Sunday, December 9, 2012

Looking At Lambs

Wild Rose Farm Lambs
It's time to look over the lambs and decide which ones are "keepers" at Wild Rose Farm. 
We have 2 triplet ewe lambs - one is a Rambouillet & one is a x-bred - and both of them will probably be keepers.  
We've got some nice lambs and there are plenty of twins to pick from as we sort through them. 
Now that we've looked at them, we'll sort through the lambing notes and see which of the other ewe lambs we'd like to keep.
The rain held off today until late in the afternoon, so we got the chore of working with the lambs done long before the heavy rains hit .....
After sorting through the lambs, we headed over to Old Economy Village for the "Christmas In The Village" weekend program. 
Wild Rose Farm was set up as a vendor this weekend with our naturally dyed yarns, combed top, & woolen products.   Several skeins of yarn and several bags of combed top are going to find their way under the Christmas tree as gifts for knitters & spinners.
Wild Rose Farm At Old Economy Village
Riverwood Trading Company - Small Osage Orange Spoons Lower Center
 We were set up next to Riverwood Trading Company and were impressed with their treenware spoons.  We just had to buy one of their primitive spoons AND an Osage Orange spoon.  You can see the yellow wood of the Osage Orange ..... it matches the yarn in the center of the picture above, which is dyed with Osage Orange sawdust! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ram In At Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ram - Ewes #37 and #329
Yesterday was the big day at Wild Rose Farm.  We put the ram in with the ewes to start our breeding season.  We start later than a lot of folks.  That way our lambs are born when it's warmer in late April/early May.   As usual, we start by putting the breeding harness with a marking crayon on the ram.   Then we go through all of the ewes checking their hooves & trimming a few when needed. 
#411 Has Some Hooves That Need To Be Trimmed!
We also spray their ear tag number on their right hip so it's easier to tell from a distance which ewes have been marked by the ram.  After about 2 hours, the ram had "marked" 3 ewes.  By evening he was up to 4 ewes marked & 3 more were marked today.  On some days, none of the ewes will be in a heat cycle and he won't mark any ..... of course that doesn't mean he isn't constantly walking through the group & checking! 
Wild Rose Farm Ram Working!
If you have sheep, you recognize the look and posture of a working ram in the picture above!  You can also see the green crayon marks on two of the ewes.
I'm glad we got this done yesterday while it was in the 50's, even though we had a few moments of a misty drizzle in the air.  We had snow flurries overnight & it was much colder today. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lucky Turkeys Post Thanksgiving!

Wild Rose Farm Wild Turkeys
This group of turkeys hadn't been seen for the last week or so around Wild Rose Farm.  Do you suspect that they were hiding out?  I guess it's safe to come out now .... 
To take a picture, you have to sort of sneak up on them, so I went behind around the driveway and then used the barn to block my approach. 
Turkeys Moving Off Downhill
Of course, the lambs had to behave stupidly & the turkeys started to move off over the hillside once they saw motion.  Look at Lisa's ears ..... the goofy lambs even annoyed her!
Goofy Lambs Racing Away!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another Project

Wild Rose Farm - Llama Lisa & Ewes
The latest mini-project here at Wild Rose Farm has been making a zig-zag rail fence below the house next to the lower driveway.  The rails had been stacked up for 2 years (!) waiting for a suitable spot to be chosen.  They're freebies of a sort ..... the fence rails on the fence that Lisa & the sheep are behind are now pressure treated rails.  These were the original untreated rails and they were replaced because they weren't holding up as well as we needed them to be ..... we also added 2 strands of high tensile electric wire near the bottom of the fence to keep lambs in & dogs out.  So now we have a decorative fence under the spruce trees.  We still have to brace the rails, but the project turned out nicely.  We were flinging around the mulch this afternoon .... 2 more truckloads to go!
Wild Rose Farm Fall Ewes Looking Fluffy!
In the second picture, you can see one of the high tensile electric wires.  It saves us from having to put electric net along the rail fence when we're grazing this paddock. 
Lisa With The Ewes ....
 What a lovely warm day here today!  Temps in the 50's by afternoon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day Memorial Program

Beaver, PA Veterans' Day Program 11/10/12
One of the our local communities had a Veterans' Day  event honoring veterans of the WWII Battle Of The Bulge on Saturday.  There were around a dozen of the veterans at the program in Beaver, PA at the WWII Memorial in Quay Park near the county courthouse.
World War II Battle of the Bulge Memorial Ceremony
We happened upon the ceremony as it was finishing up with a trombone medley by one of the veterans.   We remain thankful to all of our veterans ..........

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Help With Chores!

Glenda Provides An Escort .....
At Wild Rose Farm, Glenda can never ignore any activity in her area!  Here she is getting out of the way as the round bale feeder panels are being moved.  She then followed the tractor through the gate and back over to towards the house.  This week our neighbors were walking through the woods looking for mushrooms when Glenda came along to see what was up.  She was petted by both of them, but then she noticed their dog who was along for the walk .... now that just wouldn't do! 
Apparently she chased the dog back and forth between the two of them.  The dog was terrified & she didn't let up.  Said our neighbor, "Well, she was just doing her job!".  That's what guardian donkeys do .....
Wild Rose Farm Glenda - No Dogs In My Pasture!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend With Fellow Shepherds!

Wild Rose Farm Table At Symposium
Wild Rose Farm went to "Pennsylvania's Shepherd Symposium" in State College this weekend.
We set up a small table display with our naturally dyed yarns, combed top, accessories, & "up-cycled" wool finds like the "name-brand" wool sweater in the picture.  The  session on Saturday focused on parasite management strategies & general flock health.  Sunday morning was a specialized workshop on developing a farm Manure Management Plan --- PA livestock owners are required to have a written plan by the end of 2013.   Yes, if you own one or two horses, you're included too!  More info & helpful links in my next post.
All in all, a great weekend with fellow shepherds ..... caught up with some old friends and made some new ones! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nice Weather ......

Wild Rose Farm Lisa Watching The Sheep
We've had rain and wind during the week, so some of the leaves have been falling.  It seems that the weeping willow tree holds the green color late into the season.  We planted that tree near a stream.  Every farm needs a weeping willow & the sheep keep the bottom trimmed ..... just make sure it's not near water or septic lines!  Lisa the llama is a pretty nice white color now that she's been trimmed and I guess she'll start to even out as she grows back in.  I'm getting ready to wash some of her locks & some wool in the next week or so. 
Wild Rose Farm Lambs & Sire WRF #402 Rambouillet Ram
We were walking around the back of the barn ....... of course, the lambs had to come out & see what was going on!  That's the Rambouillet ram in the ram pen behind them.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Color At Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm - Ewes Near Barn Stone Pile
We had some beautiful fall weather today here at Wild Rose Farm.  It was warmer than yesterday when we took a fall leaf peeping drive north to Forest County, PA.  We saw some great color up there mixed in with the green pines & hemlocks along the Allegheny River. 
Wild Rose Farm "U" & Ewes!
But of course, we have some beautiful maple trees right here on the farm ......
It was a little overcast this afternoon & no sooner did we take these pictures & get up to the barn, a light drizzle started.  We still need the rain around here.  We saw a couple of farmers on our drive yesterday who were taking off some hay and wrapping it.
Wild Rose Farm Ewes Watching The Coonhound! 
Here's an attentive line-up of ewes watching one of the coonhounds getting a lesson in the field.  Usually this level of intensity is reserved for someone coming with a bucket of feed!  :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Is Here ......

Wild Rose Farm Llama Lisa & Leaves Starting To Change
Your Wild Rose Farm blogger has been doing some business travel lately, but we did snap this picture of Llama Lisa yesterday.  The maple trees are starting to change.
Speaking of business, a group of us from my company were participating in a "Charity Challenge" at work today with Old Economy Village.  Part of my volunteer work today was cleaning up in their exhibit gardens ..... I was also assigned to take fig tree cuttings and put them in a sand filled growing bench in the greenhouse to root them.   We used a rooting hormone powder.  Looking the process up on the internet, I discovered "willow water".  Not being a horticulturalist, this was new to me ..... interesting if you want to use "natural" methods. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Funny Looking Sheep!

Michael Asks "Is That A Lamb Or A Giraffe?"
This little future farmer seems to be thinking, "Hey that's a funny looking sheep!" ........
Wild Rose Farm has a few more photos from the St. Mary's County Fair.  If you go to fairs and shows aroung the country, you're bound to see different breeds of livestock.  This fair had Romney sheep among the Suffolks, Dorsets, & Hampshires. 
St. Mary's County Fair - Romney Sheep Getting Ready For The Show 
The Babydoll  Southdowns are always popular with the crowd.  Because of their short stature, some flocks are used as a "green" method to mow the grass in vineyards. 
St. Mary's County Fair - Babydoll Southdown Sheep
We also watched the 4-H Steer judging show.  The judge did a good job sifting through the breeds and then we see him here comparing 2 steers in the final competition for Reserve Grand Champion of the show. 
First the judge handles the Crossbred steer ........
St. Mary's County Fair - Judging The Muscling & Finish On The X-Bred Steer
Then over to the Hereford steer ........
Looking Back & Comparing The Hereford Steer To The X-Bred Steer
 In the end, the Hereford steer is chosen as the Reserve Grand Champion and another 4-H season is in the record books!  It was also the last fair of the season for Wild Rose Farm ......  :(

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Equine Power!

Suttler Post Farm Clydesdale Getting Some Attention!
Wild Rose Farm has been on a couple of road trips over the last few weeks, so we have some highlights to share ....
These pictures are from the St. Marys' County Fair in Maryland last weekend,where we saw quite a bit of equine activity.   First the 6 horse Clydesdale hitch from Suttler Post Farm was a BIG hit with the crowd ...... they thundered into the ring to the tune of "Welcome To The Jungle"! 

Suttler Post Farm Clydesdale 6 Horse Hitch At St. Mary's County Fair
After a great driving demonstration, these champions parked in the center of the arena and in came a team of mini-mules! 
Mini Mule Team At St. Mary's County Fair
Clydes & Mini Mules
Finally, as the sun started to go down, the heavy weight draft horse pulling contest got underway. 
To give an idea of how big these Belgian horse teams are, the 2 biggest teams weighed 4,800 pounds!
The winning pull for the contest was 8,500 pounds pulled a distance of 27' 2".  Don't hold me to that exactly --- I'd like to see the results officially posted here to confirm!  The winning light weight team pulled 7500# the night before ......
St. Mary's County Fair - A Heavy Team @ 6500 - 7500# Pull

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lisa Gets A Haircut!

Lisa Safely Kushed In Chute
Last fall, we had an opportunity to get a free llama ...... Lisa came to Wild Rose Farm and has settled in nicely here.  She is an older llama and she is not tame.  We've been working to get her to be more trusting and she now moves along well with her sheep.  She will eat feed out of a bucket when we hold it, but doesn't want to be touched.  Well, today was a big day here!  Our latest project was building a llama restraint chute so that we could safely handle her as needed.  Our first priority was to get her clipped.  We don't know when she was last sheared, but it had been years ......
Sue Weaver Advised Use of Spring Loaded Scissors
Once we got her haltered & into the chute, she "kushed" in a minute or two.  That's a typical reaction for a llama in this situation.  Of course, it makes the shearing or clipping more difficult snce she's down on the ground, but you just start at the top and work your way down her sides.  We knew that she wasn't matted down to the skin and we wanted to leave a couple of inches for the winter.  Since we weren't using electric shears, we found a tip from the book above to use spring loaded scissors & it made a big difference. We also used a pair of manual sheep shears & they also worked great.  I'd say Lisa was in the chute for about an hour and the good news was that she didn't try & spit either!   Her cut is a little choppy, but we hear that it will look fine in a month or two.  :)
She actually seemed to have a little spring in her step after it was all done ............
Wild Rose Farm Llama Lisa "After"
Back With The Ewes & Off To Pasture!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Just Grazing .......

Two Rambouillets & One Dorset At Wild Rose Farm
We're just grazing these days at Wild Rose Farm.  The rain during the last few weeks has made a world of difference for the pastures.  We also got some 2nd cutting round bales & square bales this week hauled & stored in the barn. 
Lisa Watching
Wild Rose Farm Ewes

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lambs Learning ......

Wild Rose Farm Lambs Grazing
The Wild Rose Farm lambs were out in the "hospital pen" tonight grazing while the barn is being cleaned.  They haven't been around the electric net fence since we brought them in for weaning.  The dry weather kept them off of the pastures and on hay while we waited for rain ---- can't nub the pastures down & destroy them!   Well, first off, one of them managed to get itself under/between the high tensile fence strands before the fence was energized.  So, one lamb shadows the others, but a bit distressingly now, separated by the wires.  If you have sheep, you know this is a typical sheepy scenario.  But notice how the lambs are reaching under the bottom wire to graze ....... they were also nosing up to the net fence.  The picture below illustrates what happens when one or two of them get zapped.  They jump back and run away followed by other lambs who don't know why they're running, but sheep are flock animals!   :)
Ouch!  What Happened ?!?
It will happen over & over until the lambs learn their lesson.  This is how they are "trained" to respect electric fences and it doesn't take very long.  Within a few hours no one is touching the fence anymore and all is well! 

Back To Grazing!
P.S. - look closely near the barn in the top picture for the latest project in progress .......

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Drought Casualty

Here we were yesterday talking about the size of the "Largest Squash" at the Canfield Fair, and I stumbled upon this Midwest tragedy related to the drought.
Wisconsin had a Cow Chip Throw competition in trouble .........
Click the link to read about the shortage and the plans to recover for next year!

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 Canfield Fair Pics!

Canfield Fair - Largest Squash "Only" 891 Lbs - Under Drought Conditions!
Wild Rose Farm was off to the Canfield Fair Saturday morning ....... it's an annual tradition and we go in the morning to beat the heat.  As large as this fair is, we actually manage to run into people we know every year.  This year it was a couple of friends who are normally vendors at the Sewickley Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings.   Even farmers need to get out sometimes!
The drought this summer did a number on the squash competition for the year.  Usually 891 lbs won't even get you into the building for 2nd place!  We don't usually study the other "largest" fruit & veggie section, but here they are ........
Largest Watermelon & Other Veggies!
One of the things apparently unaffected by the weather was the "Tallest Sunflower" category.  This was more of a Jack & The Beanstalk story!  All of the other sunflowers lined the side of the building where they lean against the wall with their heads in the rafters.  This is the 1st time we've seen one in the middle of the building supported by 2 x 4's!    How do you haul this to the fairgrounds?!?  I suspect it was tied to the 2x4 and came in on a trailer .......  :)
Canfield Fair Tallest Sunflower - 198 5/8" Tall! 
More of my favorites ........ Jersey cows .........
Canfield Fair - Jersey Cows
Canfield Fair - Jersey Cow Class
And finally, it's time to leave when we all feel like these sheep ..... all faired out!
Suffolk Sheep - All Faired Out!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Best Use Of Wool - Part II !

Blue Ribbon Rug Hooking - Hookstown Fair
We saw this great rug hooking entry at the Hookstown Fair yesterday and immediately thought that it "looked familiar". Well, I looked back a couple of years and retrieved this fantastic entry by the same local rug hooker.  Very impressive work.  Too bad we couldn't move the framed needlework on the right to capture the whole image .........
Speaking of wool, Wild Rose Farm came home with 1 Dorset fleece, having sold the 2 Commercial fleeces to a hand spinner.   No Rambouillet entries this year ....... thanks to the folks who purchased our best Rambouillet fleeces at Waynesburg in May.  :)  We love it whenever they go to "good homes"!