Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Busy Holiday Weekend!

Ewes & Lambs Head To Pasture Sunday Morning
We had several sheep & wool related trips over the Memorial Day weekend. After the Friday night Girl Scout visit, we dropped off 35 lbs of Rambouillet fleece to be delivered to The Mill At Meadowlands in Maryland. The plans are to have some yarn made - "thinking" of lace weight and some worsted weight singles at the moment. The wool was delivered Sunday morning.  Ruth at the mill called me to talk about it while I was roaming around at the Great Lakes Sheep & Fiber Show in Wooster. Once the wool is washed, we'll talk in more detail about what it wants to become ... :).  Don't you just love fiber artists? Meadowlands had a representative at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fibe Fest to pick up fleeces, but we're in line behind the wool from Maryland Sheep & Wool, so stay tuned.
The picture above was taken from the driveway as I departed for the show in Wooster, Ohio. It's off to the races for the ewes & lambs in the morning!
Barb Originals - Mini Looms!
It wasn't as hot on Sunday as it was on Saturday & there was no rain in Wooster ... it made for a lot of fun checking out every building!
Say It With Sheep - Crib Full Of Sheep Dolls! 
Ursula's Alcove - Fabulous Felted Hats
"Books & Supplies For The Medieval & Fiber Enthusiast"
Pictures from Ursula's Alcove came out with too much glare, but what a great booth if you're into reenactment, patterns, & period fiber tools!
Champion Rambouillet Sheep - Auction Sale 
There were around 350 sheep in the shows on Saturday & the auction was held on Sunday --- I stopped in to see the Rambouillet sale, but wasn't buying this year!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fun With Girl Scouts!

Wild Rose Farm - Watching Ewes & Lambs Coming In!
We had fun this afternoon hosting a group of Girl Scouts, leaders & parents, and of course, little brothers who came along. The 3 sets of triplet lambs in the barn were a big hit ... a couple are being supplemented with a bottle, so they are easy to catch & everyone got to pet a lamb. After a discussion on lambing, wool, & yarn, we went outside and called up the ewes & lambs.  It's an impressive sight to see them all streaming up. Snow White was also front & center since she was trying to figure out who all of the people were and what was going on!
Glenda Has A Fan Club!
After the sheep wandered away, attention was turned to Glenda.  She stood just out of reach and wouldn't take a treat, but she seemed to be fascinated by all of the kids looking at her. I explained how donkeys have to think everything is their idea, so having her come up and enjoy the attention was fun. Alas, she also got bored, turned, walked away, and then rolled in the dust. No one had ever seen that before, so it was another teaching moment.  :)
Into The Sunset & Off To Get Ice Cream! 

We're Waiting!

Wild Rose Farm Ewes & Lambs
We're waiting for a visit this evening from a troop of Girl Scouts. Sounds like fun ... let's hope we don't have a T-storm, but we can all fit in the barn if we need to take cover!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Wrap-up!

2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest - Best Fiber Booth - Meadowcroft Dyeworks
Father/Son Team of Dave & Will (pictured) Burrows - Washington, PA
Here are the wrap up pics from the WS&FF. It takes a little time to clean up & re-sort "stuff" after these events as anyone who vends understands ... ha!  We had a great group of 50 vendors this year and at least there was no rain on Sunday after Saturday's mostly steady rain.
2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest - Best Craft Booth - Stone House Folk Art
Paul & Trudy Johnson - Freedom, PA
Once again, our anonymous judges picked out 2 deserving vendors for the best booth awards. Booths were judged (without the vendors being aware) on display, labeling, signage, & ability to relate to the public.
KnittenJen's Beads - Colorful!
Holly Road Fiber Farm - Cathy Working On Her Fabulous Lace Shawls! 
Th Knitting Boutique - Wonderful Soft Yarns! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saturday At Waynesburg ... Rain!

Ridgetop Pottery, WV - Wonderful Yarn Bowls!
Waynesburg is known for it's annual Rain Day celebration, but it's supposed to occur in the summer! Well, yesterday, we had rain petty much all day at the 2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest.  It did not stop the dedicated fiber folks who came to shop.  Here's are some booth pics from yesterday ... come on down today and see what you can find!
Youghiogheny Yarns  - Rainbow of Skeins!
HipStrings - Luxury Fibers & Fiber Tools!
Meadowcroft Dyeworks - Explosion of Yarn Rehab Colors!

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest Preview!

Get Your 2016 WS&FF T-shirt This Weekend!
It looks like we will have rain and cooler weather for the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest on Saturday ...
BUT, that means excellent weather to shop for wool and yarn and all of the other great handmade items at the festival!  No need to worry about mowing the lawn or attending a pesky sporting event ... :~0
See you tomorrow fiber fans! 
What Does The Holler Farm Have In Store For Us?
Everyone who set up today had a good time & we saw some really great goodies coming in! The buildings are packed.  More pics coming tomorrow ...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Nest of Triplets!

Wild Rose Farm Ewe #50 & Her Triplet Ewe Lambs!
It's not easy to try & sneak up on a ewe and her lambs!  Here is WRF #50 and her triplet ewe lambs seconds before they jumped up to nurse.  They were napping in a little corner nest. Two sets of twins & a single since the last blog post. That should leave 3 ewes to go if my math is correct (and I'm not too sleep deprived!).   

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Headed To Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest!

Wild Rose Farm - 1st Lambpede Of The Season!
Oh joy! Look what started today ... the first lambpede of the season.  By the time I got out to get a picture, the crowd had dwindled to a half dozen or so panting lambs.
I guess that they heard about the 2016 Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest, because here they are running up to get a headstart on the trip to the Greene County Fairgrounds for the weekend ...
See you there!
Follow Us To The 2016 Waynseburg Sheep & Fiber Fest!
Hey - Wait For Me!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beautiful Day For An Outing!

Wild Rose Farm Ewes & Lambs Enjoy A Sunny Day!
Although it was cool today - in the 40's & 50's we had some nice sun for the ewes & their lambs. It also spit rain & some snowflakes (?) a couple of times. The ewes with the oldest lambs got to enjoy some grazing in the sunshine. 
A quick count shows that from 5/11 through 5/14, eighteen ewes lambed for us! Wow. That's out of a total of 38 bred ewes. We're down to 6 more ewes to go.  Now to go back and count the lambs since that's the follow-up question! There were no lambs born today, so we got some ear tagging and other chores done. The barn is packed with sheep right now ... :)

The Lambs Keep Coming!

Dorset #116 With Twin Ewe Lambs Just Before Midnight!
We had a very busy day again on Saturday. To make it more interesting, the weather was rainy and the temperatures dropped into the 40's. A regular patrol of the pasture is a must. The dark picture above is Dorset ewe #116 and her set of twin ewe lambs. They were just brought in and the ewe had done a nice job cleaning them off. She followed right up to the barn around midnight and I heard banging on the barn doors. I told Mr. WRF to "wait until I get the doors unlatched!". He came back with, "that's not me, it's the ewe!". Old #116 (remember her triplets last year?) knew where to go and was probably saying "Hey - hurry up & get us out of the rain!".
At 5PM, the ewe that lambed just prior during the day was Rambouillet #333, a skittish 1st time mother with a single lamb. She had to be hazed/driven up towards the barn and didn't want to follow if her lamb was carried.  She settled down later as she figured out what to do after she was penned up in the barn.
Total for the day was 1 single & 4 sets of twins.
Timing? 5:30AM - 6AM - 11AM - 5PM - 11PM.  The ewe that lambed at 11AM actually had one in the pasture and delivered one in the barn as I watched.  It's always amazing to see the birth and the ewe's attentiveness. We got in a run after lunch to Tractor Supply to buy a few more buckets, bungee cords, and a livestock wire panel to build more pens.
We'll try to get some sunny scampering lambs pics soon. Time for a nap! :~0

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Last Two Days ...

Snow White Watching In The Misty Evening
Here's what it looks like in the pasture at night. Snow White is usually in a position to oversee everything and of course she watches my approach. Doesn't she remind you of that famous Loch Ness Monster photo?!? Nothing was happening during the night, but starting in the morning on Thursday & then throughout the day, 4 ewes lambed, including Rambouillet #403 with a set of triplets.
Rambouillet Ewe #403 With Her First Triplet - Still More To Come
Today was another busy day with 6 ewes having lambs spaced out from 8AM to 8PM.
Around 1PM, ewe #136 had a set of twins and was followed in towards the barn by ewe #50, who didn't want to be left alone in the paddock. We also noticed a distant gaze, which made us think that she was going to lamb today too.
#136 With A Set Of Twins & # 50 Thinking About It ...
It turns out that #50 did finish lambing around 8PM, along with #134, our easily recognized horned ewe.
Wild Rose Farm #50 With Triplet Ewe Lambs
Wild Rose Farm #134 With Twin Ewe Lambs
So ... those are the highlights of what has been going on for the last 2 days. Today the ewes with the oldest lambs were given access to the hospital pen along the driveway. It was their first outing and they seemed to enjoy jumping and stretching their little legs ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Singles Today

View From Kitchen Window Through Early Morning Fog
Today was a day for singles at Wild Rose Farm. We started with Rambouillet #405 in the front paddock at 7:30AM. We spotted her going into labor - the closest one we've been able to watch from the house this spring.  There was no rain, but it was a foggy, misty morning. It didn't take her very long to deliver a single ewe lamb.
Wild Rose Farm #405 With A Big Ewe Lamb
The fog started to burn off and we brought them up along the driveway to go to the barn.
Ewe & Lamb Resting Along Driveway
Later during the afternoon check at chore time, we found 2 other ewes with single ram lambs in the main pasture group ... That's probably it for today!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Catch Up

No lambs were born today, but we did get caught up on ear tagging lambs and some other chores around the barn. We've got to keep the pens cleaned out & rotate the ewes with lambs into the mixing pen as we wait for more lambs to come ...
Here's another fleece ready to take to the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest on May 21st & 22nd!
Wild Rose Farm  #133 Dorset x Rambouillet Ewe Full Fleece
Wild Rose Farm #133 Dorset x  Rambouillet Fleece Close-up

Monday, May 9, 2016

Other Work To Be Done ...

Mowing The Lambing Pasture
Of course, there's other work to be done in between the lambs and the raindrops. Here we are mowing the part of the pasture where we have been lambing. In grazing terms, we "set stock" the ewes on an area that gets larger as we move the electric net fencing forward to provide fresh forage. The open area behind provides enough room for ewes to separate off of the flock when they are ready to lamb. Yesterday we back-fenced this area and moved the ewes on to a new section of pasture to start the process again. The dew finally evaporated and the field was dry enough to mow this afternoon. This mowing cuts off the seed heads forming on the pasture grasses. It also cuts back seed heads developing on weeds. The regrowth will be mostly leafy instead of old and full of stems & seed heads.
You can see how fast the grass is growing - the point of grass in the middle right is grazed regrowth that was back-fenced 2 weeks ago. :)  The grass back behind the white electric net fence hasn't been grazed yet.
Wild Rose Farm - Ewe #98 & Newborn Twins
We had another set of twins today from one of our crossbred ewes, #98. As you can see, she had to get up close and personal when we dipped the lamb's navels in iodine. Mama doesn't want you to take her babies and stays REAL close!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

It Was Mother's Day For Sure!

Wild Rose Farm #401 With Triplets & "Granny" Ewe #404
We had a beautiful, sunny, mid-60's day here at Wild Rose Farm. It turned into a Mother's Day celebration in the pastures!  It started off with Rambouillet ewe #401 having a set of triplet ewe lambs by 9:30AM.  She was accompanied by "granny" ewe, Rambouillet #404 from the pasture up to the barn. We've learned to just let these granny ewes come along with the lambs and then separate them off once we get the real mother & her lambs penned up in the barn. An experienced granny ewe moves in on newborn lambs and tries steal them from a young ewe. In this case, with another experienced ewe, she sticks right there cleaning off the lambs, but #401 doesn't let any of them get taken away from her. Readers may recall that #401 raised a set of triplets last year too!
We separated #404 off and sent her back out to the pasture, bleating loudly for a baby lamb. In the barn I got knocked down as I backed out of her way and suffered a bruised elbow, bruised ego, & a bump to the back of the head on the wall when I hit the ground ... it was not graceful, but I was back on my feet quickly.  Sheesh.
Ewe #131 With Twin Ewe Lambs
 Next up was ewe #131 with a set of twin ewe lambs at 11AM ... she kept scratching her bedding into the corners as you can see above.  Then we worked with ewe #141 around noon. This is her first time lambing and she had a nice set of twins - one ewe lamb & one ram lamb
Ewe #141 Following Nicely After Her Lambs To The Barn At Noon
Meanwhile, in the pond paddock, Rambouillet ewe #404 - the granny! - had delivered her own set of twin ewe lambs. No wonder she was so eager to mother up the other lambs in the morning! 
Rambouillet Ewe #404 Following Twin Ewe Lambs To The Barn
We let her bond with her lambs for a while in the grass since it was such a nice sunny day. You'll notice in these pics, I'm following along or leading while closing & opening gates and doors ... :)
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #404 Cleaning Lambs
Last, but not least, our #99 ewe had a set of big twin ram lambs in the pasture around 3PM. We had been watching her since late morning when she started to separate herself off from the other ewes.
Ewe #99 Coming In With Her Twin Rams
Tonight we also replaced a missing flock ear tag for #99 and we painted numbers on all of the new lambs to keep them straight with their mothers.  That's it until the midnight check ... 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Latest Lambs ...

Enjoying Some Alfalfa Hay After Lambing!
Here are the 2 ewes that delivered in the late hours Thursday and came into the barn in the wee hours today. Today is almost over, so we're squeezing in this post before heading out for the midnight lambing check!
Wild Rose Farm - Rambouillet #328 With Twin Ewe Lambs
Here's what it looked like this morning from the house ... after a brief, light rain ... the long view!
Ewes Grazing As The Trees Green Up ...

Brought Something Back This Time!

Wild Rose Farm - Is Your Pile Steaming?!?
Here was the scene Thursday evening. I just noticed the composting manure pile steaming! The pile was turned on Wednesday when my BIL came over and picked up a truckload for their garden.
We brought the ewes up to the barn for a feeding around 8PM Thursday. One of our Rambouillet ewes, #328, was standing off by herself ...  We cut her out of the bigger flock & sent her down with the smaller group of "big" ewes in the pond paddock. Finally, we were rewarded with lambs at the 1AM pasture check.
#328 had a set of twin ewe lambs and #133 had a single ram lamb waiting for us. Both are in the barn now & we'll get pictures later today (it still feels like yesterday to me!).  Good night or good morning - whatever!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Getting Ready To Go Out

No new lambs today either, but we still have 45 minutes left today before I head out around midnight to check. One can always hope ... :)
Update: back in at 1AM Thursday morning. Interestingly, most ewes were up and grazing. It is raining off and on, so it was misty & foggy. I couldn't stand back and slowly scan the flock as usual. I had to walk in among the ewes & get close for the light beam to work, much like you see when you drive with high beams on in the fog. You just walk in slowly and speak in quiet tones so they know who & where you are ...
Of course, since I checked, nothing is happening!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Beautiful Day, But ...

Ewes Out Grazing At 10AM ... 
It was beautiful here at Wild Rose Farm with temps in the mid-50 to mid-60 range, a light wind, & sunshine all day. Perfect weather for lambing, but as you can see, no lambs!  Just back in from the "midnight-ish" check and everything is quiet for now.  Just like the next picture earlier today at 2PM, with all of the ewes relaxing and chewing their cuds ...
Catching Some Z's In The Shade
This is what watching & waiting for lambs looks like ... sigh. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Early Morning Lambings

Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet #423 With Her Twin Ewe Lambs
Here they are ... 2 sets of twin Rambouillet ewe lambs born in the wee hours of Monday morning.  As of this evening, the ewes are resting comfortably. The lambs? Well, they sleep a lot and if they aren't sleeping, they are usually nursing ...
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet #421 And Her Twin Ewe Lambs