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!