Sunday, 11 May 2008

Shearing Day

I'm broken! I sheared the sheep yesterday, and it was very hard work for a newbie :( Those oh-so-cute looking Texel cross ewe lambs were not-so-cute when it came to removing their wool! The sheep on the BWMB course that I did in January were nowhere near as wriggly as mine...

Anyway, I got the fleeces off, not in once piece, but without destroying them completely. I think I'll have to process them myself (not send them away as I was intending) as there are a fair number of double cuts. But hey, it'll mean I've done the whole lot myself, from shearing onwards...

So here are some of the girls after their haircuts:

Shorn Ewes

Velvet, the old girl (black head and legs) on the right, was by far the easiest to do. She's around 13 years old, so she's had a few shearings from the professionals and clearly knows the score: sit still and it'll be over soon. Do you see the wild-eyed look in Willow and Cordelia's expressions though? It'll be a while before they want to be anywhere near me again!

The Texel x fleeces are very nice, a bit softer than the Suffolk that I'm most familiar with and with a more open staple (I used to have a flock of pedigree Suffolks). It should card and spin very easily. I'm planning to make some drumcarded batts from this wool for the online shop.


Oh and I did also shear Giles the ram, who behaved impeccably, but he needs some more clipping around the legs and face before I take pics. Otherwise he'll be really embarrassed, as he looks very silly. Actually it'll be me who's more embarrassed, I can't believe I left him looking so awful! So no, you can't see photos yet. My excuse is that he was the last sheep I did, at the end of a long day and he's a Very Woolly sheep. How one ram lamb can grow so much fleece is beyond me! It was good that I did him this weekend though, as I already found a small patch of fly strike (maggots, yuk!) in his wool, left without treatment it would have spread very rapidly in this warm weather. Removing the fleece got rid of it very effectively. I'll finish trimming up his little legs later in the week and post pics then. He really is the cutest little thing under all that wool.

1 comment:

Bea said...

Yuk to the fly strike, lucky you caught it early though. Sounds like a few cold beers are on the menu ;-) Well done you!!