On the morning of shearing my son asked me how much it cost to have each sheep sheared. I told him that each one cost $5. He said ‘ok’ and walked away. I thought it was a little random, but didn’t give it a lot of thought. A little later he came out of his room with a $1 bill and 16 quarters. He said that he wanted to pay to have Precious sheared 🙂 He had counted out enough money from his piggy bank to pay for his little ewe lamb. My heart melted. I helped him get a ziploc bag and he put his money in it.
He wanted Precious to be sheared first and he watched very intently. Instructing the shearer the whole time…’she likes to be talked to’, ‘she doesn’t like to be held like that’, ‘she may be a little wiggly, just be patient with her’, etc. It was very cute. As soon as she was done, he handed his baggy of money to the shearer and told her ‘thank you’. Once again my heart melted.
Precious was happy with the hay, but my son was very concerned about her and quickly grabbed a little bit of grain.
She was happy with his idea and the two of them shared a quiet ‘precious’ moment.
Who knew a little ewe lamb named Precious could teach him so much.
Shearing day was originally scheduled for November 21st, but due to circumstances out of our control it was delayed for a little while. Luckily, we were able to reschedule it for the 16th of December. I was getting a little concerned because the first lambing date is getting very close! I like to shear the ewes before they lamb for many reasons – everything stays cleaner and the barn stays drier, the ewes are more likely to bring the newborn lambs into the barn when it is raining, it is easier for the newborn lambs to find the udder, and the fleeces are beautiful – before the lambs have a chance to climb all over them!
We used a new shearer this year and I am very pleased! She handled the ewes with care and the fleeces look great.
The new chute was a very big help. I was able to load a sheep in it while she was shearing. When she was done shearing, she released the sheep and they exited through an open gate and I swung the gate open on the chute and she grabbed the sheep. It worked just like I was hoping it would – I love it when that happens!
My son had 3 weeks off for Christmas break, so he was my big helper. It was a bit chilly when we started…
but it turned into a beautiful day!
Even though the sun came out, I think these girls were talking about how lucky they were not to be on the shearing list.
Queenie is the first to lamb on the 4th of January. For a firt time lamber, she has a pretty big belly and udder already.
Holly is next on the list and is due on the 8th of January.
Poor Azera isn’t due until the 20th of January, she is definitely the biggest of all the girls.
I love seeing how crisp and clean they look after they have been shorn!
This pile seems a little overwhelming at the moment…
but I love looking at what is inside 🙂
It’s shearing time again!!! Fresh fleeces and clean sheep.
In addition to shearing the ewes, I decided to have the lambs sheared as well. Their fleeces are so pretty and they are starting to get full of hay and junk from being in the barn.
Sheryl agreed to shear the sheep in groups of 15 again. She came this morning and sheared all of the lambs and will be back in December to shear the ewes.
Here they are – waiting their turn…
You can see Magoo, the llama, in the background watching over the whole operation.
Here is Chance, looking a little confused about what happened to her!
I love the colors in this fleece. It belongs to this big boy…
He is a new addition to the herding group. His name is Thatcher and he is a Jacob/Border Leicester cross. I love all of the leicester sheep.
There are several lambs in the herding group that are too dark for the Jacob standard, but look at all of the black/brown wool I have now! It is beautiful.
My husband was here to help and it was so nice. He helped with the sheep and I was able to skirt the fleeces.
In order to show sheep at Black Sheep Gathering, which is at the end of June, it is necessary to shear the yearlings in January. The reason is that they need a certain amount of fiber to be shown and you also don’t want them in full fleece during the summer months. It has been on my list to get our two yearling rams sheared, but this year is just flying by! We finally sheared them today. I have had them in the barn the last couple days in order for them to dry off and I think they enjoyed the nicer amenities 🙂
Here is Rendezvous half way done. When I shear the sheep myself, I put them on a stand instead of the traditional way of sitting them on their butt. This is for several reasons – I am not very fast, I am not very strong, and I just find it easier 🙂
Now I’m going to start on the second side.
Here he is all done except for his belly. For the belly portion I have my husband help me tip them on their butt and he holds them while I shear the belly.
I love how clean they look after being sheared!
Next it was Reno’s turn.
Here I am with my little helper.
They both had lovely fleeces and Rendezvous’ was nicer than I expected – always a fun surprise!
Lucky boys get to spend a few more days in the barn.