Tuesday, October 7, 2014

All the Pretty Curls

Today was shearing day for the Cotswold lambs.  I try to have this done in early September but this year it just didn't get scheduled and to make matters more interesting when I phoned him my regular shearer told me he couldn't do it this fall.  At all.  Yikes!  Good sheep shearers aren't found on every corner and you need someone who treats the animals gently and understands that the wool is pretty darn valuable and doesn't haggle it taking it off.  Luckily (super luckily!) the man doing the sheep shearing demo at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival was willing and available.  Curiously, this is the third 'Brian' who has sheared for us.  Besides a Ralph and an Irving there have been two other Brians - what are the odds?

Last night we shut the boys into their creep area and the girls into theirs.  We had rain coming and you need the sheep dry.  Not only does the shearer get soaked in two seconds handling wet sheep, but worse the fleece will start to mildew in storage no matter what you stash it in. 

"Hey, somebody, we got accidentally shut in here....... can you get the gate?"
Peanut was sooo happy that I was hanging out with everyone.  She stuck like Velcro to my leg - the equivalent of a sheep hug.

A bit of deja vu......

And another one.  This lamb....

....has faded to a very pale gray over her hips.

This is Ophelia.  She's one of my favorites this year. 

Besides being large and friendly she has great Cotswold coloring on her face and really nice curls.
Here's her baby picture......with that crazy spot.

.....and now.

Her spot has faded too although not as much as the lamb with fancy pants.

Random pictures while we were waiting.  Brian got lost finding us this morning.

"Hey, I think somebody's coming!"
Once we got under way things went along smoothly.  He's a very good shearer and fast which didn't leave a lot of time for pictures.  We did the boys after all the girls and they really got short shrift in the photo department - not a one.  Imagine all this again but with manly luggage being carried around ;-)

The lamb with the black 'pants'.

"What the heck just happened?"
"It IS nice to be cooler.... I don't mind that part."
"I don't know.  I'm a little worried what the others will say."
But nobody laughed.

Peanut says, "I think I look pretty good!  And now I can get to that itchy spot!"
Good girl, Pea!  Look for the silver lining.


  1. Wow, that is some gorgeous wool! You have beautiful sheep. One question, isn't it late in the season to be sheering? Seems like winter is near, if yea know what I mean.

    1. The Cotswolds grow fleece at about an inch per month. They will have plenty by the time we get real cold plus they always have access to a secure dry barn. If we left the lambs' wool on all during hay feeding season I think it would suffer and there would be a lot of waste to it by spring.

    2. Had no idea... Thanks for the info! They are beautiful sheep :-)

  2. Beautiful sheep with beautiful curls. I'm so glad you always have a guy who handles the sheep and the wool gently. I love the shiny undercoats. You post photos of sheep like I do these days of our pups. If you have a minute, do pop over and see our canis africanis family growing beautifully. Greetings Jo (East Africa)

  3. Beautiful fleeces! As always :-). Love the baby to now pics, especially Peanut and Ophelia.

  4. What gorgeous curls! How do you sell it? Just through the festivals? I have a great shearer - and you're right. It's so important to have someone who respects the fleece!

    1. I have lamb fleece listed on my website's fleece page as being available at times and just to contact me. It can be bought by the pound or by whole fleeces and I sell most of them by internet as opposed to festivals (because I only do a couple each year). Those that don't get sold get washed and dyed and turned into roving..... which I"m behind on making right now, but I"m ever optimistic that I can get caught up!

  5. Brian did a lovely job. So even and not a mark on them. And, look at that sheen on their coats now. Lovely!