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"!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hookstown Fair Opening 2012!

Hookstown Fair Merino Rams
Wild Rose Farm has been at the Hookstown Fair this week enjoying the food, exhibits, & 4-H Livestock Shows.  Of course we've run into many of our friends and local farmers.  Maybe we'll see you there tonight at the Beaver County 4-H Stockman's Club 39th Annual Livestock Market Auction! 
Hookstown Fair Oxford Sheep Under Cover!
Some of the sheep in the show pens are covered to keep them clean ..... it makes for an unusual look if you've never seen this before!
Hookstown Fair - Waiting For The Show
Hookstown Fair - Southdown Sheep
Southdown sheep are a smaller framed meat breed.  This breed is required to be shown as "slick shorn" in order to be properly evaluated to breed standards. 
Hookstown Fair - Relaxing 4-H Rabbit!
There seemed to be more 4-H Rabbit Projects this year.  It's certainly a good entry point for young people showing animals and you don't need a lot of space to house these projects. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hoopiefest Was Here Again!

Hoopiefest 2012
It's that time of the summer and another Hoopiefest is apparently in the record books.  We passed the bright sign again and circled around to the locale.  Last year regular blog followers will remember that we actually found Hoopiefest  on a local back road.   That post gave a hint of what the area looked like.
Well ......... here's a look at a nearby scene just minutes down the road from the party.   Did someone come to party & decide to make it permanent ?!?  :)    Classic!
Home To Stay! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Show Sheep At The Fair!

Super M & Little C Waiting For The Show!
The two Rambouillet ewes that left the farm a while ago made their show debut at the Lawrence County Fair this week.  Wild Rose Farm ran up to the fair to see the breeding sheep show Monday evening.  The ewes looked good and they were calmly waiting in their exhibit pen before the show started.  The show goes in alphabetical order by breed - Cheviot - Corridale - Dorset - Hampshire - Horned Dorset - Katadin - Montadale - Natural Color - Rambouillet - Tunis - Shropshire - Southdown - Suffolk.  Actually, quite a few sheep since Lawrence County has a large farming community. 
Setting Up WRF Yearling Ewe #0304

It's a little hard to get a good picture under the lights across the show ring, but we were able to get a decent shot as Ashley was setting up the yearling ewe.   She got the blue ribbon in her class and was the Grand Champion Rambouillet Ewe in the show.  She was a little jumpy on the way out of the ring but we can show you a glimpse of the ribbons.   Maybe next year for "Little C"!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time For Ear Tags

Hey - We All Have Ear Tags, Right?  Nope - I See A Right Ear Without A Tag!
We did a little work today catching up with the flock ear tags on the yearlings.  We had 4 crossbreds and 2 Rambouillets to tag, so it didn't take very long.  The first step is gathering all of the ewes up and then picking out the young ewes without the permanent flock tag.  A few days after the lambs are born, we process them & put in a flock Scrapie ear tag.  The ewes lambs get a tag in the left ear & the ram lambs get a tag in the right ear.  It makes it easy to separate the 2 groups without up-ending & checking each one, especially when someone comes to look at the lambs.  Technically, they don't need one of these tags until they leave the farm, but this keeps everyone in order & they're ready to go when we sell them. 
Yearling X-bred Ewe - Scrapie Tag 0299 - Soon to Be WRF #128 In Right Ear
The yearling ewe above is a twin out of x-bred WRF #50.  Without checking the records, she's at least 75% Rambouillet & you can see it in her fairly dark, greasy fleece.  She got her flock tag, WRF #128 today.  Now that they have their flock tags, we'll register the 2 Rambouillets.  When the registration papers come in, we'll ship the fleece samples that we collected at shearing to Yocum-McColl Testing Labs for their micron test.  We test all of our sheep, not just the registered Rambouillets. 

Good Morning From Wild Rose Farm

It's a beautiful cool morning here at Wild Rose Farm and the ewes are munching down the "hospital pen".  It's the small paddock next to the driveway.  We put the sheep here when we have visitors or when someone comes to look at the sheep.  It's pretty rich and it makes for 1 "paddock shift" or one day of grazing.  Clover, chicory, juicy weeds, & orchard grass.  I also whipped in some fallen pears and sweet corn husks last night as a treat.  When they're done, we mow this paddock with the riding lawnmower. 
Ewes Grazing
You'll occasionally see Glenda or Lisa in here when we are working with the sheep and need to exclude them.  It doesn't work to keep lambs away from ewes .... the inner pasture side is 7 strands of high tensile wire, not 10, and the lambs can squirt through if they really want to  ....... which is part of the reason we wanted to build the Loafing Shed as a spot for secure weaning.
Sunny, But Cool This Morning!

Loafing Shed Progress Report

Loafing Shed Looking Towards The Barn
There are a total of 14 louvers made from hemlock wood and they're finished!  Now on to some interior work before putting some hay in the Wild Rose Farm Loafing Shed. 
Louvers Are Done! 
Look closely & you can see that we "box in" the lower end of the downspout ..... that's to keep the livestock, especially the rams, from smashing it.  Happened on the barn, so we learned that we have to protect it!

Monday, August 6, 2012

When The Farmer's Away ....

As We Found It At Evening Feeding Time!
When the farmer's away, the donkey will play!  Glenda had all day to herself and the Loafing Shed proved to be too much to ignore.  While we were away at the PA Performance Tested Ram Sale, the amusement started at Wild Rose Farm.  Apparently the 2x4 was loose enough for Glenda to push or rub against it and we came home to a scene of donkey fun!
The Culprit & A Pile Of Nails .....
We found the 2x4 on the ground and hoofprints everywhere in the shed.  She mouthed & carried stuff all over the place.  There's only one thing to do for the nails ..... we got our magnet and picked them all up.
Picking Up Nails At The Scene Of The Crime!
She knocked over the drill bit box, but luckily, only a couple of bits fell out.  The trash pile in the corner of the building was scattered too.  Must have been fun carrying all of that stuff around!
Nails & Drill Bit Box
Anyway, after the clean up, the board was securely nailed back up and Glenda was locked out again.
So ...... here's an update on the building.  The louvers are made from hemlock boards.
Cherry Siding & Hemlock Louvers

Sunday, August 5, 2012

PA 2012 Performance Tested Ram Sale Results!

Dorper Rams - Sold As Bidders "Choice" of Lot 20 ($650) & Lot 21 ($775)
Yes, we made it to the 2012 Pennsylvania Performance Tested Ram Lamb & Meat Goat Buck Sale on Saturday. The sale is held at the PDA Livestock Evaluation Center in Pennsylvania Furnace, just outside of State College, PA.  We didn't stay for the meat goat buck sale and we didn't come home with a new ram either.  We aren't really in "need" of a ram, but it's good to go and keep track of the prices and statistics on the rams each year ..... we did get in on the bidding for one of the Junior Dorset rams, but dropped out.  Prices have gone up and there is a minimum $300 bid on the rams.  Still that would be a great bargain - 2 rams were "walked" and only 4 went for that price.   Look at the Sale Catalog & photos to match the Lot Numbers pictured to the winning bids below. 
Senior Texel (L) - Lot#10 - $550 --- Senior Dorset (R) - Lot#1 - $950
As far as breeding for meat sires goes, more breeders are placing Dorpers, White Dorpers, Katadin, & Texels into the ram test program.  To illustrate the differences, just look at the Senior Texel - Lot #10 & the Senior Dorset - Lot #1 above. The Texel was born on 10/30/11 & the Dorset was born on 10/2/11.  I've heard people refer to Texels as "meat wagons" and you can see it here.  Lot #12, a Junior Texel sold for $1000. 
The Junior Dorset Lot#3 - highest indexing - a triplet RR - went for $800.  The rest of the Junior Dorsets ranged from $300 to $600 & Lot#4 was walked. 
The highest priced ram in the sale was Suffolk Lot #25, a twin RR ram tied for the highest rate of gain in the test @ 1.18 lb/day.   Suffolks ranged from $500 to $1,100 for the top Suffolk #25
The top Senior Dorper Lot #17 went for $900 and the Junior Dorpers ranged from $625 to $800.  White Dorper Lot # 34 sold for $750 (Lot #33 was scratched before the auction). 
The top indexing Katadin, Lot #27, a triplet RR ram, sold for $850.  The other 3 Katadins ranged from $300 to $800. 
The 3 Polypay rams were offered as a choice of all three at once.  Lots #41 & 43 went to the top bidder for $625 each and the third one, Lot #42 went separately for $600. 
The Shopshire ram, Lot #35 went for $700 after active bidding.  We were also interested in him - he had the 4th highest weight /day gain, but there were some very interested Shrop breeders there! 
The Merino sold for $300 and the Southdown was "walked". 
Thanks to all of the purebred consignors who bring these rams to test so we all can benefit from buying the best of the performance tested rams!   They don't all make the cut for the sale.
Merino, 3 Polypays, Shropshire, & Southdown Before Auction

Thursday, August 2, 2012

PA Ram Sale Saturday!

Wild Rose Farm will be going to the Pennsylvania 2012 Performance Tested Ram & Goat Sale on Saturday August 4th.
We missed it last year, but we like to stay in touch with fellow sheep producers and keep on top of the ram prices.  If you are in need of a ram or Boer Goat buck, this is the place to be!  You can look at the Sale Catalog & pictures posted by the PA Dept of Agriculture Livestock Evaluation Center.  There's no guessing when you have the performance data, measurements & scans to review.  We have been happy with the rams we've brought home from the auction over the years including our prior Rambouillet ram ........

We'll report back and maybe we'll see you there!