Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Coating To An Inch?

Wild Rose Farm Rooster Getting Blasted!
After a sunny afternoon, here is a look at the blast of snow that is forecast to be "a coating to an inch" tonight at Wild Rose Farm.  A few minutes after this was taken, we couldn't see the sheep from the house .....  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Snow - No Snow!

Last Saturday!
Last Saturday we got about 8 inches of snow at Wild Rose Farm.  We looked out when we heard the dogs barking & saw our neighbor backing down the lower driveway on his John Deere tractor with the snow plow!  How's that for a good neighbor?!?  A tractor makes short work of a lot of snow & we saw him later plowing out another farm neighbor.  We were occupied just clearing off the steps and the trucks.   The sheep of course don't really notice the snow & they're well insulated anyway.
Sheep Watching Me Watching Them!
Then the temperature went all of the way back up to the high 50's on  Monday & the melt was underway ..... some rain came too.  So what does it look like today, one week later?
The Last Snow Plow Drift!
The skies were sunny and full of fast moving clouds today .......
Clouds & Cardinals

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why We Don't!

It's Freezing Out Here, But We're Wearing Wool!
Visiting other farm blogs after last weekend reminds me of why we don't lamb in the winter here at Wild Rose Farm.  Every farmer has a different market & a different goal.  If you're raising show sheep or 4-H lambs, there is a need to lamb in the winter.  The busy lambing season occurs while there's no field work to be done.  At WRF, we don't sell to those markets, so we lamb in warmer weather on pasture.  We also shear the ewes before lambing, so the fleeces are much cleaner ....
I didn't get a picture of them for the blog, but we were switching out frozen water buckets every day. 
Imagine if we had lambs being born - frozen water buckets and using heat lamps is not our idea of a good time.
To each his own!  :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Temps Drop!

Mike Feeding The Sheep
And boy did the temperature drop at Wild Rose Farm last week.  We went from low 50's to the teens overnight.  Luckily, the rain tapered off as the high winds & cold front came through Western PA.  We had some snow, but it mostly got blown around.  Then on Friday is was really blowing & cold all day.  Our neighbor Mike is helping with the sheep right now.  This is his first experience working closely with sheep & we warned him that sheep were as bad as pigs rushing in for the feed trough!  He thought it was kind of neat (!), but you've got to hold the bucket up and make sure that they don't hit your knees & knock you off of your feet ...... at least he doesn't have to worry about the ram rushing him now that he's back in the ram pen.
Fluffing The Round Bale Hay ......
Step two was sliding in the sides of the round bale feeders.  As the sheep eat, the sides slide in and collapse the feeding area.  The little tunnel on the right of the picture shows how the sheep stick their heads in and eat the best parts of the hay.  The stems are forked out for bedding and the bale is "fluffed" to pull the fresh hay out within reach.  That's why all of the ewes are surrounding the feeders now !  They really put the munch on the hay when the temperature drops.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Finally A Dusting Of Snow!

1st Snow Of The Season .....
It's been rainy & unseasonably warm at Wild Rose Farm for December and over the holidays into January.  That changed last night when a cold front came through.  We picked up a dusting of snow & we may get a little more overnight & tomorrow.  We're happiest when the ground is frozen and there is a nice snow cover for the winter.  We also like it to fall in nice even, small amounts on a regular schedule ....... yeah right!  :)  This morning, some of the ewes were munching on hay & some were still chewing their cuds with a coating of snow over them.