This post could have a lot of titles: Brrrr it’s Cold, Who thought this was a good idea, We’re moving to Cedar Pond (more on that later), Murphy’s Law is in full effect – well you probably get the idea…
The first round of shearing happened Thursday morning and that night it dropped down to 30 degrees!!! The previous week felt like Spring and now it definitely feels like Winter. It never fails that when we shear in the winter time, the weather makes a drastic turn for the worse and this year was no different.
This morning I woke up to blue sky and frost everywhere and boy was it chilly!
I started out by telling the girls that I was very sorry and that I would give them extra food. They promptly told me that they were running away from home and were going to hitchhike to Cedar Pond’s farm. They heard that Kathy gives her girls heat lamps to huddle under. They didn’t care how much extra food I was going to give them. So, to keep them from causing a pile up on the highway, I had to resort to turning them out on the green grass…
It may have been sunny when we started shearing, but the fog quickly rolled in and it looked like this when we were done…
and it just got worse as the day progressed. Luckily it isn’t going to be freezing tonight and they are all tucked in the barn with extra straw tonight, but if any of you see a group of Jacob ewes hitchhiking up I-5 will you please send them home…
We are doing shearing a little differently this year. I wanted to get all of the ewes sheared before lambing and the thought of shearing all 33 of them myself was too overwhelming 🙂 So, I called 6 shearers and left messages. In 3 days I heard back from 1! Why are sheep shearers and farriers so hard to get ahold of and all of them seem to be lacking in customer service. So, I called my friend, who is also the person that I got my first Jacobs from, Sheryl Zettle. She does a wonderful job shearing, but only likes to do 10-15 at a time due to an injury to her shoulder. I thought I would give it a try anyways 🙂 She very graciously agreed to do them on three different days and only charge me 1 setup fee. This morning was day #1 and she sheared 12 of them.
I love the look of freshly shorn sheep and I think the girls in the barn were a little jealous!
I love how clean they look and how black the black looks.
and the new girls that were so shaggy, look much better now! I can actually see what they look like without 2 years worth of fleece on them!
These 2 girls are sisters – Chevelle in the back and Liberty in the front. Their handsome brother resides at Mud Ranch.
Here they are as lambs, weren’t they so cute!
Unfortunately, shearing can also show you all of the bad things 🙂 This new ewe is just a little freckled. I had a feeling she was after looking at her fleece, but she has a few more than I imagined 🙂 oh well.
Not to be confused with freckles, poor Harley is starting to show her age and has developed quite a few age spots 🙂 I’m not really sure what the correct term is for these skin spots, but I have noticed that a few of my older girls are developing them as they age.
The other benefit of doing them in small groups is that I can skirt the fleeces before the next batch needs to be done! Part 2 is scheduled for Sunday morning.