Monday, November 29, 2010

Sorting Sheep

#802 & Ewe Lambs
On Sunday we put our Rambouillet ram in with the breeding ewes.  It's a multi-step process that started with us first sorting off the lambs.  Some are being retained as breeding stock and some are freezer lambs.  We're keeping one registered Rambouillet ram lamb out of our #802 ewe.  We're also keeping about 10 Rambouillet ewe lambs and 3 crossbred ewe lambs.  Here are the "keepers" and a few others out with #802 (on the left), the Wild Rose Farm "grandma".  She'll be 13 years old and we're not going to breed her this year.  Believe me dear readers, she is not happy to be stuck with the lambs ..... she is looking towards the other sheep and of course, the lambs will follow her lead. 
Some of these lambs are for sale.  All are sired by our Rambouillet ram.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Temperatures Dropping!

Boy did the wind start kicking up this afternoon at Wild Rose Farm ..... we had rain, some heavy, for the last 2 days and now the temperature is dropping to 23 degrees F overnight.  At least we don't have to take water back to the sheep any more.  The rain was enough to soak in and recharge the water table, so the middle water tank is flowing now.  The ewes and ewe lambs were really frisky tonight at feeding time.  Jumping and running and head butting.  It's the cold weather and the time of year - breeding season - causing that behavior!   I even got to drive the tractor ....... you can really feel the wind when you're perched up on the seat. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Dry Is It?

It seems that if you're not a farmer or not relying on a well for water, you may not be aware of how dry it is around here.  The ewes have been moved to a section of pasture served by our "middle water tank".  This tank is fed by a spring development that always goes dry seasonally.  That season is usually August through September.  Unfortunately, it's not producing a flow of water right now.  That means carrying buckets or running our portable 35 gallon poly tank out on a wagon to where the sheep are grazing.  Of course the temperature "spiked" today up into the high 60's, so the ewes were thirsty.  Time for some heavier rains to get the ground charged up again! 
Here's a look at one of our other dependable spring developments.  This tank is gravity fed by a spring that originally came from the farm spring house.  When we bought "Wild Rose Farm", all that was left of the spring house were a few stones and a collapsed & rotted roof.  We developed the spring as part of our farm conservation plan.  This summer we replaced the old tank and directed it's outflow to a new 2nd tank.  In the picture you can just see the light colored tip of the 2nd tank in the upper right of the picture.  Now what's that floating in the tank?  A bundle of barley straw!  Yes, an old time solution to the green slime build-up in tanks & ponds ..... the water is now clear enough that you can see the inflow pipe under water and the overflow stand pipe.   So ...... these water tanks are full and flowing, but the sheep are somewhere else grazing!  
Moving To New Pasture

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall Sunset

There was a glimmer of sunshine this evening after a mostly overcast day.  The skies are really clear overnight and the moon is really bright out there right now.  We'll be bringing the ewes up to the barn tomorrow to de-worm and "tag" them in preparation for breeding season.  Thanksgiving weekend is when we traditionally turn in the ram at Wild Rose Farm.

Monday, November 15, 2010

BSOD Strikes Wild Rose Farm

We are just getting back on line after being hit with the Blue Screen Of Death on our PC.  We've been thinking about a laptop for some time just for the portability - what else? - so that's what I'm on now.  The big PC is visiting the shop & we'll see what happens.  Meanwhile, we just installed web access on this laptop and we're stumbling around setting this thing up! 
No pictures for now, but we did take some lambs to the auction today.  It was time to move a few of the ram lambs out.  We have several crossbred ewe lambs that would make a good starter flock ..... get in touch if you'd like to give them a good home. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just Grazing Around!

Not much is going on now at Wild Rose Farm ..... the ewes are out grazing the fall pastures.  The ram is back at the barn waiting for Thanksgiving weekend, our traditional time to start the breeding season here.  We finally had a really hard frost here on Sunday and it's been very cool at night this week & looks to warm into the 60's during the day. 
Just before the wind and really cold temps on Sunday, we got a really nice look at the final leaves of the season.   They're mostly gone now ...........
Dawn Redwood
If you have a large yard or a farm, you NEED one of these!

Sugar Maple

Hemlock With Maple Leaves
Wild Grape Vine Leaves


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Barn Renovation

Local Barn Renovation
This barn is several miles away from Wild Rose Farm on a country road.  We passed it on the way to buy pumpkins.  Wow!  I don't know about you, but to me it's really sad to see old barns that aren't being used & are falling down.   There were beef cattle around this barn in years past, but now there seems to be some horses in the pasture.  Did the farm change hands?  We're not sure, but it's really great to see this renovation work with a new blue metal roof and fresh siding.   Who wouldn't love to have the nice outbuildings too? 
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ............ 12 year old Rambouillet #802 leads the ewes & ewe lambs to the feeders!