Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ewes & Lambs - Second Batch Out

Wild Rose Farm - 2nd Batch of Ewes & Lambs Out Grazing
After a little break for a trip over the Memorial Day weekend, it's back to skirting fleeces.  This batch is Rambouillet wool to be made into combed top.  Next will be Rambouillet wool for yarn, but that may take a slight back seat to other projects.  Right now, we're keeping up with booster shots for the lambs and nudging them along as we bring them back to the barn after grazing.  Pretty soon, most of them will be out in one big group grazing. 
Did I mention that it's hay season again ??? :)  Our hay baling farmer put up a dozen round bales for us before it rained yesterday.  Looks like the weather will clear up again for the weekend ... it's a definite maybe!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Lambs & Dams Out Grazing

The 2nd "batch" of ewes and lambs were out grazing this evening while another round bale of hay was being placed in the barn for them.
Wild Rose Farm Ewe #136 Grazing With Her Lamb
Those who buy our spinning fleeces know that the tag that comes with the fleece has a picture of the actual ewe that produced the fleece.  I'm always looking out for the picture that shows the ear tag and tells a little story ... here's a picture of X-bred ewe #136 that will be saved for the ewe photo file!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Two More Left To Lamb ...

Wild Rose Farm Evening Grazing
We were supposed to get thunderstorms yesterday, but it never happened.  When I was selecting the pictures for this post, I noticed the dead spots in the trees in the background.  Click to enlarge.  Those are the ash trees that have been killed by the Emerald Ash Borer.  We did cut down a couple of these trees and had one sawed into 10' boards for the doors on the Loafing Shed.  They have some winding grooves in them from the pathway of the borer ... sort of reminds you of the old wormy chestnut furniture & floor boards.
We are waiting for the last 2 ewes to have their lambs.  Rambouillet #410 looks closest to lambing, but who knows when?  She is our tallest ewe.  She wasn't concerned last night ...
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #410 - Not Thinking About Lambs!
Here's an update on the triplets - they're looking very good and they stick close to #50!  She looks dusty because we've kept them in the barn mixing pen all along.  We don't like putting triplets out until they're well on their way ... no sense causing problems and losing one after they've gotten off to a good start! 
WRF #50 Raising Triplets On Her Own

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Winners!

As the "Craft Show Chairman" of the WS&FF, I get to present the awards to the 2 booths judged to be the best fiber & craft booths.  The booths are judged anonymously by 2 older teenagers - think Lamb & Wool Queen and/or 4-H members - who visit each booth and talk to the vendors. 
The booths are judged on signage, clear & easy to find pricing, product display, AND the ability of the vendor to relate to the public and describe their products or craft.
The 2014 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest winners are:
Best Fiber Booth - Hearts of the Meadow Farm - Deb Martzall-Farmer - Tanner, WV
Deb raises Coopworth sheep and had all kinds of goodies in her booth ... tons of roving, felted soap & kits, wool dusters, felted animals, pins, & magnets, sheepskin pelts, wool dryer balls, cookie cutters, jams & jellies, etc!  After Erin finished teaching her needle felting classes, Deb told me that she was swamped with the newly minted felters picking out roving!  This was Deb's 2nd year at the festival.

Best Craft Booth - Ashgrove Soaps and Sundries - Lori Chandler - Valencia, PA
Lori from Ashgrove Soaps and Sundries is a first year vendor and she also did a wet soap felting demonstration on Sunday.  Her booth had a great variety of soaps and also her trademark ornaments made from local beeswax.  Check out her web-site and maybe sign up for one of her classes!
The funny thing is that neither one of them heard the loudspeaker announcement that they had won because they were both waiting on customers!  :)

2014 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Activities!

There were lots of activities going on outside - sheep & alpaca shearing, a fleece to shawl contest and auction, chefs cooking lamb dishes, sheep dog herding, and music ...
Here are more vendor pictures and some of the people in the buildings watching and having fun ...
Appalachian Hills Farm Booth - 1 Drop Spindle & 2 Spinning Wheels Going!

Annadele Alpacas Demonstrates Winding Warp For Shawl Weaving
Family Fun Zipping Around The Festival!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

At 2014 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest!

Saturday was a great day at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest.  It was cool and windy, but the rain held off all day ... yarn & wool buying weather, as I say!   Come visit today if you're in the area ... 
Here are a few pics!
Tatting By Tabitha 
Wild Rose Farm - 5 Fleeces Sold & 3 Fleeces Left !
The Washington Wild Things mascot visited the festival and vamped with the crowd.  I told him that he needed to "refresh" his locks and he was in the right place for it!  ;)
Washington Wild Thing Mascot Visited The Festival!
Annadele Alpacas Yarn Customers
Sunnyside Wools of Oakland, Maryland

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fleeces For Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest

Dashing off a quick post between T-storms last night and today ... notice the slanting sunlight in the background before the storms started yesterday.
Wild Rose Farm Skirted Fleece - Rambouillet Ewe #329 - 2014
Here is a wonderful fleece from Rambouillet #329.  It is destined for Paula at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest this weekend.  Just look at the crimp!  Coincidently, #329 had a set of twins yesterday with one ewe lamb to hopefully carry on the tradition ...
Wild Rose Farm - Rambouillet Ewe #329 - Fleece Close-up
Now back to the barn - more fleeces to skirt now and lambs to process with ear tags this afternoon!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fleeces (And More Lambs)!

After the post Monday morning, we ended up with 3 more ewes lambing between 5PM & 7PM on Monday.  Then this morning between 5AM & 7AM, another 3 ewes lambed.  Now we're down to 5 ewes left to lamb ... 
So ... here's a hazy sunrise picture this morning of one of the ewes in labor after we'd brought up #47 with one lamb and another on the way.  We had T-storms & 1.2" of rain overnight, so it was a little misty.  Good to soak your pant legs if they're not tucked in ...
Wild Rose Farm Sunrise
The background bottom ewe is in labor and the ewe on the right, #404, delivered one of a set of twins an hour after this picture was taken.  We kept going back & forth with the chores and picking up lambs!
Now on to the fleeces for the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest this weekend. 
Rambouillet #406 Fleece
I did 3 fleeces this evening, but forgot to take a picture until I finished the 3rd one ... more tomorrow including another "pre-sold" fleece. 
Obligatory "U" and Lamb Pic!
View From Barn While Working On Fleeces - Llama & Sheep Grazing

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wild Rose Farm Lambpedes Begin!

Bringing In #134 & Lamb At Dusk
Well, Mr. WRF was right again.  The 24 hour total was 11 lambs from 6 ewes through 5AM this morning.  After we left the last post, #39 had a set of ewe lambs, then our horned ewe #134 had a ram lamb around 8PM.  At the 5AM pasture check this morning, we found #127 with a set of twins.
Wild Rose Farm X-bred #134 With Newborn Ram Lamb
But while we were waiting for #134 to deliver last night, it was off to the races!
The lambs formed up and a LAMBPEDE was underway ...

Someone Gets The Idea & The Lambpede Begins ...
Watching a small group, one lamb starts to twitch and jump, then another twists and runs & soon they're running in a pack!
Here They Come Back Again!
The group picks up more runners as they flash by ... tiny hooves pounding.
Wild Rose Farm Lambpede In Full Swing!
Until later after several laps, they've worn themselves out and are back to quietly following the grazing ewes ... a peaceful pasture scene at dusk.
Wild Rose Farm Ewes & Lambs With Llama Snow White At Dusk

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Barn Action!

Kitty & Mountain Lion - Let's Stay Out Here - It's Way Too Busy In The Barn!
It started out with nothing happening at the 5AM pasture check ... there were no lambs born yesterday either.  Mr. WRF said, "I get the feeling that we're going to suddenly end up with a pile of lambs.".  Guess what's happened since he made that comment?
3 sets of twins at 8AM, 11AM, & Noon.  One of the older ewes, #39, was trying to steal newborn lambs from a younger ewe.  Then her water broke & now she's in labor.  Since she was so interested in those lambs, we let her follow that little family as we brought them up to the barn.  Ha!  We outsmarted that sheep ...
Meanwhile, I'm working on fleeces for the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest next weekend.  Here is a special request Suffolk fleece from a nearby farm --- we don't have that breed of sheep here at Wild Rose Farm.
Suffolk Yearling Fleece With Washed Samples
Suffolk Sample 1 - Grease Fleece "Before"
Suffolk Sample 1 - Washed Fleece "After"
OK - the break is over - it's back to the barn and pasture to see what's going on now!  :~0

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mt. Llama ...

When you're a llama in a pen of lambs, you're the highest point!  And ... lambs want to play king of the mountain.  To be fair in this story,  we all know that they climb on the ewes too.
Hey Llama, Wanna Play With Us?
After the 5AM pasture check, the #99 lambs decided that climbing the llama might be fun.  Snow White was not interested in lamby acrobatics ...

You Guys Are Starting To Bug Me!
Basically, after pawing on her and climbing over her, the lambs leave when she turns her head towards them ... good riddance she seems to say.  We had some rain off and on today, so we didn't let the barn crew outside to graze.  By the 8PM pasture check, a new crew of lambs was back at it ... scaling Mt. Llama.
How Many Of Them Are Back There???
With her "barrel clip", the lambs can't get any traction on most of her body ... and she put up with it for quite some time ... getting used to her scappy little pen mates.
After A While, You Get Used To Them ...
The lambs either wander away or the llama gets up and walks away, ending the fun.  Animal dynamics ...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Llama & Sheep First Outing ...

Radar's Snow White - Heading Out To Graze
The mixing pen ewes and lambs were out grazing today with the llama.  The ewes were thrilled to be eating green grass and Snow White was munching away too.  This was the first outing where we get the ewes and lambs out of the barn together.  There's always lamby confusion as the ewes are preoccupied with grazing and ignore their bleating lambs for a while.
Snow White with Sheep Underfoot
 Snow White spotted Glenda the donkey in the next paddock & couldn't take her eyes off of her.  Her home herd had just learned what horses were recently, so she didn't send out an alarm call although she kept a close eye on Glenda. 
Watching The Sheep Return To The Barn
Then there was the return to the barn accompanied by more bleating!   Once the lambs find their mother, the noise subsides and the barn becomes quiet.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Lambs Are Learning ...

Wild Rose Farm Lamb Tasting Sheep Mineral Mix
Lambs learn to mimic their dams ... these lambs are sampling the the sheep trace mineral mix.  A perfect (perfectly lucky!) shot of the lamb sticking it's tongue out licking the mineral off of it's nose. 
Wild Rose Farm Twin Lambs Touching Water
We try to keep the buckets full to the top so that the lambs can touch their noses to the surface and learn to drink.  They tap the surface a few times and snort, but quickly get the idea.  
No lambs so far today - temps in the 70's, so mid-day is spent under the pine trees for the pasture ewes ...

Lamb & Llama Introductions!

Wild Rose Farm Lambs - Wow .... She's A Big One!
From the perspective of a lamb, a llama is a BIG thing!  These two lambs seem to be awestruck. :)  This evening, we removed the dividing livestock panels between Snow White and the lamb mixing pen.  No pressure, we just let the llama enter at her own pace.  It only took a few minutes and she walked past the hay bale feeder and started checking everything out.  The ewes were unphased ... remember, they know what a llama is, so they pretty much ignored her.  I stayed in the barn for a couple of hours watching the interactions while I was working on some fleeces.
Impressive ... Are You Our New Leader?
The lambs were comical when they randomly noticed what was on top of those legs.  Snow White wandered through the pen sniffing occasionally, eating hay out of the feeder, & drinking from the ewe's water buckets.  You can see by how she is carrying her tail up that she is interested in everything and on alert.  It will take a little while for the llama to get used to these little creatures brushing past her legs and scampering about ... wonder how much sleep she'll get tonight? 
Snow White Sniffing A Lamb
The lamb count for today is one single born this morning & a set of twins born in the early afternoon. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Night Pasture Check

Join us on the Wild Rose Farm late night pasture check.  Here's what it looks like when we go out to see if there is any lambing activity going on out there ... let your eyes adjust to the dark (!) & click on pics for a better view.
Approaching The Ewes - We Sweep The Pasture Looking For Reflecting Eyes
Now that we've found them just under the pine trees, we scan across the group with a tight beam looking at each ewe.  I usually talk quietly to let them know it's just me out there ...
Wild Rose Farm - Looking At Each Ewe
Next a wide angle look to see if anyone is separating off or it they all look settled as a tightly flocked group bedded down or ready to bed down ...
Ewes In A Group With None Separated
Now back to the barn where the llama can be seen cushed, but watching us coming in from the field.
Wild Rose Farm - Barn Lights & Llama Watching

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Fairly Quiet Day ...

When we last left the sheep, it was Sunday evening and we didn't see any impending births for the near term ... we were at 22 ewes to lamb.  Here are 3 Rambouillets - gratuitous pic for Andrew if he's following along!  :)
Three Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewes Due To Lamb
We didn't have any lambs at the 5AM pasture check, but we did end up with Rambouillet #405 having a set of twin ram lambs in the field around 11AM today.  The ewe & lambs are now in the barn and are doing fine. 
Rambouillet #405 Cleaning Off Twin Ram Lambs
Pasture check this evening was much the same ... no one looks like they're ready to lamb tonight.  Here is our smallest/shortest ewe in the flock, cross-bred ewe #34.  She's voted most likely to cross file as a Southdown!  ;)
Wild Rose Farm X-bred Ewe #34 - Low To The Ground!
Her triplet daughter from 2012, ewe #133, had a set of twins on Sunday.  Now here she is below standing next to, perhaps the tallest sheep in the flock, Rambouillet ewe #410 ...
WRF X-bred Ewe #34 And WRF Rambouillet Ewe #410
Finally, here's what happens when you pick up a feed trough ... Baa!  Where's the grain ?!?
Wild Rose Farm Bred Ewes Sounding Off For Grain!