Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shearing Day Part One

I'm shearing late this year. Usually I try to shear in February but for what ever reason I tried to shear later this year to see if we could shear under the "rise" of the Shetlands fleece. Well it doesn't work! but the weather was right. Seems that once the "rise" begins that sticky part of the fleece keeps holding the new fiber down. Some of the sheep still have one inch of fiber left on them after shearing, stuck in a one quarter inch "mat" next to their skin. Not felted just stuck tight with lanolin and no way to save it.
Maybe if we shear in January? I know most Shetland people have this problem but is there a better way, a better time of the year to shear Shetlands? Any information would be appreciated.
Ladys awaiting to be herded into the barn. These lambs are learning some new tricks from the goats! 
All of the ewe's that were bred are being sheared today so that when they lamb in April I can watch them better. The lambs and the few ewe's not bred will be sheared in a week or two when David can get back here again.

The goats were caught in the mix of sheep so they will be witnessing their first sheep shearing. I want to catch up Ginger to remove her collar anyway.

My eight boys, four wethers and four rams, also were sheared to make our day of shearing 19 sheep. The two little guys looking at the camera are from my 2009 lambs. If you click on the picture to get a bigger version you can see the tremendous amount of horn growth they have which has all happened since this February!

Sailors turn, with Jeannette watching his side so he won't jump side ways off the stand as David shears. David does not usually shear sheep. His expertise comes from shearing and grooming his Llamas for show. So we shear on a sheep stand in two sections, one side at a time. Then he goes back and cleans up the short and dirty fleece left around the belly and rear end of each sheep.

Sailor all sheared with K.G.waiting in the background. K.G. or King George is from two registered Shetland sheep. He is a giant in my flock with a five pound fleece, long and silky, which sheared off clean down to the skin. Wish they all sheared so easily.
Megan and Ginger thought this whole shearing thing got to be a bit boring.


Carolyn said...

Great pictures. Your sheep are so cute with their long fleeces hanging down like a big wig. I am still spinning the fleeces I bought from you last summer. They are really lovely to spin.

Sharon said...

I have *got* to call David. I hate to think that it's already too late.

Michelle said...

This is the first year I've had trouble with the rise, and coincidently, the first year I've sheared this early (Feb. 22 and Mar. 22). Your La Manchas are sure beautiful!

Fiber Floozie said...

Looks like you guys had a whole bunch of fun.

Nancy K. said...

Your photos are beautiful, Mim!

Last year is the first year that I didn't have sheep that looked like swamp creatures and needed summer trims after shearing in March. Last year we sheared in May and the fleeces slid right off! The girls had no problem lambing in full fleece and it made for nice pictures with the new babies. I'm doing it again this year!