Shades of Ireland

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ewes Are Done!!!

This was the sheep shearing weekend. I was determined to get the sheep cooled off before July. We made a really good stab at it this weekend.

I have pics on my phone and someday I will figure out how to get them on here..... again! The phone service changed up the proceedure and that means that I have to just start all over again.

I briefly found the digital camera that had been lost in the old blue Ford truck but.... fair season is approaching and my budding photographer snappd it up to get a head start on pics to exhibit..... and promptly put it down somewhere and it is gone again!!

Anyway, we got nine ewes, the ram and one big black lamb sheared. All that we have left are lambs. In looking at them, only a few, less than six, really need to be sheared. The others are late lambs or were ill when I got them and they just do not have the heavy wool cover that the ewes did. They are not suffering in the heat at all and seem to have just enough wool covering to give them relief from the dang flies.

Adam has two ewe lambs picked out to show and they will certainly get a really close hair--- I mean--- wool cut......just not for a few more days!!

I did not try the professional shearing method this time. I am just too old, fat and weak to wallow those sheep around and get it done with out terrible strain to both me and the poor sheep. We put them up on the milking stand. Neil helped me hold them still, shifted the big sheet of wool and generally made life MUCH easier. I soon had a system and I am down right proud of the job we did. I still had clipper and blade issues but we have decided that the three sheep that I had problems with must not have been sheared last year. They were a greasy, nasty, hard-to-shear mess. Also they were obviously cross bred ewes and I am actively encouraging Neil to cull them because their wool was just .... very different to try to cut. After they were all cleaned off, we were shocked at just what nice, good quality sheep we have!! A couple of these girls have raised two lambs. The combined weight of those lambs is much heavier that the she is!!! We still have a month or so before actual weaning time. They have done an excellent job for us.

I ended up with six rolled up fleeces that I am not ashamed to admitt that I cut off. Two of them are probably not spinner quality but I am donating them to a local group of ladies that put on spinning demos. Those fleeces should at least give people something to look at and touch. They can demo to their heart's content.......

Right now, I have them rolled up and bagged in an old sheet. I just tied up the corners of the sheet and it looks like a huge hobo bundle. Every time I see that big old fashioned looking bundle, I find myself singing,  " Baa, Baa black sheep, have you any wool?"

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