribbons in their class.  The 1st place fleece is from #29.  Her fleece has been purchased by handspinners in the past. 
Finally, the Dorset fleeces also got 1st & 2nd in their class.  These are nice lofty, bulky fleeces! 
All in all, we're pleased with a very good showing.  :)  Contact us if you're interested in any of these fleeces.

Another Hookstown Fair closes for the record books!  Oh yeah, that Grand Champion market hog from one of our previous posts sold for $4.50/lb at the 4-H Livestock Auction on Friday night .....
AND, Wild Rose Farm successfully bid on a pen of chickens at the auction.  The 3 birds were delivered to our freezer this evening.  We believe in supporting 4-H and we get a chance to enjoy some great meals this winter! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Best Use of Wool!

Here is a super quick post from the Hookstown Fair to share this great wool hooking.  Be sure to read the border and note the real dog tags on the collar ..... double click on this picture to see the detail.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote Of The Night!

Are you impressed?   This market hog was the first place winner in his heavy weight class at the Hookstown Fair and then went on to be named Grand Champion Market Hog over the whole 4-H market hog show. 
When you watch animals being judged in livestock shows, the judge gives a set of "reasons" when he places the animals in winning order, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.  Having taken a 3 credit class in livestock judging at Penn State, your blogger is always tuned in to the reasons.  From year to year, there are fads & changes in the phrasing of reasons and you'll hear certain comments repeated at different shows.  Examples include things like describing a hog as "a free-wheeling kinda hog" to praise structurally correct freely moving feet and legs.  Lambs are described as "tight- hided" when describing smoothness of skin over properly muscled shoulders, etc. 
Tonight a new quote in livestock reasons has dazzled Wild Rose Farm!  The judge described this hog, praising his structural correctness, freedom of movement, outstanding muscling, and uniformity of finish.  He just liked the "total package".  The quote of the evening was when he praised the young man showing this hog by saying that in comparison to the rest of the class, "He brought a gun to a knife fight"!  
Yowza!  We love that oratory!  Well, maybe it's just me, but here's another view of the star of the showring:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hookstown Fair - Day 1

It was standing room only (2 deep) around the tent when the judging began for the 4-H market poultry classes.  Not sure how this got started, but when you show poultry, you get to wear a long white coat.  Here is the judge examining a 4-H'ers bird in the Senior Showmanship division.  These chickens were all given baths earlier today .... now that would have been interesting to watch.  A lot of care must be taken when you're grooming a chicken! 
Later we were off to the 4-H market lamb barn where we're proud to show off some of the best dressed lambs in Beaver County.  The spandex tubes help keep the lambs clean and keep their skin smooth and tight to their body.  These tubes used to be rather boring, but now the kids are having some fun with the colors.  Aren't you glad that you tuned in to the blog to see the unique Wild Rose Farm view of the fair?  We teach you things that you'd never learn anywhere else!  

The lamb in the background shows off a tube with bling .... see the sparkles?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hookstown Fair Starts Tomorrow!

The Hookstown Fair starts tomorrow and you know that we have our season passes! 
We show the fleeces, not the sheep.  Sunday was spent skirting & tying up our fleeces for the wool show.  We dropped them off with all of the other show fleeces and on the way home, we spotted this poster in the corner store window.
See you at the fair!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Mystery Continues .....

Another August and another Hoopiefest arrives in the 'hood.   This time, Wild Rose Farm followed the arrow hoping to spot the venue. 
No such luck!  Evidently, this is by invitation only and the sign is just enough to get the guests on the right track ...... The sign this year is an upgrade over last summer  so this is probably becoming an annual event.  Again, the location will remain unnamed to protect the innocent .....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Newest Helper

We have a new little helper on the retaining wall  ..... our biggest chore is making sure that he doesn't get pancaked into the project.  He is proudly showing off the muddy pinecone that he found while he was digging ....... and yes, that is a pinecone! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot & Boring .....

Just a few words to let everyone know that not much is going on at Wild Rose Farm right now.  This picture says it all ..... hot & hazy.  The sheep are out in the runway while a new round bale of hay is being placed in the feeder for them.  We just had our front spring water development refurbished ..... This is the stock water tank that many of you got to see when you visited the farm on the PASA Summer Farm Tour.  The old tank was not in good shape, so we replaced it and redirected the outflow down over the hill to a second tank.  Now we have 2 tanks and we will be able to run an interior fence line between the tanks to subdivide the pasture.  Aside from moving more of our barn stone collection up to the driveway for the retaining wall project (which our visitors also had to dodge on the way out of the tour!), that's about it for the dog days of summer.  The sheep are just hanging out trying to keep cool and Claire is standing in the sun as usual, even though she could be in the shade! 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ram Sale Results ......

The usual local contingent didn't make it to the PA Performance Tested Ram Lamb & Meat Goat Buck Sale on Saturday, but Wild Rose Farm was there to bring back the details!  We weren't looking for anything this year, but attending the sale keeps us up on trends from year to year.  This year, the first sale Lots 1 through 10 were the high indexing rams from each of the test categories.  Then the sale went in order of the ram test indices breed by breed in each of the categories.  The performance tested rams sold first, followed by the invitational ewe sale, then the performance tested bucks, and finally the invitational doe sale.  If you aren't into meat goats, maybe you should be!  It seems that the majority of the meat goat folks are from the central & eastern part of Pennsylvania .... based on the winning bids for the top 16 bucks that we stayed to watch, there must be a good demand for goat meat.  Here's a picture of one of the "red" bucks moving around the sale ring ...... his left side was all red. 
The sale prices for the bucks - all 100% Boer goats - ranged from $275 - $1000 for the top 15 that we watched.
Ram sale prices (as promised) for those of you that missed the sale were as follows for the top 10 high indexing rams :
Lot 1= $300, lot #2= $350, lot#3=$425, lot#4=$400, lot#5=$400, lot#6=$325, lot#7=$425, lot#8=$250, lot#8=$250, & lot#10=$250.   
The WRF "statistical favorite", Senior. Dorset ram lot#11 went for $400 and a little bidding war erupted with Suffolk ram lot# 31 for $700, the highest price in the ram sale.  Two of the Texel rams, lot #'s 44 & 45 sold for $525 each.   FYI, the minimum bid required to purchase a ram was $250.  As a side note to the sheep owners, most of these rams could not be purchased directly from their home farms for the reasonable prices that they bring at this auction.  See you next year ...............

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PA Ram Sale This Saturday!

If you're in the market for a new ram or Boer buck, Wild Rose Farm heartily recommends the PDA 2010 Performance Tested Ram Lamb & Meat Goat Buck Sale  scheduled for Saturday August 7th in the State College area!  If you remember, from our point of view, we had a great success bidding & bringing home a registered Rambouillet ram last August.   And now here's the latest on him ....... we just got the results from Yocum-McColl Testing Labs on his micron test from our spring shearing.   His fleece tested at 19.8 microns (!) with a standard deviation of 3.2 microns and .7% of the fibers greater than 30 microns.  The fibers greater than 30 microns are where what is referred to as the "itch factor" comes into play.  In other words, if your wool fibers are higher than 30 microns, the wool feels itchy next to the skin.  These are excellent test results for what we are trying to achieve in breeding fineness of wool and longer staple length for our fleeces.  He was Lot #162 in the 2009 sale catalog. 
In particular, if you are looking for rams to sire meaty lambs for your farm or to add scrapie resistance, this is the place to get a ram.  Check out the 2010 Sale Catalog  for complete test results on the rams to be auctioned off on Saturday.  IMHO, this is the way for beginners & experienced shepherds alike to buy a ram with known performance & genetics..... NOT through your local sale barn!  :) 
Based on the numbers, WRF has a prediciton on the high selling ram on Saturday ........ hmmmm.  See if you can find him.  Clue ..... he is white-faced.