Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shearing Day!

We had the sheep sheared last week.

It begins with an intricate dance of getting everyone into separate catch pens.

Vern & Galloway have to be "babysat" because Vern (the ram) occasionally takes umbrage to being shut up in a small pen with his brother -

"Maybe if I just twist it one more time...."

Thankfully The Shepherd did some halter training with Vern when he was younger, so he is very good about being on a lead, because that's were he went after his attempt at a jail break.

Our shearer, Zander, was due anytime between 11:30 and noon - so he had about 15 minutes on the lead.

While the girls and Wicket were all penned up in the barn

Keep these fluffy girls in your memory bank...

Vern, in a "look how handsome I am" pose.

He does have quite nice wool, don't you think? It is very soft for a ram fleece.

I think The Shepherd will be taking this to Black Sheep next summer.

Zander arrived right after noon and got straight down to business.

He had very good control of the sheep - even Vern didn't wiggle around. The Shepherd and I were speechless!

The fleeces came off in beautiful straight clips - I was concerned that they had started to "roo" (where the fleece of Shetland sheep comes off naturally with the warming of the spring weather - not all breeds of sheep will roo - mostly only the primitive breeds) Rooing makes it harder for the shearer to get a good clip and often the sheep will look like "lumpy Lizzies" afterwards because it is hard for the clippers to get through the fleece.

And here is Luna's baby bump....Not quite Natalie Portman, but it will do for us.

After each shearing the fleece is laid out and then folded and rolled.

Then they are all put on a tarp in the greenhouse to cool down.

The Shepherd has already skirted out Galloway and has started on Vern. Vern's fleece completely covers his 4 x 8 skirting table!

Everybody got pedicures and worming medicine.

Remember all those fluffy sheep from before? Well - here they are after their haircuts - trying to figure out who is who - there was quite a bit of head butting going on for a while.

The four "little girls" (our yearling ewes) were just that after shearing -little! Zander seemed very amused that he could just pick them up and tuck them under his arm to return them to the barn -

So, the temps were not as bitterly cold (in the teens and 20's that they were the week before - mostly hung out around 40-45 degrees - so The Shepherd took pity on the ladies and put the heat lamp on for them for a couple of days - it is supposed to get below freezing tonight, so I think he shut the barn door and turned it on tonight too.

Lambing is next - probably a couple or three weeks to go. "Christmas time" for The Shepherd.


Anonymous said...

It looks like really nice fleeces!

Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

Those lovely sheep must keep you pretty busy!! Good thing for heat lamps. The wool on those sheep is quite thick :o Looks nice too.

Thank you for your purrs for Mickey.
He could use them.

Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

Garrett808 said...

That ram fleece is AMAZING! Love the crimp and length!

Leigh said...

What great pics and what gorgeous fleeces! I've been terrible at keeping up with my blog visits! Shame on me!