Thursday, March 30, 2017

Shearing - Round One

After scrubbing our first scheduled shearing because of a winter storm (winter storm 'Stella' which I have pictures the phone...) we did get the first group of forty-one shorn yesterday.  We went through the flock and used the oh-so-scientific method of choosing those who were oozing out from under their coats the most.

"What do you mean our butts are sticking out?  That's an awful thing to say."

We had penned those sheep the night before and gave them a very light feeding of hay so that full bellies wouldn't be more of an obstacle than necessary.  We moved ten or so at a time into the shearing area.  The sun came out periodically and it was much nicer than some shearing days have been.

Mickey, waiting his turn.

Snubby, looking a whole lot smaller with all that wool off.

The sheep waiting their turns watched with varying degrees of concern.  Most eyes and ears were on us.

The fleeces this year seem much bigger and even prettier than usual.  We did have early hot dry weather last June and managed to put up better hay than in the past few years.  Coupled with the lack of weeks of deep cold I think the sheep put a lot more energy into wool production over the winter.  The thirty gallon trash bags I put each fleece in were very inadequate in several instances.

Mickey's sister, Minnie.  That's a lot of sheep to reach around.


One of the Cotswolds - maybe Oleander.  We invested in a lot more sheep coats and put jackets on everyone, including all the Cotswolds, when we started feeding hay last fall.  So far, so good.  The ones we've shorn so far had no cotting although the curls initially looked kind of flat.  I think they'll perk up after being flopped out onto the skirting table and moved around.  Regardless, the wool is spotless so that's a huge plus.

 Who's that faded moorit?

It's Carmel, whose fleece was dark last year like her face.

She's faded in the span of a year to a warm sand color.

Great crimp and very long for the grade - close to five inches.  I think I've found one of our entries for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival's fleece show and sale.

That's five weeks from now - yikes!


  1. Beautiful. I think one whole fleece would last me well into the next decade, even if Rumplestilskin could be rustled up to spin on one wheel as I spun on the other.

  2. Carmel, your fleece is beautiful and so are you!

  3. Beautiful, as always :-).

    Could you talk a little more about how you pick your competition fleeces sometime?

    1. That's a good question. I'll be sure and go over it a bit in the next post.

  4. WOW! I will look for Caramel's fleece at MS&W, the need to touch fleece is intense right now!

  5. Seeing these, I'm so glad I spoke for three of yours this year! Maybe should take another stroll through your fleece pages and see if there are others I can't resist.

    It would be great to hear more about your choices for the fleece shows. I'll keep an eye on the blog. Good luck with the next round of shearing.

  6. Robin, can't wait till your fleeces are posted. Looking for the sun-kissed black coat this year!