I wish I had some great, exciting story to tell about how shearing day is so fun, but honestly…it’s really not. It’s definitely a relief–but that’s about it.
The weather is strange around here. A lot of people shear early in spring before lambing, but we lamb in Feb/March, out on pasture, which I think is just too early. We also usually get a wet, rainy May, and we don’t use a fully enclosed barn, so we don’t want anyone to get wet, cold, muddy, and chilled while they’re…well, naked.
I mean, when you go from this…
You’re bound to notice a cool breeze.
So the first week of June would be perfect for us.
But we don’t do it. We have before. We may again. (And I’m using “we” loosely here, ’cause it was all Mr. Fix-It and I think he’d rather get rid of them all then ever do it again.) But we seem to have trouble finding a shearer every spring (because it’s a horrible job an they’re all busy with people who have a lot more sheep than us) so we just worry and worry and worry until it’s done.
This year we also had a very strange outbreak of live fluke in the wet part of the spring and we were very worried about stressing the animals before we were sure it was passed. If you’re not a sheep person, that’s probably already more than you want to know about internal parasites. (And if you are a sheep person…the whole flock popped up with bottle jaw and we had to do two rounds of cydectin and we’re about to follow up with a final round of ivermectin just to be sure. Thankfully we caught it early and didn’t lose a single animal. Drop me a note if you want to chat about it.)
But here we are, it’s July, and it’s done. Yeah!
Oh, and were you wondering what all this process entails? Well, here ya go!
It’s hot, dirty work. I think I drank a gallon of sweet tea just watching him.
And you can’t help but think the sheep are a little traumatized.
I mean, they have to watch it all too, knowing they’re next.
And it’s got to be so…so…traumatizing for their flock-y little minds not to match and blend into the crowd. Little do they realize it’s actually harder to tell them apart once their sheared. Now I’m back to studying the shape of their eyes or the width of their noses to tell them apart.
And the wool?
We bag it up and send it off for the woolen mill. They’ll sort it, wash it, dry it, comb it, and eventually send us back nice clean packages of roving and yarn to sell.
But we’ll save that for another post!