Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunshine, Snow, & Sheep!

Wild Rose Farm Sheep Resting In The Snow
The view from the road ...... here are some of the ewes pictured chewing their cuds outside of the loafing shed. There are some inside munching on the round bales, but the rest are just out of sight  bedded down behind the building.  Weather reports call for highs in the low single digits tomorrow ...... brrrrr!
P.S. - can you see the dusting of snow on some of the sheep?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sheep On A Snowy Sunday

WRF Flock Below Loafing Shed - Way Out There!
We picked up about 4 inches of snow and the temperatures are now in the mid-teens at Wild Rose Farm.  There was a lot of wind, so the light snow was blowing in from the north this time.  That's odd for us ..... we've never had snow blow into the upper side of our main barn.  That's the side where you see the ewes in the lambing pens in April/May when you look at our pictures.  Above is our view from the kitchen window of the ewes over at the loafing shed.  It's an hour before feeding time, so they are standing around waiting!

There they are ...... looking through the pines & river birch trees!
After zooming in, you can make out some of the sheep behind the trees.  They're in a sheltered spot and I noticed their "snow coats" when we drove by earlier.  They're so well insulated that they all have a half an inch of snow on their backs.  They can go in the shed where the hay is, but they prefer to bed down outside & chew their cuds ......
The horizontal shape in the background behind them is the "great pyramid".  It's about 12 cords of firewood under a silver tarp.   That's the by-product of the clearing done for the shed & fence line.  
Someone was very busy last year.  There are used railroad ties with slabwood laid over them as a base & the split wood is stacked up off of the ground on top.  The slabwood came from the wild cherry trees that were sawn into boards for the shed siding.  So .... most of the cordwood came from the trees & tops that weren't suitable for 1" cherry siding boards.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More January Cold Weather .....

Wild Rose Farm Dorset Ram With Ewes
Well, another weekend and the temperature dropped again.  We're in the teens now.  Here is the last round bale that we put out before the new couple of inches of snow, winds, & dropping temps.  That's the new Dorset ram out front ..... he ambled closer to see what was going on, but then went back to the group.  He's still young enough that he usually is in the back of the flock.  Being a Dorset, he's easier to spot in this flock since Dorsets are "white" with less lanolin than the Rambouillets.
And here are the distracted ewes a few minutes later.  All it takes is a little shelled corn in the feed bunks and you can get some work done without sheepy interference!
Wild Rose Farm Winter Ewes
And what do the ear tags tell us?  Yellow ear tags = crossbreds, Apricot ear tags = Rambouillets, White ear tags = Dorsets.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mild Weather Again ........

Wild Rose Farm Ewes Above Loafing Shed
The weather changed again by the end of the week ..... blue/grey skies and temperatures in the 50's.  We're having some rain now, but the local streams are full of ice.  So is the Ohio River just above the locks & dams - we had a chance to see several of them on the way back from Wheeling this weekend. 
Here's one of our conservaton spring water development tanks .......
Spring Development Water Tank Running Full
And here's the outfall ...... 
Spring Water Tank Outfall
This is the water tank that the flock is using this winter.  Nice to not have to carry water or worry about pipes freezing.  The pad surrounding the tank is deep gravel, so there's no standing in mud either.  The source of this particular spring fed an old barn that's long since been gone ......

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold Weather Forecast Is Here!

"U" Leading The Wild Rose Farm Ewes!
The weather forecast was for snow & rapidly dropping temperatures this week.  Here we were leading the ewes back to the "Loafing Shed" pasture.  We separated out the Rambouillet ram and now all of the ewes are with the Dorset ram.  We took off his breeding harness, but he'll stay with them until late spring.  It's just easier to not have to feed & water him in the ram pen and sheep are flock animals, after all.  We'll only pull him out if he starts to butt around the ewes. 

Off To The Loafing Shed
Note that although the vast majority of the flock is moving with the shepherd, in the upper left of the picture, a group of dummies have stranded themselves in the background!  OH MY !!!!!!!!  WHERE ARE THEY GOING AND HOW CAN WE GET BACK WITH THEM ????  Well, all you can do is move the 1st group and come back to entice the second group up to the barn and then down the runway like the others.   It was a group of mostly flighty yearlings, of course. :)

Now Glenda Says "Where Are They Going?"
Glenda will stay in the pasture below the barn since she needs access to her sheltered area at the back of the barn.   Anyway, all of this snow disappeared in a couple of warm days, then we got more snow before the temps really dropped .....
Round Bales Delivered Before Temperatures Plunge!
Now we have snow and cold ..... the temperature in the truck on the way to work this morning was at minus 10 F.   Cold weather tonight & tomorrow followed by a warming trend, and then a prediction of 50 on Saturday ..... sheesh.