Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rams In At Wild Rose Farm

Three Dorset Ram Lambs
It's Thanksgiving weekend, so it's time to start the breeding schedule at Wild Rose Farm.  This post should have said "Ram In At Wild Rose Farm", but we ended up putting 3 ram lambs in with the 37 ewes to be bred this year.  I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but our wonderful Performance Tested Dorset Ram purchased in 2013 managed to kill himself this summer.   Best we can tell is that he broke his neck ramming the boards in the ram pen.  No sign of a struggle or flailing hooves, just laid out with a broken neck.  He was fine at 11AM and had only been dead a short while at 4PM chore time.  :(   A freak accident for sure, but of course it happens to the BEST animals. 
Anyhow, rather than purchase another ram, we decided to put 3 of his ram lambs in with the ewes this year ...
Amusingly, they are so happy to get out on grass, that they are hanging in a little group at the moment munching away.  I'm sure that will change by morning!
Fence Sitter Pumpkins Are Nice & Soft Now!
As I was walking back to the house, I noticed the pumpkins on the fence posts & realized that they were ready to heave in to the sheep!  I split them open to get them started. 
Ewe #47 Enjoying A Pumpkin!
YUM ... nothing like a soft, squishy pumpkin for Thanksgiving dessert ...
Rambouillet Ewe #404 - Any More Pumpkins?
You can also see the ewe's ear tag numbers painted on the right hip so we can identify who's been bred as the rams mark them.
Yep - Here's Another One To Share With Ewe #34 ...
Another interesting thing tonight ... I noticed that the sheep were munching on the dried, mature Chicory stems & seed heads.  We hadn't grazed this paddock for a while, so they'll end up carrying forage chicory seeds out to be spread with their manure. 

Ewe Clipping Off Chicory Stems & Seeds

Monday, November 24, 2014

Before & After

Before - Fall Colors Above Driveway Late October
I happened to have some pictures of our fall colors taken at sunset in October - the various screening trees & shrubs have filled in nicely.  The outhouse/toolshed is situated at an angle in the flower bed and "looks like it's always been there", or so I told my SIL a couple of weeks ago when she visited.
Today we were busy hauling lambs in what was perfect weather for that chore.  Temps in the high 60's and really high winds as a front was moving in.  Listening to the radio as we returned, we heard about regional power outages and accidents due to trees & branches falling.  We dodged broken limbs and debris on the road periodically the whole way home.   Our neighbor was out picking up branches in her yard as we went by.  
As we turned down the lower driveway, I joked "Well, the outhouse is still upright!"  Ha, ha, ha.  Then I said "WHOA - look at that!!!".   Mr. Wild Rose Farm said, "Look at what ...?". 
After - Massive Spruce Tree Fell Perfectly!
There it was(n't) --- the huge sheltering spruce tree had been blown down.  You can see one of the large side branches shattered & sticking up ... the tree was tall and wide.  Click for a close-up.  That rock to the right on the lawn was leaning against the tree trunk!
Looking Toward The House At Dusk 
Well, we won't need a stump grinder for this one either.  From the house we spotted a dead tree along the fenceline that had been blown down, so after cutting that off of the fence, it was back to the spruce.  The driveway is now passable. :)
Clearing The Driveway
Tomorrow?  Pasture patrol of the rest of the fencelines checking for more downed trees.
As I post this blog, the corner of the house next to me creaks with the wind.  The farmhouse is pinned and pegged construction - the corners are tree trunks two stories high with a 90 degree angle cut out of them to form the inside corner.  Interesting, huh? 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cold Front & Snow Arrives

Wild Rose Farm Sheep Moving To New Pastures
We're experiencing more unseasonable weather here - this time it's freezing weather.  This is more like January with temps in the low teens.  The ewes had finished grazing the field up past the Loafing Shed.  It had snowed all night, but with the ground being "warm", the snow wasn't sticking.
Llama Snow White Bringing Up The Rear
Notice the fence-sitter pumpkins are still out there ... they usually make it past Thanksgiving before we smash them and feed them to the sheep.   Hmmmm.  What's that dirty spot on Snow White's neck?  And ... what is the shepherd carrying with him?   Let's look back in the photo sequence.  The pup follows along everywhere during chores.  Quick --- had to pick her up before the sheep rushed past as the gate was opened! 
Picking Up The Pup!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Fall Grazing Starts

Wild Rose Farm Ewes Grazing Off In The Distance
We started grazing again late last week.  The sheep are over by the Loafing Shed, but it doesn't look quite that far.  These pictures are the "long view" from our kitchen picture window.
Let's back up a little now ...
Fall Colors Behind The Pines
Just noticed the school bus in the background on Rt 30 ...
Hillside Above The Loafing Shed
Heading back to the house after the grazing paddock shift in a light mist of rain ...
Chores Done For The Day ...