Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Shearing is done!

I'll start with the last photo we took...this is a very happy me, thankful that a successful shearing is behind us for one more year.  And believe me when I tell you that my husband, Hank, is grinning even larger behind the camera.

This is how the day started.  I love watching the fleece "peel" off the sheep with each stroke of the cutters.  Hank would interrupt at this point and emphasize that the fleece by no means just "peels" that easy.  Shearing is a hard-earned skill.  The sheep must be seated in a more or less comfortable position, otherwise they're kicking and twisting to get free.  The yearlings who've never been shorn before, kick and twist no matter how they're sitting.  Most sheep don't like the shears up near their faces or other delicate areas which leads to more kicking.  Their skin is constantly twitching with each touch of the hand or shears.  Rams like to jab their horns into Hank's thighs, leaving a scattering of bruises.  Some of our older sheep are getting bony and those jutting hip bones don't lend themselves to long, clean strokes with the shears.  Armpits are especially tricky where the skin is thin and stretches without anything behind to support it.  Shearing is indeed an art.  I'm proud to say that Hank got through our flock of fifteen sheep with only one superficial nick.  Last year I posted several photos on the whole process from start to finish.  You can check those out here, if you'd like.

 Once the girls are done and turned out into a fresh pasture, it appears we have a flock of goats.

Everyone looks so clean.  Now you can see the spots and markings
 that get lost in the inches of wool. And I'm reminded how many of our sheep have darker bellies and legs.

In the foreground of this photo is one of our mothers and her two black ram lambs.  Mothers and lambs always go through an adjustment period when the little ones need to get used to their mother's new look.  There is lots of crying and smelling of behinds before the family settles down again. 

And after a while, they forget the ordeal of the day and come back around for a little petting.  The weather is heating up again here, so we finished just in time.  Next up on the list is to run more fence line for the cows. 
Those guys are eating us out of house and home!

Linked up to Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop.


  1. They look really happy and content. Looks like they have forgiven you. It sounds like Hank gets the worst of the shearing.

  2. And so ends another adventerous day on the farm. I'm jealous! :)

  3. Since I can't have my own sheep just yet, I'm living through yours.
    And enjoying it!

  4. What a wonderful skill to have. Continued blessings...

  5. Woo woo! Naked sheep!

    They look great. Congrats on getting that done.

  6. My little guy feels very bad for them. I can't wait to see what happens next (well to the wool but well I am open minded).


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