Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sure Signs of Spring

It appears Farmer Pat and Farmer Bonnie aren't the only ones getting ready for our May 2nd opening. While walking through the farm today I was amazed by all the signs of spring. Thought I'd share a few...

Sure sign #1- BIG Bellies on our Ewes.
Lightening is famous. She has been on NBC26, WGBA twice this winter. Although you may not recognize her without her wooly coat on!

Sure sign #2 - BIG Bellies on our Nanny Goats
Half&Half has always had triplets and one time even quads! By looking at her belly bulge, I'd say this spring will be no different.

Sure sign #3 - BIG Udders. 
Once the udders start to fill with milk you know the nanny is getting ready to deliver.

 Sure sign #4 - BIG Belly on Sis
Sis is usually the first Queen (female cat) on the farm to have her litter. She's a wonderful momma cat.

Sure sign #5 - Hair in the Rabbit's Box
Right before the Doe (female rabbit) gives birth she pulls the hair from under her chin to line her nest. It makes a comfy warm place for her kits (baby bunnies) to live until their hair grows long enough to keep them warm.

Sure sign #6 - Harmony in the Barnyard
As they say "birds of a feather flock together."  But wait! A drake (male duck), a rooster (male chicken) and a tom (male turkey) all hanging out??!??

petting farm, petting zoo, mulberry lane farm, pony ride, hayride, baby farm animals, picnic, family fun, farm, kids activities, field trip,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sheep Shearing on Bonnie's Barnyard

Today on Bonnie's Barnyard (NBC26 - WGBA) Farmer Pat shows us how he shears Mulberry Lane Petting Farm's sheep taking them from this...


to this...

(Not sure of the title selection by the station. The ewes were actually very, very well behaved! Not baaad at all.)

  • Shearing is usually done in the spring, so sheep don't get overheated in the summer.
  • Preferably, sheep are sheared prior to lambing (giving birth). It is easier for lambs (baby sheep) to nurse sheared ewes (adult female sheep).
  • Before electric shears (up until about the 1880's), sheep were sheared with hand shears or blades. In some parts of the world where electricity is limited or not available, sheep are still blade sheared.
  • Shearing is a specialized skill. Professional sheep shearers can shear sheep in under a minute. The world record is 38 seconds. However, the average time it takes to shear a sheep is 3 minutes.
  • Electric shears have three basic parts: the handpiece, the comb and the cutters.
  • At Mulberry Lane Farm we use a shear made by Andis, a Wisconsin based company in Racine County. (Andis Website

  • One sheep produces anywhere from 2 to 30 pounds of wool annually. Mulberry’s Shetland sheep produce 2-4 lbs. of wool.
  • The average price paid for wool sold in the United States is $1.15 per pound.
  • Sheep are the only producers of lanolin. It is an oily/greasy by-product of their wool. Lanolin's waterproofing property aids sheep in shedding water from their coats.
  • Extraction of lanolin from the wool can be performed by squeezing the sheep's harvested wool between rollers or by a boiling process.
  • Common use of lanolin is in shampoos, lotions, skin burns, and baby products.
  • Mulberry Lane Petting Farm spring season begins May 2nd. We’ll have baby chicks, baby ducklings, baby calves, baby bunnies, baby lambs, baby kid goats, baby kittens….baby, baby will we have babies! 
Mulberry Lane Petting Farm, Mulberry Lane Farm, Bonnie's Barnyard, Sheep Shearing. Pony Rides, Hayrides, Pumpkin Patch,