Saturday, March 15, 2014
The Sheep are Sheared
I tell ya what shearing sheep has to be one very hard job. I am amazed at how well our sheep shearer handles the animals. He just flips em over and turns em all such ways and they don't really get too out of control with kicking or carrying on. I know the secret is to get their heads bent back, which puts em off balance so they go down and over easier then keep em off their hooves. I even had a go at it a time or two but I haven't yet built up the experience to where I feel comfortable bending the girls around like that. I am afraid I am going to break em or hurt em to be honest.
I still have a long way to go and learn that much is obvious but my series of doors and pen setup in the barn worked extremely well for shearing too so that was an improvement.
My plan for shearing is to start learning to do it myself a little bit at a time so in a sense this was my first lesson. I know there are classes you can take but they didn't offer them this year locally. I certainly wouldn't want to take on 30 sheep like our professional guy did today. My thoughts are maybe to do two or three this next year and still hire this guy to come and do the rest.
To be honest right now sheep wool isn't really worth a damn anyway. If you are going to market or slaughter the sheep there isn't much point in shearing em ahead of time because you don't get enough for the wool to make it worth your while. Last year we had several local spinners buy all the wool we had but they got so much none of them want any this year. I read that raw wool works well for mulch but when I tried it the neighbor's dog came and rolled herself up in the wool like a huge burrito. She looked like a big round bale of wool with a dog's head sticking out of it when I found her and it took me an hour to get her out. So that ended the sheep wool mulch experiment let me tell ya. The outside dog does appreciate his wool filled dog house come Winter though that's for sure.
So now we have 30 big plastic bags full of wool and 30 very naked looking sheep. Of course as usual with shearing day tomorrow is forecast as a high only in the 30's, more snow and rain and a low somewhere around 18. It never fails last year the night after shearing it snowed 12 inches. I bet they will all be huddled up together tomorrow thinking we are trying to freeze em to death.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!