Sunday, April 30, 2017

Good Morning From Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm - 6:45AM Peaceful Pasture
A "once over" of the pasture this morning revealed a peaceful scene ... nothing going on here. Or is there? Most of the ewes were behind me, but there were a bunch in front of me scattered out grazing. As I got closer, I noticed a ewe behind Snow White watching me.  See her? I still didn't see anything until I walked by above them and saw something bright white between them.
#144 With Her Ewe Lamb
I moved in even closer and everyone got up ... #144 was sticking close & taking good care of her first lamb.  The ewe lamb looked great and was an item of attention & curiosity for Snow White.  Ewe & lamb are resting comfortably in the barn now near the 4 sets of twins.
Snow White Watching Ewe Lamb
Another late post & it's time to go back out for a late night pasture check ...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lambing Starts At Wild Rose Farm!

Wild Rose Farm #141 With Twin Ewe Lambs
We had 3 sets of twins born yesterday ... between the lambs coming and the off & on thunderstorms, the blog post was delayed until today! The first one was #141 at 5AM with a set of twin ewe lambs.
Rambouillet ewe #403 followed around noon with a ram lamb & a ewe lamb.
Rambouillet #403 With Her Set of Twins
We also had a set of Rambouillet ram lambs from #406 at 11PM. She followed us up to the barn with one lamb born and had the second one in the barn, just beating the rain coming down!
All 3 sets are doing well now ... back out to check the pastures in a couple of hours.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update & Filler Material!

Snow White Takes A Dust Bath!
No, that's not a new silver gray llama in the Wild Rose Farm pasture! Snow White found the ashes after we burned some pine tree limbs on the hill behind the barn.  She did a pretty thorough job of dusting herself - everything is covered except her head.  It seems to work - no flies were bothering her last night.
Our friends had another lamb born today, but we are still waiting. We're supposed to get a thunderstorm & possibly hail this evening, so we'll see what happens. :~0

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

While We're Waiting ...

Photo Credit To Devin M. 
A Good Mother With Her 1st Lamb!
Here's a guest picture from Devin. This 1st time lambing ewe came from Wild Rose Farm and did a great job for her new family. Devin was kind enough to forward this classic picture of them comfortably bedded down ... She is one of 4 ewe lambs purchased here, so we'll wait to see what happens with the others!   As of this evening, we're still waiting for lambing to start here.
Wild Rose Farm 2-Ply Bulky Art Yarn - Getting ready To Knit!
Meanwhile, our 2-ply bulky Rambouillet art yarn has been purchased & knit up into a hat & mittens by our first customer for this batch. It was custom processed and sold right off of the mill by Ruth at The Mill At Meadowlands.  The rest of the yarn was shipped to us and boy, is it "soft & squishy". 
Here's another picture that was forwarded to us ... it looks great!
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet 2-Ply Bulky Art Yarn
Knitting by Dee - Thanks!
We'll have this yarn for sale at the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Fest - May 20th & 21st.  Come squeeze it for yourself, lol!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Early Grazing ...

Wild Rose Farm - Snow White & Ewes Grazing
The ewes are now out grazing for the better part of the day. We move the electric net fence every day to provide fresh grass & you can see the area in the foreground that was grazed the day before the picture was taken.  It was overcast and rainy a couple of days ago when we took the picture. 
Since then, the temperature went up and boy, did the grass jump! The leaves are coming out & filling in on the trees & now the dogwoods are in bloom. Can lambs be far away now? :~0
It's out to the barn today to get the first pens ready ...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Getting Ready For Lambing Season!

Backing Out of the Barn at Wild Rose Farm ...
Lambing season is due to start in the next week, so we took advantage of some sunny & dry weather to clean out our barn. The ewe lambs and Snow White spent the winter sheltered here munching on round bales of hay. That nice bedding pack gets to go out to be composted before we spread it on the fields in the fall.  This is the non-glamorous side of the sheep business! Now we're setting up the pens for the ewes & their lambs when we bring them in from pasture.
Later when we went to get feed at the Rogers Feed Mill, we found them starting on a months long renovation project.  The area that has been torn down contained the offices and apparently was once a church building ... concrete floors, a warehouse, & indoor plumbing are coming, hopefully by the end of summer!
Rogers, Ohio - Rogers Feed Mill -Demolition & Construction Underway!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Grazing & Waiting!

Putting Up Net Fencing Before Grazing
We're getting ready to start some light grazing at Wild Rose Farm. We usually wait until mid-April when the grass starts jumping to begin grazing. The electric net fence is up to guide the ewes up to the top pasture on the other side of the Loafing Shed. We'll graze this area first before bringing them to the pasture around the barn for lambing season ...
Meanwhile, here's a look at the 2-ply yarn that we were waiting for at The Mill At Meadowlands.
Rambouillet 2-Ply Bulky Yarn!
This batch is moving on to the skeining process ... Yay!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Watching & Waiting!

Rambouillet Ewe #401 Has News For You!
That's Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet Ewe #401 (with the horns), and her siblings, #404 & #405 with some news for their wool wearing friends.  As we speak, our Rambouillet wool is in process at the The Mill At Meadowlands ... whoo-hoo!
Mill owner Ruth has been corresponding back & forth with videos & pictures once the carding process started. 
Nice & Airy Rambouillet Wool Roving Before Spinning!
Here's a sample of the first 2-ply that we were looking at ... achieving a hand-spun look & feel. Keep watching on the mill FB link above.
Wild Rose Farm Rambouillet 2-ply

Friday, April 7, 2017

Snow Again?

Wild Rose Farm - Back To The Loafing Shed!
After it rained all night & into yesterday morning, it was time to run the sheep back over to the Loafing Shed. The sheep took off out of the barn immediately for the runway to the pasture ... guess who brought up the rear? Yes, Snow White stuck her head out of the barn, looked around, and realized that she was all alone. She ran, jumped, & joyfully kicked her way down the runway, but I was too slow to get the cell phone out to catch the action, lol.
The yellowish looking grass on the left is where the sheep were turned out one by one as they were being sheared. The paddock was grazed intensely, but it should green up again in a couple of weeks.
It was 65 degrees yesterday ... it's 32 degrees & snowing today ... BUT the temps are going back up tomorrow. What a spring so far!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Shearing Done For Another Year!

Getting Set Up For Shearing @ 7AM
If you have sheep, you know what a relief it is to have the shearing done for another year. This year, our long time shearer of 20 years retired from the business. With his own flock of ~175 sheep, give or take, it was time to back off.  We were fortunate to find Luke, a tri-state area native who has sheared in several areas out west, including South Dakota & Wyoming. The good news with that is he has experience with fine wool sheep and has done quite a few Rambouillets.
Luke Shearing - Note the back support.
We had 45 ewes to shear and we got started at 7:25AM on Saturday morning.  It was damp & cloudy, but the temperature seemed to be just right. Seven of the ewes are yearlings, so I took the 2" square side samples of wool from them for their individual micron test. The samples will be shipped to Yocum-McColl Testing Labs in Denver for testing as soon as we get the ewe registrations back ... and I get the time to fill out the forms, lol!
In Action With X-bred Ewe #136
  Things went pretty well - we're always trying to "perfect" the system of penning/catching the ewes, getting them set up for shearing, and bagging each fleece complete with a label & notes in the Wild Rose Farm flock barn book. 
Now For The Clean-up!
Shearing was done by 11:55 ... a great job with steady, quick work, & minimal second cuts. Next up is the skirting process in the barn once we get some warmer weather.
Snow White Surrounded By Yearling Ewe Lambs
After spending all winter in the barn with Snow White, the 7 ewe lambs stick pretty close to her once we turn everyone out together. They'll all spend the next week or so in the barn to keep them out of the rain ...