Thursday, March 6, 2014

Shearing - Round Two

We had scheduled last Tuesday for shearing the rest of the bred ewes but with it predicted to be -5 that morning we opted to wait.  Today was better - above 20 in the barn with the doors closed - and we got the remaining 33 ewes done in about four and a half hours.  The rest of the flock - unbred ewes, rams and wethers, 2013 lambs I am keeping - will hopefully get done in early to mid April when it should be warmer.

I have been...handled.... ugh.

We brought the girls into the shearing area in two batches so they wouldn't be crushed too tightly.  They manage to pack themselves in tighter than they need to be anyway.  The ones in the back are always the more flighty ones - they put plenty of other bodies between themselves and The Bad Stuff.

I'm not flighty - I'm a Cotswold!
Star, with her white splotches........
One of the moorits - faded on the outside from the sun but light brown underneath...........
Everyone was happy to be done and released to go back to their groups.  A couple of ewes who had been shorn in the first group had been cold in the days following so we put coats on them (like Mercy in the foreground) and they were much happier.  Just a single layer of canvas material holds enough heat near their skin that it made all the difference.

All the fleeces fit on the shelves and that's saying something considering what a backlog abundance of wool I still have there.  I have plans for it.....just need the time  :-/   The rest of the flock will be scheduled in early April.  Let's see how many of these fleeces I'll have moved out by then.
So shearing went well but it's still winter.  Andy didn't get as much firewood accumulated last fall in the basement or near the outside boiler as he wanted because of the building project he had to complete.  The last few weeks he's been cutting firewood on an 'as needed' basis from the buzz pile or grabbing a few small trees from the edge of the woods.  Those are trees that were damaged or growing poorly and were destined for firewood anyway but he'd have preferred to let them season as firewood chunks before burning them.  Oh well.  Today he didn't have much time after the shearer left so he pulled a log from the pile out front.  Those are going to be milled to surveyor grade stakes or other utilitarian purposes but some of them are a bit knotty or curved for even that use.  Firewood it is.
Hook a chain to one end.......
Pull it from the pile with the tractor......
And then carry it up to the boiler to be tonight's heat.
Slogging through winter, one day at a time.


  1. It's been a heck of a slog hasn't it?

  2. OMW you all work so hard. I was just about to ask about the shorn sheep in snow and I saw the coats. You are amazingly good to your animals. I wish third world farmers could read your blog. Great post.

  3. I keep meaning to ask, I hear the term Moorit... is it a breed or wool term? There is something to be said about the workings of a farm....there is always something to do. We are never bored though are we? keep well and stay safe!

  4. Moorit is a wool color, basically a brownish red, and the word comes from the list of wool colors recognized in the Shetland sheep breed. It's a recessive gene which requires both parents to contribute a copy of it or else the offsping carries the gene but doesn't express it - their wool is seen as either white or black. Just to confuse matters there is a sheep breed called the Castlemilk Moorit, but most moorit sheep are not from that breed. My moorit genes came from Romeldale/CVM sheep.

  5. Your brown is the opposite of Chocula. He looked brown on the outside and is surprisingly oatmeal on the inside. Such a pretty color - both.