Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last Lamb Of The Season At Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #410 With Ewe Lamb!
The lambing season is finally over here ... roughly 3 weeks after we expected her to lamb, #410 had a single ewe lamb yesterday morning.  That means that she cycled one more time after she was marked the first time. We had her up in the barn with the ewes who have triplets, so it was easy to watch her.  No chasing around out in the pasture with the grazing sheep trying to find her and keep an eye on her!  ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Rambouillet Ram Comes Home!

REP 2513 - Grand Champion Rambouillet Ram @ Great Lakes Eastern Regional Rambouillet  Sale 
Wild Rose Farm had the winning bid and brought home the Grand Champion Rambouillet Ram today from the Great Lakes Sheep Show & Sale in Wooster, OH.   For my Rambouillet junkie friends (!), he is from REP Rambouillets in Cayuga, NY.   He has Cunningham, Powell, Crawford, Bobb, Wall, & Wil-Hi genetics in his background.  Hopefully he'll work out as well for us as the previous Pinckney Farms Rambouillet ram that we purchased at the 2009 PDA Performance Tested Ram Test Sale.  See our 8/5/09 blog post for pics of that ram!
Munching Hay In The Ram Pen
OK, So Where Are The Ewes?
We also took care of other business at the Great Lakes Sheep & Wool Show.  We dropped off Dorset wool with Zeilinger's of Michigan to be processed into quilt batts ... can't wait to see how that turns out!  Lead time is 8 - 10 weeks, so we'll have them in time for fall shows.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lambs Out & About!

Wild Rose Farm - Ewes & Lambs In Front Paddock
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the ewes & older lambs have been out doing some grazing.  We're having nice, cooler weather with overcast skies & a bit of rain scattered in too.  MUCH nicer than mid to high 80's with the trees not fully leafed out yet.   We have 1 ewe left to lamb and then we're done ... always a straggler in the group, eh?
Lambs Learning To Graze
The lambs learn by watching & doing ... here the lamb is nibbling the seed head off of the grass stem.  If the weather was warmer and sunnier, the local farmers would be out in their fields.  It is time to be making 1st cutting hay.  As it is, we have already mowed or brush hogged down the section of pasture that the sheep have been grazing while they were lambing.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Fun!

Customers At Michelle's Assortment & Kim Goodman's Punch Needle Design
It seemed that the crowds picked up on Sunday after the rain threatened all day Saturday.  The festival only got about 15 minutes of rain on Saturday!  Not so for the rest of Western PA, but the folks on Sunday said, "enough" and came carrying umbrellas just in case ...  :)
See The Little Sheep In The Middle & In The Sheep Bowl?
It seems that no one can resist touching the yarn from the unique Annadele Alpacas booth set-up running down the center aisle of the building!
Annadele Alpacas - Feel The Alpaca Yarn! 
River Ridge Fiberworks has fantastic handspun yarns, felted flowers & purses, sock yarn, and their famous, great smelling "Mothzilla" sachets, but take a look at these great glass window hangings & mirrors!
River Ridge Fiberworks - Wow!
We had several vendors spinning, felting, rug hooking, pottery decorating, & treenware carving during the festival ...
Spinning At Barbara's Weave 'N Wear
Finally, we have pictures of our fantastic Vendor Booth Award winners.  Vendors are "secretly" judged during the festival by a couple of young adults in 4-H or perhaps a mother/daughter pair who visit each booth.  Booths are judged on signage, visibility of pricing, product display, and ability of the vendor to relate to the public and describe their product or craft.  And the winners are:
HipStrings - 2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest - Best Fiber Booth - 2nd Year Vendor

CasDesigns - 2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest - Best Craft Booth - 2nd Year Vendor

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Day One

Fleece Sold At 2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest
I spent all day yesterday in vendor set up activities for the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest ...whew!  Today was the 1st day of the weekend festival.  The weather was generally good - one rain shower around lunch time and then no more rain all day.  The fleece above from Rambouillet #410 was entered into the fleece contest and was sold at the fleece tent.
Rambouillet Fleece For Sale At Waynesburg  Sheep & Fiber Fest!
 We still have spinning fleeces available for sale along with our fine wool combed top.  There are some really great vendors at the festival this year.   After locking up the vendor buildings, I walked down to the Breed Pavillion to take a few pictures at sunset.  This ewe seems to be saying "where is everybody?".
Horned Dorset Ewe - Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Breed Pavillion
See you tomorrow at the festival!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First Lambpede Of The Season!

Wild Rose Farm Lambpede !
Well, there they go!  The first unrestrained, full scale lambpede of the season was underway ...  The temperatures dropped from the 80's on Monday to the 50's tonight with cloudy & overcast skies.  Perfect weather for a lambpede.  By the time I got closer, the lambs had made another lap and were tired and stood panting with their little sides heaving.  I bet they're in the barn taking a nap now!
I spotted them while I was at the kitchen window rinsing indigo dyed yarn for the 2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest this weekend May 16th & 17th.   Stay tuned & I'll have some pics of the yarn and some spinning fleeces that will be going to the show!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1st Pasture Outing!

Wild Rose Farm Lambs
We let the ewes with older lambs out to graze in the early evening yesterday.  Of course, the ewes rush out for fresh grass and most of the lambs come along behind bleating in mass confusion!   And quite frankly, it takes about 10 minutes of munching before most of the ewes go looking for their lambs.  We noticed that "U" was the first one to go back to the gate area and pick up her lamb.  Some of the lambs managed to never lose their ewe in the rush, like #403 below ... she's happy, they're happy!  :)
WRF #403 & Twins Nursing
We only had 1 lamb born yesterday evening.  We got caught in a drenching downpour just as we were a couple of hundred feet from the barn.  That also sent the remaining grazing ewes & lambs back up to the barn & the traffic jam slowed us down!   Aaccckkkkk!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

And Mother's Day It Was!

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #401 With Triplets
Wow, what a day it was!  Mother's Day started at sunrise with a set of triplets from #401 and a large single lamb from #47.  Look closely in the picture above in the distance.  You can see Mr. WRF and #47 heading to the barn with her lamb.  Also notice that one of the triplets is quite content and resting.
Why We Closely Watch Triplets ...
As I was taking pictures, #401 started ambling off towards the barn herself.  The lamb who had recently nursed and was resting could be left behind as the ewe walked off happily with 2 lambs at her side!  This is why we keep a close eye on triplets and have them penned up much longer than twins or singles.  We might need to supplement with a bottle and keeping them close helps with the observation.
Ewe & Triplets At The Barn
I used a lamb carrier to cradle one of the lambs and lead #401 ... the other two lambs followed at her heels all the way to the barn.   It helps by suspending the lamb right at the nose height of the ewe.
Handy Dandy Plastic Lamb Carrier!
That was just the morning exercise though.  Between 3 PM and 7 PM we had five (5) more ewes give birth!  Two ewes with singles and three ewes with twins.  We didn't get back in the house until 9 PM.
Happy Mother's Day !!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sunrise & Lambs At Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm Sunrise & Lambs!
Last night we penned up #50 in the Loafing Shed ... she definitely was getting ready to go into labor.  Here she is this morning around 7 AM with her set of twins.  We walked her over to the driveway area where she is munching up a storm with the lambs at her side.  She probably hadn't really eaten anything since yesterday afternoon when she started to get that "distracted" look and began to pace around.
Wild Rose Farm #50 Grazing With Twins
We have been impressed with her.  She is an excellent mother & last year she raised a set of triplets with no bottle feeding.  She is a x-bred ewe with a high percentage of Rambouillet.

Friday, May 8, 2015

U & 2 Others!

Wild Rose Farm "U" At The Barn Gate
As we suspected this morning, U was ready to lamb and had this single ewe lamb around 4 PM.  Then two more ewes had singles out in the pasture today.  When we brought the ewes in for the night, one of our Rambouillets had a single lamb and she stayed there with it.  Here are the sheep below coming in at dusk.. The ewe in the lead is #47 & she's due any moment now.  We also penned up another ewe in the Loafing Shed - she had separated off in there, so we set up a pen around her.  It helps to keep other expectant mothers from stealing a lamb!
Wild Rose Farm Flock Coming In At Dusk
After we got some pens cleaned out in the barn, Mr. WRF went back out at 9 PM & brought the Rambouillet ewe & her lamb to the barn.   She was a bit skittish and I watched the LED light moving slowly towards me at the barn while I got water & feed ready for her ... we came in from the barn at 9:45 PM.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other!

Wild Rose Farm Dorset #116 & Triplets!
We did have another set of twins late Thursday afternoon and we also noticed that Dorset Ewe #116 was separating herself from the other ewes.   At our 9 PM check, we penned her up alone.   This morning we saw one of the Rambouillet ewes, #406, with a single lamb in the pasture.   Then we saw #116 resting with a nice cleaned off set of triplets!  
We Wait With The Triplets While #116 Grazes ... 
She has 1 ram lamb & 2 ewe lambs - the black lamb is a ewe lamb - check out the eye spots!   I'm already thinking of naming her Patches if we keep her.  Most of our sheep don't get names as you can see from reading this blog.  :~0  
Guess who was hanging around near the pen with these lambs?  It was "U"!  On paper she is due any time now, but she is so slim that you can never tell if she has a single or twins in there.   Maybe she thought this was one of her lambs ...
Tasty Hay & Fresh Straw Bedding In The Barn

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Foggy Morning At Wild Rose Farm

Wild Rose Farm Ewe #131 - Following Through The Fog!
It was foggy this morning when we went out to check on the ewes.  We had 2 sets of twin lambs.  This attentive mother, #131, was following right along on the trek up to the barn.  Her lambs were dried off, so they were several hours old.   The team was stepping pretty lively here, so I only got one more close-up shot in before they went past me and I had to hurry in to open the door!
Ewe #131 Watching The Photographer!
We went out later after breakfast and brought in the second set of twins, then did some other clean-up work in the barn.  No more lambs as of 1:30 PM ...  :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Going In Order ...

Wild Rose Farm #99 With Twins
We had a set of twins on Tuesday and carried them to the barn in the morning after the rain tapered off. Mom & babies are doing well.  Today, we found a newborn set of twins with x-bred ewe #99 in the Loafing Shed.  Here they are pictured above ... the ewe lamb is smaller than the ram lamb, but not nearly as small as she appears all curled up in the picture!
The 2015 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest is approaching fast - May 16th & 17th - so the fiber activity is picking up too.   There will be fleeces to skirt later this week, but for now I've started a dyebath.
"Somerset Sweets" Onion Skins
 Years ago, like 10 years ago, Rick & Rita of Laurel Vista Farm in Somerset County, PA gave me a huge bag of onion skin sweepings from their processing building.  Here's a label to prove it!   I'll finally finish using these skins this summer.  The color starts to soak out very quickly.   I'll probably boil the onion skins & extract the dye tomorrow.
Somerset Sweets - Color After 15 Minutes Of Soaking 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Newborn Lambs This Morning!

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #404 & Triplets
After 2 days with no new lambs, we found a set of triplets & a set of twins this morning!  The weather was a pleasat 55 degrees or so in the morning & these triplets were already cleaned off and dry at 6:30AM.
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #416 & Twins
The twins were big 'uns from Rambouillet Ewe #416 and she was taking excellent care of them ... they were a couple of hours more recent & were still being cleaned off ...
Ewe With Nursing Lamb
Meanwhile, watching the proceedings and maintaining the status quo, #135 nurses her lamb as the sunrise slants through the barn doors ... the strange mark on her hip is from when she jumped as I was painting on her ear tag number ... what the heck, she just has a single ... forget about it!  LOL.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Before The Day Ends ...

Wild Rose Farm - Sunset Shadows On Loafing Shed!
We decided to move the yearling ewe lambs & Snow White out of the barn to join the "grazing group".  The grazing group has been getting smaller they have lambs and we bring them in.  Check out the shadows on the Loafing Shed ... I just happened to notice them & snapped a pic!
We brought the ewes down from the pasture and look what we found ... another set of twins!
Rambouillet Ewe #403 With Newborn Twins!
 That's why the ewes have to be checked up on often.  You need to keep on top of what's going on during lambing season!  Once again, Snow White is fascinated!  :)
Snow White Says "More Lambs?  Yea!"
If Andrew is still following along, WRF #403 is a Schaffer ram daughter ... these are Dorset x Rambouillet crossbred lambs.

Interesting Lambing Story!

Early Morning - Ewe #98 Pacing - Where Are My Lambs?
We started out with a check at the Loafing Shed this morning and found a set of twins and 2 singles ... or did we?   We brought the 2 well taken care of singles and moms over to the barn.  Then when I looked at happy ewe #98, I said "She's as big as a house!  Those aren't her lambs!".  Nope, ol' #98 had stolen 2 lambs from the other younger ewes!    Well, she followed us and the 2 lambs over to the barn and we sorted out who the 2 lambs belonged to ... basically it has to do with seeing which ewe accepts a lamb and/or butts it away. OK, we got that figured out after a little while & made sure that the lambs had full bellies.
Ewe #98 Pawing For Lambs
As the morning went on, #98 kept bleating and looking for lambs.  She was very close to lambing and finally her water broke.  Lambing was underway ...
Snow White Watches The Action!
 At 11:45 AM, we had one lamb born and by 1 PM we had a nice big set of twins out on the grass.  We try to watch from a distance and not crowd the ewe.  No sense creating a problem where there isn't one!  The lambs are usually born with enough time between them to have the 1st one cleaned off before the 2nd one is delivered.
Wild Rose Farm Ewe #98 Delivers Twins ...
What a nice sunny day with temps in the 50's for lambs to be born on pasture.  Once the lambs are cleaned and the afterbirth is passed, we'll move them into a lambing pen for a couple of days.
The disadvantage to lambing this time of year?  I usually miss the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!
Ewe #98 Cleaning Off 2nd Lamb!