Sheep Spa

Picture 269Picture 277Once again, it’s shearing time. A bit later this year due to the cold weather. Would you believe that it snowed again last night! No worries, the newly shorn flock were warm and cozy in the barn. Every spring when shearing day arrives, I try and invite some young helpers to come over and be part of the days work. I tease them about helping out with the sheeps annual spa day, ” you know”, I say, ” the sheep get their hair done (shearing) and their nails done (hoof trimming) and are given a little refreshment ” (worming medicine). Picture 276The kids seem to like having a task while the job of shearing is getting done. Sweeping the floor matts between sheep, bundling up the fleeces, helping me to skirt (remove the manure tags and unwanted part of the whole fleece), and we always need a gate keeper to let sheep in or out.Picture 273Picture 278 Of course, the great reward after all the work is done, is being able to climb up into the big (almost) empty hayloft. A long rope hangs from one of the big old barn beams and the kids love swinging off the stored hay bales and out across the loft.
This years fleeces looked great. Long staple length and healthy with nice luster. The health of a flock will often show in fleece quality. Despite the long and very cold winter, our ewes all seemed to fair well. We didn’t breed as many ewes this year, and this allows for more energy to go into fleece production. Today, I will continue to skirt the fleeces and sort them according to quality. A new ram will be arriving late this summer and will join the flock. Every couple of years, rams need to be rotated out and replaced to prevent inbreeding, but also to bring different and favorable qualities to the flock. He’ll help increase numbers and add new genes to the existing flock. We’ll let you know when he arrives. And I think I may have some new young shephards in the neighboorhood who are willing to take on a flock of their own. Picture 281

4 comments on “Sheep Spa

    • Hi Pia,
      Yes, I think you are right……..getting those heavy locks off your back would be a relief. It was fairly warm yesterday afternoon and the flock was able to get outside a bit to feel the fresh air against their skin. Then indoors for the night with snow on the way!

  1. Having raised sheep myself I know all about what fun shearing day is. See you all soon. Looking forward to some excellent tomato sets again. Letha

    • Hi Letha,
      Yes, shearing day is always exciting. The ewes fleeces look great this year. Can’t wait to start spinning them! Will save some tomatoe seedlings for you, I am trying a few new varieties this year……always interesting. See you soon!
      denise

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