News

Featuring the latest gossip from the fields

End of August 2018

2/3rds of this year has already passed and I can't believe it!  We seem to have moved from lambing, to shearing, to hay making and woolly shows so quickly!


Its been such bizarre weather for us here in the UK, and our farm has suffered for the lack of grass but we couldn't let our livestock suffer, so - of course - we have been buying food for them!  I didn't want to use the hay and haylage that we have stored for winter. 

This photo shows the extreme temperature and the lack of grass for my sheep. 

 

I understand today is the first day of Autumn - and so I guess our grass won't recover this year but we shall make the most of whatever happens now.


 .. But despite this dry and hot summer - our lambs are fabulous!  We sheared last week and their fleeces are beautiful.  Some I will have spun into lambswool and some I will sell for spinning and crafts.  The black is such a deep lustrous colour.



Our Kelpie Stan had his second birthday and now we feel it is a good time to push him a little harder on the farm and start work.  He's fit, intelligent and a good instinct - I am sure he will do well as our farm dog even though Wensleydales will only move for a dog if they are in the mood to!



Planning tupping groups for the end of September is our next important job.  Being so very rare, it is important that we get our bloodlines varied as well as making sure we continue to breed good healthy stock.  And talking of tupping - we have had two of our Lincoln Longwool ram lambs castrated so that they now have a lifelong job here as teasers (used to bring the ewes into season - before the real guys get to work).   



And the rest of the year now for me will be many wool shows around the UK.  Our 'Shows' page lists where we are and if you are nearby then it would be great to say Hi.  Do come along and see us.
jx 

 

 

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2/3rds of this year has already passed and I can't believe it!  We seem to have moved from lambing, to shearing, to hay making and woolly shows so quickly!


Its been such bizarre weather for us here in the UK, and our farm has suffered for the lack of grass but we couldn't let our livestock suffer, so - of course - we have been buying food for them!  I didn't want to use the hay and haylage that we have stored for winter. 

This photo shows the extreme temperature and the lack of grass for my sheep. 

 

I understand today is the first day of Autumn - and so I guess our grass won't recover this year but we shall make the most of whatever happens now.


 .. But despite this dry and hot summer - our lambs are fabulous!  We sheared last week and their fleeces are beautiful.  Some I will have spun into lambswool and some I will sell for spinning and crafts.  The black is such a deep lustrous colour.



Our Kelpie Stan had his second birthday and now we feel it is a good time to push him a little harder on the farm and start work.  He's fit, intelligent and a good instinct - I am sure he will do well as our farm dog even though Wensleydales will only move for a dog if they are in the mood to!



Planning tupping groups for the end of September is our next important job.  Being so very rare, it is important that we get our bloodlines varied as well as making sure we continue to breed good healthy stock.  And talking of tupping - we have had two of our Lincoln Longwool ram lambs castrated so that they now have a lifelong job here as teasers (used to bring the ewes into season - before the real guys get to work).   



And the rest of the year now for me will be many wool shows around the UK.  Our 'Shows' page lists where we are and if you are nearby then it would be great to say Hi.  Do come along and see us.
jx 

 

 

Read more


Summer 2018

Summer at Home Farm Wensleydales and weaning our lambs

     

This year at Home Farm, despite the dreadful weather conditions that faced us from November until Easter, we had a tremendous lambing season.  We are delighted to have increased our slaughter free flock.

 

Lambing started at the beginning of March and ended mid April (with the arrival of a surprise lamb –  a result of an over-energetic ram who can clearly jump the high fences!!) and this is followed 4 months later with weaning.

I personally find the job of weaning our lambs very emotional.  This crucial time must be managed carefully to avoid stress to both the ewe and her lambs, although the lambs seem to find it more stressful than the ewes!  Minimising the stress and easing the process are very important factors on our farm both for the welfare of the animal and the quality of our wool.

Without our intervention, weaning would occur naturally at approximately 6 months of age.  We aim to wean at 18 - 20 weeks when the ewes milk has naturally decreased and there is less risk of her developing mastitis.

We take the ewes to a different area of the farm for a few days to allow her milk to dry up completely.  This only takes 3 or 4 days and the lambs are left in their familiar surroundings with all of the other lambs who have been with them since birth.



Once the ewes milk has dried up we return them to their groups and they are not separated again until winter when the lambs are fed a special diet to help them strong through these long colder months.

 

Keeping Longwool Wensleydale Sheep at Home Farm Wensleydales is an entirely different process to keeping sheep for meat.  There are many factors that will affect the quality of the wool that we produce and stress during weaning is one of the highest.  We cannot have any weakness in the staple or wool break in our premium fibre. 

 

When we have successfully weaned our ewes and lambs we can look forward to a healthy flock growing luxury fibre for our wool and fleece customers.

 

 

 

Read more

Summer at Home Farm Wensleydales and weaning our lambs

     

This year at Home Farm, despite the dreadful weather conditions that faced us from November until Easter, we had a tremendous lambing season.  We are delighted to have increased our slaughter free flock.

 

Lambing started at the beginning of March and ended mid April (with the arrival of a surprise lamb –  a result of an over-energetic ram who can clearly jump the high fences!!) and this is followed 4 months later with weaning.

I personally find the job of weaning our lambs very emotional.  This crucial time must be managed carefully to avoid stress to both the ewe and her lambs, although the lambs seem to find it more stressful than the ewes!  Minimising the stress and easing the process are very important factors on our farm both for the welfare of the animal and the quality of our wool.

Without our intervention, weaning would occur naturally at approximately 6 months of age.  We aim to wean at 18 - 20 weeks when the ewes milk has naturally decreased and there is less risk of her developing mastitis.

We take the ewes to a different area of the farm for a few days to allow her milk to dry up completely.  This only takes 3 or 4 days and the lambs are left in their familiar surroundings with all of the other lambs who have been with them since birth.



Once the ewes milk has dried up we return them to their groups and they are not separated again until winter when the lambs are fed a special diet to help them strong through these long colder months.

 

Keeping Longwool Wensleydale Sheep at Home Farm Wensleydales is an entirely different process to keeping sheep for meat.  There are many factors that will affect the quality of the wool that we produce and stress during weaning is one of the highest.  We cannot have any weakness in the staple or wool break in our premium fibre. 

 

When we have successfully weaned our ewes and lambs we can look forward to a healthy flock growing luxury fibre for our wool and fleece customers.

 

 

 

Read more


Preparing for lambing 2018

Getting ready for lambing 

16th February and all the ewes are ready to come into the party tent (our lambing marquee) – however, one just couldn’t wait and we had a lovely surprise on Friday 16th morning at feeding time.  A very premature ram lamb, but big and doing very well.  She’s a fabulous mother, very protective, looking after him well with all the other curious ewes around her – but she’s now happily in her luxury room and being waited on hand and foot.

The party begins …

and shortly afterwards two sets of Black Lincoln Longwool twins arrive - just a few days early but this time we were ready for them.  Black Lincoln Longwools are a new addition to our farm - another 'at risk' rare breed.  

 

This lamb will be sheared at 15 months old - providing a wonderful heavy and full fleece.

The Lincoln Longwool raw fleece is available in our Flock Box in the raw fleece section of our on-line store.

The raw wool on shearing has been sent to Bradford, Yorkshire, for washing and onwards to Laxtons for spinning into more of our beautiful 4 ply.

 

Read more

Getting ready for lambing 

16th February and all the ewes are ready to come into the party tent (our lambing marquee) – however, one just couldn’t wait and we had a lovely surprise on Friday 16th morning at feeding time.  A very premature ram lamb, but big and doing very well.  She’s a fabulous mother, very protective, looking after him well with all the other curious ewes around her – but she’s now happily in her luxury room and being waited on hand and foot.

The party begins …

and shortly afterwards two sets of Black Lincoln Longwool twins arrive - just a few days early but this time we were ready for them.  Black Lincoln Longwools are a new addition to our farm - another 'at risk' rare breed.  

 

This lamb will be sheared at 15 months old - providing a wonderful heavy and full fleece.

The Lincoln Longwool raw fleece is available in our Flock Box in the raw fleece section of our on-line store.

The raw wool on shearing has been sent to Bradford, Yorkshire, for washing and onwards to Laxtons for spinning into more of our beautiful 4 ply.

 

Read more


Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year to all our friends from Home Farm.   

January started off busy at Home Farm - shearing all of our pregnant Wensleydale ewes.  This should help the lambs find their mother's milk faster and also I believe that with a heavy longwool sheep this will be more hygienic.  

But of course it means more work at Home Farm, as these ewes will be housed now until after lambing. 

We have started preparations putting up the marquee – we do love our ‘Party Tent’, exciting times ahead.  If you want to keep up to date with our lambing from 1 March – join my facebook page ‘JayneDryden’.

Most of this fleece will be heading to Yorkshire for washing and spinning.  However, some of the premium fleece is selected and sold to hand-spinners and crafters.  
This month we had some absolutely spectacular hand spun wool from the Woolly Wizzard - take a look at our on-line store for more details

 

Read more

Happy New Year to all our friends from Home Farm.   

January started off busy at Home Farm - shearing all of our pregnant Wensleydale ewes.  This should help the lambs find their mother's milk faster and also I believe that with a heavy longwool sheep this will be more hygienic.  

But of course it means more work at Home Farm, as these ewes will be housed now until after lambing. 

We have started preparations putting up the marquee – we do love our ‘Party Tent’, exciting times ahead.  If you want to keep up to date with our lambing from 1 March – join my facebook page ‘JayneDryden’.

Most of this fleece will be heading to Yorkshire for washing and spinning.  However, some of the premium fleece is selected and sold to hand-spinners and crafters.  
This month we had some absolutely spectacular hand spun wool from the Woolly Wizzard - take a look at our on-line store for more details

 

Read more


Oct - Dec 2017

December 2017 - we're scanning ...

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December 2017 - we're scanning ...

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