Saturday, March 21, 2015

Now We're Cold

Hey Marblecake why are we all here? What's up? Why are they setting up all that stuff?

OMG they are killing Sandwich!!! We told her not to be such a pain the butt didn't we?

Ahmmmm. That doesn't look like much fun. Now they are killing that little whether.

Excuse me guys.... I don't really bend that way and I am kinda attached to that wool. I said just a bit off the top.

Please help me.

What the hell just happened?

Do you like our goat impersonation?

Yes shearing day is finished. 23 sheep were sheared here today. A local even brought over a Shetland Ewe that hadn't been sheared in at least two years for us to shear as well.

Here is just a few of the 20 some odd bags of fleece we got today. Three of the yearlings had their fleece totally destroyed from having escaped into the cockle bur patch. What's funny is the sheep don't even know each other after you get finished shearing them and they run around re-establishing their pecking order all over again. There actually were plenty of surprises as well. Sandwich isn't as small as she looked and several of the big ewes are now much smaller than they appeared. The biggest ewe gave up almost a 14 pound fleece and the Blue Faced Ram's fleece topped out at 15 pounds.

I only sheared three of them on my own with the professional watching and instructing me and I feel like I want to climb in bed for a week. I honestly don't know how these guys do it. I am not a small Man either and not that out of shape although I have put on some pounds lately and one sheep wears me right out. If I had four sheep to shear on my own I would take five days to do it.

One sheep a day with a day of rest in the middle I swear.

We wormed each victim as we finished too. Now we should start having lambs within the next week or so.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. I guess there is some trick to shearing without wearing yourself out as the girl who did them at work was a skinny young girl and handled them like it was nothing to it. Good that you didn't end up with some spare parts after the job. They like the wool around here to make yarn and one woman has made quite a business out of it.

    1. Sf - After doing the three I did today I will say it was easier than the ones I did a few weeks ago. Much easier actually. The tired muscles I am feeling tonight are just a set in a couple of areas I just never use which is prolly the real secret. With the pro there he showed me a little more up close how to roll em and get em in a position they would fight much. I also think arm length ha a lot to do with making the shearing easier or harder. I have short arms which meant I had to over extend myself and made it more tiring.

      I only nicked em a very few times too and I noticed I remembered a bunch more to pull the skin tight. I actually feel much better about this whole thing after this go around than I did the class.

  2. bahahahahahahahahha! oh buddy - i feel for ya! honestly, i really for you! that sounds like it was one heck of a day and i know from reading other blogs (homesteading neophyte) that it is not an easy task until you have been doing it for 500years or more. teehee. jam says he'll trade the shearing for the shoveling...his parents raised rare-breed sheep for years. and he is sick of shoveling snow.

    but me, being the good friend that i am, i feel for you! good job. now get some rest and eat some good, healthy, nutrient dense food, have a few days off and take care of yourself.

    bahahahahahahahahah! much love, always, buddy! your friend,

    1. Kymber - Thanks hon. I think one semi-day off is all I am going to allow myself though. Too much other work to do right now.

  3. Nice, very nice....They are telling us snow Sunday 3 to 8" or what ever falls. Too warm to stay too long. My shovels are still on the deck and not the shed for summer.

  4. Not to be rude, but curious. Do the fleece make you money? I love to watch sheep shearing so cool.

    1. LW - I don't count the fleece money into the bottom line too much. My mother is a big hand spinner and she does sell it often but it's intermittent and a little goes a long way with most hand spinners I think. They may buy some wool and it last them years at the hobby level. I suspect the bottom line never actually pays for the shearing costs. However it is an aspect of raising sheep we could potentially move more heavily into especially if we started coating a couple of the really fine wool producers. Once I get all the fences worked out and have some time I may explore that side of things a bit.

  5. I've helped with shearings in the past (another handspinner here) and always enjoyed the reaction of the sheep to one another after the shearing, especially if they already had lambs. "Mom, is that you????"

    1. Leigh - We have so far always managed to get em all sheared before lambing started but I know even best friends that grew up together don't know each other after shearing sometimes. The shearing guy was telling me a story about two rams that had grown up together and never acted aggressive with each other until they got sheared then they attacked and both ended up dying.

      I guess sheep don't rely over much on smell for ID.

  6. PP,

    Shearing is a full time job within it's self. The professional shearers make it look so easy but in reality, it's hard work (and not easy).

    Silly sheep, you would think they would be able to identify their friends through smell but obviously they don't.


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