Monday, March 21, 2016

Someone Stole My Sheep!!!!

And left me Goats!!!!!

It's hard to believe how small the girls are under all that wool. Well some of them anyway there are a couple (looks at Sandwich) that are rather plump even after their wool is removed.

After shearing day I up'd the daily grain amounts a bit too as a few of the yearlings are too skinny for my liking. I will say the shearing guy didn't complain about them being over weight this year though.

Today was one of the toughest task days I have to deal with each year. Taking the yearling lambs to slaughter. Surprisingly the more I take the easier it is usually but this year I only took three in. One customer who usually orders two for himself didn't get them this year and we only needed one ourselves as we have a good supply left in the freezer as well.

Taking them to market really amounts to the same fate as taking them directly to the butcher myself, I have no illusions about that, but it's just different to unload the frightened little guys myself at the yard.

I still have three yearlings that need to go to market in the next week or so and right after that lambing season will start.

I get so used to seeing basically two colors of sheep when their wool is on that seeing them sheared is kinda surprising for a few days each year. The wool gets bleached and dirty on the outside and we don't sell enough wool to bother with coats, so by Winter the sheep are all basically dirty white or sun bleached reddish brown. Under that though are the natural grays, blacks, pure whites and champagne colors we bought or bred them for.

Our terminal ram Frazier gave us a 15 pound fleece this year too. It is so white and fluffy I stuck my hand down into the bag and wanted a coat lined with it. Then I went and washed the lanolin off my hand :)

Someday after I get all the fencing and other large issues worked out I am going to learn to skirt the fleece myself and perhaps work on getting some wool sales going but for now I leave that to my mother who is rather slacking on it at best. Oh she always has an excuse I guess but the end result is I throw most of it away after a few years. I just don't have time to mess with it yet and I am managing to stay in the black with just the market sales of the animals right now so the extra income isn't a priority. We do get some hand spinners that come and pick through it but there aren't enough hand spinners in the State to use all this wool.

Like I said though the wool market is something I will look into more once I have all the big problems worked out like rotational grazing and getting the hay, and hopefully soon, grain production figured out.

Someone told me once the wool was great as a mulch. I tried it and the neighbor's dog came up here and rolled herself up in it like a burrito. It was the funniest thing I ever saw but wasn't too healthy for the plants she rolled over. I also noticed some coyotes came and rolled in the wool too so that kinda put an end to that experiment.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!


  1. well you fancied goats at one point, we body scored the Alpacas yesterday and there fleece is supper thick this year my hands just sunk into it they are like big fluffy polar bears another few months before they are sheared :-)

  2. Poor things looking like goats. Kind of what politicians would look like if you took our money away from them.
    I think there is a market for wool that hasn't been cleaned, they use it for making yarn. I think it makes water proof sweaters or something, might be a hippy thing, don't know. It would probably involve the person not taking a bath as well.

  3. Why - you're an artiste, PP!!!

    Do you do dogs as well? I have a slovenly Pyranese that needs a pig shave to keep him cool in the summer!

    Come to think of it I am a bit shaggy too...are you any good with a bic? I don't like the hair I have left and a good session with a bic, followed by a few minutes on an orbital sander with 300 grit would get back to looking spiffy and clean!

    Make the arrangements, PP - we'll be over first thing tomorrow!!! And - the dog will be happy to guard the sheep after he's done!

  4. Yeah, what to do with the wool. My wife says there is a market for the good fleeces but we can't seem to get our act together to process and sell them, too many more important projects for now. So it piles up or we burn the crappy stuff. Maybe next year...

  5. Instead of tossing it you might try it as mulch. I know several folks who swear by it.

    Another farmer near me uses her "spare" fleece as insulation, stuffing it into the walls of the barn extensions.

    1. For that matter there ARE folks who'll buy the whole unskirted fleece if you're willing to ask around. You can't get as much for it, obviously, but it might be better than letting it sit.


Leave a comment. We like comments. Sometimes we have even been known to feed Trolls.